Electronic mail is widely used every day by hundreds of thousands
of people. Unfortunately e-mail can be a very insecure way of communication.
Electronic mail is notoriously unprivate. When an e-mail message is sent
it travels from the originating host computer to the destination and often
passes through several relaying hosts. Administrators of any these hosts
can easily eavesdrop the mail traffic. If the mail bounces because it can't
reach the addressee, a copy of the message is often sent to the postmaster
of the originating system who can read the e-mail addresses of the sender
and the addressee and the contents of the mail.
The concept of individual privacy with email would suggest users' expectations
of an exclusive access and account usage. Personal problems with email
transmission arising from the technology employed and current legal framework
include the following:
Can be from anyone other than the account holder ("spoofing")
hackers forging the "From" field. An
someone with access to the account -here is an example
From mailing lists, where the email addresses of everyone on the list is
Computer systems crash and can't resolve names into addresses
Computer and domain names at destination sites frequently change
Anonymous remailers not secure
Therefore one cannot hold a valid expectation of privacy with email transmission.
Also you can get a general idea on how your privacy can be invadedSo
the disscussion can be centered on how far can we stretch our traditional
notion of privacy in the field of electronic mail
Bounced mail will be seen by a human System administrators and operators
can read messages in spool files at local sites - source or destination
Many companies consider individual's email corporate property, and are
entitled to do so under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Service provider specifications, such as Prodigy, which reserved right
to edit any public messages prior to posting ?
If "Finger" tool is available on system, anyone can learn any and all of
the following: one's email address, name, location looged in, if currently
on computer and if so for how long, how long since mail ,last checked and
who sender of mail is.
Should the University Have the Right To Monitor My E-mail?
E-mail Issues In The Workplace:
Can the University Monitor Student's E-mail
University E-Mail a Test of Internet Free Speech
Most of the risk involved in the use of E-mail centers on the issue
of privacy. In the U.S., the Supreme Court has been called on to interpret
the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of privacy in novel ways, especially as
new technologies for the transmission of information emerge. For example,
the Court has ruled that citizens have the right of privacy from invasion
of their phone calls or mail. The rights of the organization and those
of the employee may be in conflict with respect to the privacy issue. How
does an organization reconcile this conflict? Issues raised by this topic:
Annoymity In The Mail
Is security issue a serious enough threat for a company to look at their
Can the right to privacy of the employee be applied inside a company?
Must the organization ensure an employee's total personal privacy once
the employee enters the workplace?
Have a Right to Electronic Privacy?
Over the last few years, an intense battle has been raging between the
citizens of the net over the issue of whether on-line anonymity should
be eliminated. One side feels that people should have enough conviction
in their beliefs to state them without hiding behind anonymity. The other
side feels that anonymity is vital for the protection of freedom of expression.
Whichever side one agrees with, it is obvious that the technology for anonymity
on the internet is readily available and that a definite vacuum is being
filled by anonymity services. Points to ponder:
Case Studies on Email Privacy
The quality of state of being unknown or unacknowledged.
One that is unknown or unacknowledged.
Jinsong Hu Case
E-mail issues in the workplace
When they use E-mail, under U.S. law, people have less right to privacy
than when they send physical documents. Peruse the articles on an
overview of E-mail privacy and E-mail issues in
the workplace and answer the following questions.
Legally, a company has the right to read employees' E-mail. But is it ethical?
Why or why not?
How much, if at all, would the presence of a written company policy on
E-mail use affect your answers to the previous question?
If you believe that E-mail should generally be private, should there be
exceptions to this policy, for example, to cover for an employee who is
ill or out of town?
Is new legislation needed to safeguard the privacy of employees' E-mail?
Given the possibility of forging E-mail, what kind of proof should be required
before taking action against those suspected of personal use?
Alana Shoars Case:
"Just as a company has the right to prohibit personal use of a photocopier,
it should have the right to stop personal use of E-mail by employees."
Do you agree with this statement?
"Just as an employer should not listen in on employees' phone conversations,
it should not read their E-mail." Do you agree?
Legal Resources & Case Law
The case of Alana Shoars.
In January 1990, Alana Shoars was the e-mail administrator for Epson America,
Arriving for work one day, she discovered her supervisor reading and printing
out e-mail messages between other employees.
She says she was told by the same m anager that all messages on the system
She questioned the practice and said she was told to mind her own business.
A day later she was fired for insubordination.
She filed a $1M wrongful-termination suit.
She is now e-mail administrator at Warner Bros. Commun