Saturday, August 27, 2016

Email Un-privacy

I have rambled on and on about the Internet for many years now. I am often astonished at who gets burned. But they inspire me to continue to wonder why. I attribute to them too much innocence and enthusiasm. But some of the people who get burned are not young any more. And when they get burned and it is their fault, I often feel as sympathetic as I do when it is not their fault. People want to use their Blackberries and iPhones in peace. I don't blame them. I believe they have a right to think that the thoughts in their emails belong to themselves and not the whole world. When you write an email to a friend that perhaps is unguarded, that does not mean you are a criminal. If you write an unguarded email to an enemy, it can mean you are a criminal. If you write a sincere email to a beloved family member about a forthcoming baby, you are not a criminal, and this email goes with sacred rights, and it should not be interfered with or bandied about in the public for any reason. This is not complicated, but it also may be at times complicated and it may get mixed up.

If you happen to have a geek in the house or you are rich enough to hire one, they can build a home server, and you will be amazed at the ease of use, dependability, and at least for me, the pleasure of working on a machine with NO ADS AT ALL and no interference. I can sit in my rocking chair and think for hours: no distractions.

A home server never goes down; it is open for business 24/7. You are free of Google. Your backups are simple to do. I back up to another disk and put the disk into a locked safe. And a home server if built by someone who knows what they are doing is surprisingly hard to break into. Open BSD is hard to crack. My favorite, Debian, is hard to crack. You hear of intrusions on Windows every day, but I can't remember the last time I heard that Debian was cracked. But Debian has been so dependable, I am out of the loop that way. When I don't hear about it, I tend not to go looking.

That backup disk is MY PRIVATE PROPERTY. What there is on that disk that I do not want anybody on earth to see I think I can protect for awhile, even if it is illegal. I do not have any interests that are illegal. I can run this server and not be a criminal. When I get emails, they should be private. I can delete them at any time. A home server and anything on it should be my property to do with whatever I want. It should be mine just like my house is mine. A private email should be a private email. If you break in, and steal the email, you should be a criminal. If they are stolen, they should not be admissible as evidence in court. If you harass or bully a person with them, no matter where you get them, whether stolen or dropped on you from the FBI, you should be treated like a criminal.

If you steal them, you should be prosecuted and locked up. Since that probably won't happen very often, famous people should try to find a way around this problem. Nobody uses the phones anymore. They use a digital file. Since digital files get no protection from the law, you have to protect your digital files yourself. The only way to protect your digital files is to delete them or put them in a memory somewhere locked up. Either that or write only what you want the world to see. Transmit only what you want the whole world to see. This, of course, is a terrible limitation. But there is no protection for you anywhere. The law may need a generation or two to catch up. In the meantime, like it or not, the private email belongs to everyone.

Understand! There is no such thing as a private email! any email belongs to everyone. They can be employed for all kinds of murky purposes. But they are not proof of anything. As evidence for anything they are laughable. Journalists will use them to theorize over all sorts of things. I suppose hypotheses and theories are their paycheck. What can you do?

Famous people listen:
1. Do not leave your baby pictures online. Take them off-line and put them in a memory media, and lock them up somewhere. Those beautiful pictures of your wife or husband, ditto.
2. Love letters to your recent flame, hide them immediately. (Don't tell me you don't want to do it that way.) Memos to your children, take them off-line as soon as they show up.
3. If you are famous and in the public way, government won't help you. But they are slowly beginning  to try. Huge computer systems are hard to defend and I believe that government is beginning to realize that something is wrong. It is embarrassing and troubling to the average human being to wander rapaciously through another person's emails in order to convict her of a hypothesis.
4. Julian Assange is a criminal.
5. If you don't pay attention, God help you.

I have given up. I am not going to write about this anymore. It is hopeless.

Julian Assange is a criminal.

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