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comment by squirvel
squirvel  ·  1849 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Feds can read every email you opened last year without a warrant

So, if I were to whip up some script that went through every single email account I had and mark everything older than 6 months as unread on a daily basis, I would be immune to this type of search?

On the other side; This is just another example reminding us that technology is advancing faster than we can regulate it.

user-inactivated  ·  1849 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It has to be unread and 6 months old, so if you just select all of your email and mark it as unread that is older than say 4 months, and go back every month and do the same, then yes technically you should be immune.

There are also sneak and peek warrants, and IIRC they do not have to notify you if they do that for the purposes of "national security". Plus, the only safeguard here is that they "promise" to obey by the rules, any one corrupt officer can just look at your email without warrant and nobody would really know.

I think the best protection is just to take your email off the server, and take your data out of the cloud. Anything on the internet is basically fair game under some law or another, or 5, or 20. If you have to use the cloud still, especially for email, just remove all email every 5 or so months and archive it.

firethief  ·  1848 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's difficult for many people to run their own mail servers (really fun convincing all the other servers in the world that you aren't a spammer), and that only works if all parties in the conversation do it. As for mitigating it, I wouldn't expect deleting my mail on someone else's server to make it unavailable to anyone but me.

End-to-end encryption is the answer. Even a simple trust-on-first-use scheme makes the barriers to eavesdropping much higher (i.e. existent). It still has network effect problems though - most people use Android email clients that don't support encryption (presumably iPeople are in a worse boat, but that's their choice), most people use webmail for some reason, etc. People at large seem to be achieving the first glimmers of lucidity on the importance of privacy in The Information Age, so hopefully that can be overcome. The only downside once more people are using it is that it destroys the revenue model of all free email providers (i.e. reading your mail).