Arthur S. Alexion on Tue, 04 Mar 2003 22:10:34 -0500

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Re: [PLUG] WEF email

On Monday 03 March 2003 09:25 am, you, Kevin Brosius, wrote:
> This always surprises me.  That people would assume their email is
> private when it travels through public networks unprotected.  Let's
> not be naive, shall we?  Assume your email is not private unless you
> do something special to protect it.

Until recently, IMO, most of our mail was "private enough".  
Cryptography is like a lock, the more valuable your stuff, the bigger 
lock you need.  Its not because the smaller lock can't be broken; its 
just that the stuff being protected isn't valuable enough to go to the 
trouble of even breaking the weak lock.

When my car was stolen a couple of years ago, I bought a beat up subaru 
at the parking authority auction for $250.  The same day my car was 
recovered in pretty good shape (with insurance helping me put it back 
into great shape).  I decided to keep the subaru, though to prevent 
theft.  Not because it had better locks than my other car, but because 
it didn't look worth stealing.

Until recently, most email was like that subaru.  Even out in the open, 
it was too boring and unimportant to be snooped.  But we are living in 
different times, with a government that suspects all of us, a 
government that arrests first and worries about constitutional privacy 

Art Alexion
Arthur S. Alexion LLC
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