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[liberationtech] Email privacy

scarp scarp at tormail.org
Mon Jan 28 19:42:07 PST 2013


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Albo P Fossa:
> Google's had news focus of late, for its supposed ardent protection
> of email content against government's "prying eyes". (I note, it's
> only content that's protected: sender, IP, userid, name, subject,
> and recipient are all somewhat readily available.) However, it
> occurred to me to ask this. I moved my email from Gmail to a
> domain-managed account. Does that by its nature give me a "better
> class" of privacy protection? Or does it depend wholly upon the
> practices of my hosting company?

It's important remember there's two levels of Google's compliance. As
they are a US company they have to abide by all US laws.

While Google fights for privacy, somewhat against lower level law
enforcement requiring them to have supporting legal documentation
authorizing them to have access to that information.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/01/google-says-get-a-warrant/

However all this policy and protection is pretty much thrown out the
window if they think you are a terrorist and they will roll over for
the NSA.

Hosting your own email in another country outside of the US would be a
good idea, because we all know the NSA records everything anyway that
goes across US networks.

Doing this won't provide complete protection however, because
depending on where you're receiving mail from (for example if a friend
has GMail/some other US provider/mail routed through US) it's going to
get recorded.

It's probably a good idea to start using pgp if you're concerned about
the contents of your mail being recorded. Though I would not be
surprised if they have a way of decrypting that. Probably not
on-the-fly but maybe if they specifically make it a task to complete.

Also with proposed laws being introduced like CISPA, I wouldn't be at
all surprised if the NSA has unfettered back end access. Unfortunately
it's impossible to really know and thus only speculate because it's
all "classified".

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20602481/court-wont-order-google-nsa-interactions-released
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/05/google-nsa-secrecy-upheld/

All we do seem to know is the NSA has plans to "record the entire
Internet".

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/
http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/15/2876528/wired-nsa-building-massive-surveillance-codebreaking-facility

- -- 
scarp
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