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An Inbox Is Not a Glove Compartment 316

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "A federal judge rules that government can obtain access to a person's inbox contents without any notification to the subscriber. The pros and cons of this are complicated, but the decision hinges on the assertion that ISP customers have lowered privacy interests in e-mail because they 'expose to the ISP's employees in the ordinary course of business the contents of their e-mails.' Fortunately for everybody, this is not true — most ISPs do not allow their employees to read customer e-mails 'in the ordinary course of business' — but then what are the consequences for the rest of the argument?" Read on for the rest of Bennett's analysis.

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead

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