You and your Old Emails Are Cool with the US Government

Feb 12 2015 16:16 @patlalrique

spying old email 1986 law warrant

[inlinetweet prefix=”@patlalrique” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The US governement can use a loophole in a 1986 law to get access to all your emails older than 180 days without any search warrant.[/inlinetweet]

That is, the official law enforcement agencies and others government organisations. Don’t count the NSA into this as they can access anything anywhere at any given time. Here we’re talking about agencies like the FBI that don’t have the same technological capabilities that the NSA. Because The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 is starting to get obsolete, it has loopholes that allow the US government to use administrative subpoena power to get access to your old documents.

old email spying 1986 law nsa

Not that the FBI or Secret Service are not spying citizens, they just do it in a less efficient way than spying kingpins NSA. But their task is greatly facilitated by these loopholes: for exemple they can simply ask Google for all your old Gmail messages and they will get them.

Nowdays it’s all about who can reach your personal data, not if they are secure. The best one can do is to make its data the hardest possible to get. Until encryption becomes the norm, an idea the White House doesn’t seem to like, nobody can stop spying agencies looking into our stuff, but we can make it way harder for smaller players like corporations or hackers to get access to it.

Meanwhile, Werner Koch, the guy behind GNU Privacy Guard, the code that powered the defunct email encryption software Lavabit used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, is struggling to keep its project alive. His code powers other security softwares and there is worries whether Koch will be able to continue to devote himself to providing free communication security because he very badly needs funding.

Some people wonder why the US government every year pours 50 billions + into spying and surveilling the Internet and at the same time invests pennies into security. There’s no wonder to have, the US government has no incentive to render the Internet more secure, they need it transparent as much as possible to keep things exactly the same and get what they want to know.

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