The Electron Trail

A reader writes:

You asked, "Are any emails safe?"

No. Is this even still a question? Seriously?

My mama taught me when I was very young not to put anything in writing that I wouldn't want the whole world to see, and I think it holds me in good stead, *especially* with email.  Even if you're sending something to someone you trust, email is insecure.  It's too easy to accidentally send something to someone that you don't intend, to type a shortcut into the "to" field and not notice that it didn't resolve the way you expected it to, to hit return and have something go out before you were ready for it.

My best friend in the whole world would never out me about something on purpose, but bless her heart, she's computer-clueless and has a long history of screwing up email, and I just simply won't say anything I wouldn't want to have accidentally forwarded to everyone in her address book.  I save it for a phone call, instead.

Anyone who thinks that a listserv of 400 journalists and bloggers is a safe place to vent in private just hasn't been paying attention.