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Microsoft’s “Scroogled” ad campaign pokes fun at Google for the company’s habit of automatically scanning your email messages in order to choose contextually relevant advertisements. But this week Microsoft is drawing some heat for snooping through a Microsoft Hotmail users’s inbox as part of a criminal investigation involving an employee who leaked software and trade secrets to a blogger.

On the one hand, Microsoft was completely within its legal rights to do this and the company says it basically would have gotten a court order… except there is no entity you can go to in order to get a court order to search files sitting on your own server. On the other hand, the case makes it clear that if you’re using web mail from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple, or anybody else then there’s really nothing stopping those companies from making an in-house decision on when it would be appropriate to read your “private” messages.

But setting up your own email server and encrypting your communications is just such a hassle… has this week’s revelation made you reconsider the way you use email? If so, what do you plan to use moving forward?

outlook login

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5 replies on “Lilbits (3-21-2014): Is your email safe from snooping?”

  1. If it’s on the internet, it’s available for people to look at. This includes email and anything in cloud storage. The only way to truly keep something private is to save it to a removable hard drive or flash drive and keep it disconnected until you need to access it.

  2. Of course my email isn’t safe from snooping… I leave limericks in my saved drafts for the bored NSA guys to read.

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