How secure is your email?

    As any sociologist will tell you, modifications in scope tend to lead to modifications of value, much like the changes in the 'skeleton' of animals as they increase in size.   (As an animal increases in size, the realities of gravity force consequent changes in the skeleton, from an exoskeleton (insects) to immensely thick and dense bones (elephants)).  We might make the same argument for email and internet communications, which are actually operated under presumptions of capitalist commodity items that can be easily exchanged in the market.  Initially,the use of email was extremely limited in scope and size, hence placing 'natural boundary' restrictions upon it.  Since only a few were involved, usually university scientists operating within close bounded friendships structures with high levels of trust, email did not need to be regulated; the very structures within which these messages were sent were also governmental per se, and hence little need for a regulatory body.   However, it is clear that as internet and email become key communications links of everyday use, serving both crucial and non-crucial functions, it appears that some kind of more stringent regulation and institutional overview needs to be implemented.  Consider, for a second, how email might be abused.   A foreign corporation that controls these highways might use it to hinder 'national' corporations that go against its self interest, for example.  The use of 'whaling' is no less scarier than phishing.  The hypothetical scenarios are endless, and they do suggest that some model akin to the 'post office' might need to be established at this particular juncture (2008): an institution with a high code of ethics level that will be guaranteed by its institutional culture and punitive federal oversight.  (The ideal answer is for all email to be encrypted, as the default state in all programs and servers, where only the sender and receiver can see the message.) If you think your email or your internet is secure, think again.

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