sorry, but ...

Peter Tomlinson pwt at
Thu Jul 26 18:14:34 BST 2012

On 26/07/2012 17:41, Roland Perry wrote:
> In article <501156F6.1050400 at>, Peter Tomlinson 
> <pwt at> writes
>> So its a connected world where the connections are mostly not visible 
>> to the sender, and one hopes that our legislators wake up to that.
>> Physical world analogue: if I send a letter by Royal Mail, I don't 
>> routinely know if the intended recipient gets it, and I assume that 
>> the Law Enforcement officers can look at it if they have just cause.
> What's important is whether they are looking at just the outside, or 
> what's inside the envelope (the latter being a whole lot more 
> difficult to do legally for both mail and email).

But 'the latter' is extremely easy to do for email (unless the sender 
encrypts it with his own key), and hence our dilemma in the area 
discussed in this thread. So should we not resolve the problem ourselves 
by moving wholesale to encrypted content in emails? [1] Since there is 
in some quarters serious consideration of everyone having easy access to 
a system that issues eID credentials (although I have not looked at 
progress in the USA for some time, and nor do I know how EU programmes 
such as STORK are progressing), it is then relatively trivial to add 
encrypted email (relative in relation to the Gordian Knot without a 
solution that we seem to have at present).


[1] And of course leaving in place the current methodology for those who 
don't mind sending letters that are easy for the watchers to look at. I 
leave it to others to work out how to undo the legal Gordian Knot.

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