The FBI in my Inbox?
It’s alarming to read that, depending on whom you believe, the FBI feels it has the legal right to access your email messages without having to obtain a search warrant. I know I don’t have anything particularly damning in my personal email account, but it’s the principle of the matter that’s the problem. (And consider errors and leaks. Nothing in my email inbox is going to send me to jail, but it could contain many other things of a sensitive nature. Financial information. Industry dialog. Customer communication. Et cetera. Keeping that out of anybody else’s possession is the best way from anything leaking or being misused.
The bummer is that there doesn’t seem to be any way for the average joe user like you or me to do anything about it. According to that Marketwatch article, you could download all your email messages to your hard drive (clunky), encrypt emails when sending them (even more clunky), or move to an “off shore” email service (which simply exchanges one privacy concern for another).
The only bit of good news is that at least in the four states of the Sixth Circuit (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee), the Warhsak ruling prohibits the FBI from obtaining email messages without a warrant. The bad news is, that seems to apply only to those four states.