The Bitter  Network Administrator

                                                A Website Dedicated to Computer Professional...and some not so Professional

Is E-mail Reading You?  
by Doug Chick

I read an article this week that quoted someone from the Department of Justice as stating that, “…in no other time in history, have so many people incriminated themselves in writing as they have with e-mail.”  Well now, isn’t that a bit of all right? I mean, GOOD LORD!

This of course, doesn’t really surprise me. After all I’ve set up many a mail server to log or transfer all incoming and outgoing mail to  one executive or another to monitor the company’s e-mail. Monitoring e-mail protects a company from such e-mail abuse as the leaking of confidential information and sexual harassment between employees. A company has little if any resources to help protect them these types of problems. Rarely have I worked with a company that used e-mail to fire anyone, although I’m sure there have been many people passed over on a promotion because of confirmation that their Viagra has shipped.        

A good example of this is: The ex-controller of my company, (also a friend of mine) knowing full well that the CEO reads all executives e-mail—forgets—and send an e-mail making mention to just what a stupid idiot the CEO of our company is. I was fortunate enough to be in a meeting with the CEO at the exact same moment that he read this e-mail. He turns to me in a very angry tone and asks,

            “Why is He calling me a stupid idiot?!”
In an attempt to try to save my friends job, I replied,
“Virus. He’s got the “Fire Me” virus on his computer. Now it’s on your system too. You better
             let me quarantine your system.”

            He cut me a suspicious eye as I continued with the meeting. I could still see that he wasn’t 
            convinced so I added.
“What do you think he’s stupid enough to risk sending an e-mail like this?”
            His the next question was’ “Why are viruses getting into key executives computers! Who’s in
            charge of virus protection?”
            At this point I hate everyone.

Most E-mail Administrators have the pulse of their company. They always know whose having affairs, who hates their jobs, whose looking for a new job and whose lonely. As most Network Administrators know what executives are hard-core porn addicts. That’s right Mr. Executive, we see everything that you’re doing, and no—we’re your daddy. As any admin will tell you the biggest abusers are always top floor executives. And the more religious they are the grosser the porn. Why is that?       

Anyways, the moment that you click SEND, your E-mail is logged and copied many times before it reaches its destination, and that’s just in the course of normal mail traffic. I’ve seen estimates where e-mail is read 7 times before it reaches its destination. So just how surprised do you think these people are when their e-mail is used to prosecute them. I mean, just how stupid are these people that are being prosecuted from incriminating themselves in e-mail? Plenty, I’d say.