Privacy Blog

“By continuing the process of inflation, governments can confiscate secretly and unobserved an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes, writing about the effects of a seemingly small amount of inflation every year.

Gmail’s ‘Self Destruct’ Feature Will Probably be Used to Illegally Destroy Government Records

This sounds like a great tool for politicians and bureaucrats to illegally hide things from the public. However, on the bright side, it also will allow private citizens to hide things from politicians, bureaucrats, law enforcement officials, and hackers around the world.

In short, a new update rolling out for Gmail offers a “self destruct” feature that allows users to send messages that expire after a set amount of time.

While this may sound great for personal use, activists fear that government organizations will use the feature to delete public records to hide them from reporters and others interested in government transparency. Normally, government emails are available to journalists, researchers, and citizens using Freedom of Information Act requests (and its state-level analogues.)

Details may be found in an article by Mark DeGeurin in the MotherBoard web site at: http://bit.ly/2IoQzbF.

Categories: Email Security

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