Re: [OT] Vacation message heckling (Was: Re: Richard Dent - Annual Leave)

From: Valdis . Kletnieks
Date: Tue Jul 18 2006 - 17:29:59 EST

On Tue, 18 Jul 2006 22:30:04 +0200, Jesper Juhl said:

> Claiming anything send by email is confidential seems completely
> rediculous to me.

There actually *is* a valid usage case for these disclaimers in *some* cases.

If there *is* in fact material covered by lawyer-client or similar privilege,
having the disclaimer on *those items alone* can do some good when the other
side's legal eagles subpoena all e-mails with the phrase 'Project Wombat'
in them - it puts the other side on notice that they shouldn't be looking
at that item and it should be returned.

It's the same legal theory as subpoenaing all the paper documents, and finding
in the 53 boxes, a sheet stamped 'Privileged and Confidential' that
accidentally got into box 27 - there's strict rules about what happens then.

Of course, paper documents are stamped on the TOP so you stop reading, and
not all of them are stamped... :)

(And I actually did at one time have dealings with a lawyer who Actually Got
It. E-mails re: scheduling and other administrivia didn't have a disclaimer,
stuff that was actually sensitive had a very short one at the *top*...)

> Perhaps if the email was encrypted I could attach some weight to a
> disclaimer like thatt, but sending unencrypted email is like writing on
> the back of a postcard - it can be read by a huge number of people in
> transit - admins managing the mail servers where it is stored along
> the way, people sniffing traffic on the lines it passes through,

At least in the US, the law says otherwise. 18 USC 2511 basically says
that the admins aren't allowed to blab, and the traffic sniffers are
committing a crime already.

And if you catch them at it, 18 USC 2520 says you can sue them for damages:

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