Chad Perrin wrote:
On Sat, Oct 06, 2007 at 05:07:45PM +0200, Wojciech Puchar wrote:
nobody intelligent (or completely not caring about it) use any of big public mail/news/etc services.

There are two separate concerns here.

  1. General Privacy: If you're concerned with your documents and
  communications being collected, indexed, and scanned for patterns and
  flagged terms along with billions of other documents and
  communications, without any specific attention to yours in particular,
  you're right -- don't use "public", web-based services.

  2. Specific Privacy: If you're concerned with someone cracking security
  on your account, targeting your communications for electronic
  eavesdropping, and similarly making use of the "public" nature of a
  service like that for nefarious intent, you're probably among the
  millions of computer users who are carefully locking the front door
  while leaving the bay windows and garage door wide open.  Are you using
  public key encryption systems like OpenPGP to secure your email?  Are
  you encrypting word processor documents when you send email?  Are you
  using a text-based mail user agent instead of reading XHTML "rich"
  emails in a GUI mail client?  Are you anonymizing communications via
  the Tor network?  What exactly are you doing to avoid leaving yourself
  at least as wide open with plain text transmission of data as you would
  be with a web-based, SSL-encrypted mail service?  You're probably even
  transmitting login data to a web server in clear text.

Now . . . I know this is the freebsd-questions mailing list, and many of
you are running mail servers locally, and otherwise mitigating these
risks.  On the other hand, simply telling people that they'll be safer
avoiding web-based services without explaining that this is only true if
they also pay significant attention to securing their other communication
and collaboration tools might be considered dishonest, or at least
irresponsible.

But then you are assuming Google, as well as the others, are willing to lose public trust by allowing those things to happen and running an insecure system. It would also be assuming an in-house group could provide better security than Google and the others.
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