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Think Your E-Mail and Google Searches Are Private?


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Think again.


Here's a thought that might make even the most conscientious e-mail user nervous: "When the CIA director cannot hide his activities online, what hope is there for the rest of us?"

The American Civil Liberties Union posed this question in a recent blog post. The group, of course, was referring to the scandal involving David Petraeus, who resigned as head of the spy agency after the FBI uncovered e-mails indicating he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

The story has gotten lots of media attention, in part for its soap-operatic qualities. Less discussed, however, at least outside the technology press, is what this e-mail-based investigation says about privacy and surveillance in the digital age.

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Many people understand that e-mails are not private and the government has access to any sent e-mail you've ever composed, read, or deleted. People may not realize that every time they search something on google their search gets saved and stored.

Also I thought it was interesting that you don't even have to send the e-mail for the information to be stored. The CIA director and his biographer had a joint account and would save messages as Drafts and then delete them without ever sending them yet the information was still stored.

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