[LINK] mail2web service

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sun Jan 10 15:10:53 AEDT 2010

>On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 09:02:48AM +1100, Jan Whitaker wrote:
>>  I have a question about a service available to "anonymously" collect
>>  email on the web from different email accounts.
>>  http://mail2web.com

At 14:34 +1100 10/1/10, Craig Sanders wrote:
>personally, i think you'd have to be completely insane to use such
>a service - or provide ANY third party with your login and password
>details for anything, let alone your email account(s).
>if i needed webmail, i'd use google mail. possibly even forward (some
>of) my mail to gmail when i'm travelling.

Maybe I'm mis-reading, Craig, but there seems to be an inconsistency here.

We all have to depend (as distinct from necessarily 'trust') the 
various organisations, servers and devices that pass along our 
messages outbound, and inbound.

Where we use a third-party's POP, IMAP or web-server to gain access 
to inbound mail, we depend on that organisation and its servers.

We can protect content if we encrypt it, but protections against 
traffic analysis (who talked with whom, and when?) are much more 

Most ISPs that offer POP, IMAP and webmail services have conditions 
that place limitations on their access to, use of, disclosure of, and 
retention of, the content of the mail they carry for us.  We have to 
depend on them having reasonable conditions, not changing them, and 
actually complying with them;  but we don't tend to see wholesale 

Google, on the other hand, has conditions that permit it to do 
prettymuch whatever it likes.  We haven't yet established what the 
terms of mail2web.com are;  but it would be difficult to see how they 
could be any *worse* than Google's.

Why would anyone who has any concern about privacy use gmail, or 
flush their mail through gmail??


I continue to decline to interact with people via gmail accounts.

But I have yet to work out how to prevent people from flushing my 
words through their gmail account, and hence, without my authority, 
gifting my words to Google and its strategic partners, customers and 
heirs, in perpetuity.

(There are gmail subscribers, and presumably also gmail-flushers - on 
the privacy list.  Active discussion several years ago confirmed the 
policy that the privacy list is a one-time-post only, with no archive 
other than any maintained by subscribers for their personal use.  But 
Google's got every post since 2004, and freedom to do prettymuch what 
it likes with both individual posts and the complete set).

As ever, a person has the sovereign right to store *their own* 
personal data with organisations that give themselves the right to do 
anything they like with it.  But mail is by definition personal data 
of *both* parties.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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