Is it time to start encrypting your e-mail?

Friday, 10 December 2004, 8:07 AM EST

Big Brother seems to get more aggressive every day. The U.S. government recently commissioned a study on chat room surveillance. The Patriot Act authorized law enforcement agencies to obtain blank warrants allowing surveillance at ISPs. Large companies snoop in their employees' e-mail as a matter of policy. Surveillance tools that can be used by curious co-workers or suspicious spouses are widely available on the Web. It's enough to make the most laid-back sender of the most innocuous messages a little paranoid. Things are no better (and in some cases, are much worse) in other countries.

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