E-Mail Snooping Ruled Permissible


Yet another reason why we should develop a system where all Internet
communications can be easily encrypted, whether it's email, VoIP, or
whatever. It's not like it's horribly difficult now in some cases, but
it does have its difficulties when it comes to implementation on a large


I know Brad Councilman, This all happened in my back yard. He ran a competing ISP with me (www.valinet.com). Not only was he reading his customers e-mail and harvesting Amazon.com orders he also hacked into 4 of the local area ISPs. I still remember the day I received a call from the FBI office in Boston. 'Sir, you are not in trouble but we would like to talk to you about an important matter. I'll be out tomorrow, when will you have time?' He came in with a old copy of my /etc/passwd file (this was hacked from me back in '95,'96). I was happy when the arrested him, he is a jerk. The ISP he ran has since been sold to another company, still local and run as an honest business.

Sorry for the rant, I just wish he got more than a slap on the wrist. They didn't prosecute him on the hacking attempts because the e-mail theft was a bigger crime.