Recently I switched my e-mail provider because my former one – and I don’t mind naming them: GMX.com – is being blocked by a growing number of ISPs as a major source of SPAM. It’s easy to believe that too, judging by the number of spam e-mails that polluted my inbox there. It’s as if someone turned off their spam filter or something. At least a dozen a day for the past couple of weeks, and it isn’t the first time that has happened.
I was already looking for a new service (not ready for my own domain yet) when I came across this article about e-mail privacy. It describes new rules that make everything in your inbox that is more than 6 months old “fair game” for examination by any government agency without a warrant! If you’re an IMAP user like I was, you enjoy the advantages of being able to access your old and new e-mail from any internet-connected device. My new service does not offer IMAP support, only the old POP3 protocol. But guess what? My e-mail program (Seamonkey or Thunderbird) gives me the choice of leaving the e-mail on the server or not, and I set it up to delete all mail from the server once I have downloaded it. Sorry, NSA, nothing to see here. Move along.
Privacy is one of the reasons I dumped Google’s gmail long ago. It’s one of the major reasons for getting myself off of Facebook, too. So why would I leave e-mail on an IMAP server where it can accumulate, forgotten but available on someone else’ server for government inspection? Maybe POP3 isn’t so bad after all, since it can be set up to delete incoming mail automatically as soon as it’s downloaded. Now all I need to remember to do, is delete sent messages regularly and empty the trash.
Stay tuned… I’ll be testing the latest version of an old favorite – Linux Mint Xfce (Rebecca) – in the coming weeks and posting about it here.