Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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The Email Trap.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | December 26, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle (c) 2009

SUMMARY:  Any email you send could be used to harm you.

The seizure of State Senator Jane Orie’s computer files by the Allegheny County District Attorney may well lead nowhere.  But the fact remains, even if that prosecution is dropped, the prosecutors have the files and they are already reading them. This includes hundreds of thousands of emails containing information from and about constituents.

If a recipient’s computer is seized by authorities, hacked by criminals or reviewed by an adverse party during discovery in a civil lawsuit, the sender’s email is read by someone who is planning to do harm to the recipient and could, depending upon the content, develop an interest in doing harm to the sender. Worst of all, the recipient could betray or accuse the sender, providing the email to police, media or spouse — or all three. [As with Tiger Woods]  And then, there’s blackmail. [As with David Letterman]

Every email you ever sent has the potential to end up in the hands of an enemy.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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