Uproar Over New E-mail Policy Is Unwarranted

    Dear Editor,

    Both your editorial board and the A.S. Council seem a little confused. Why is it so offensive that the university will turn over your e-mails when the law requires it?

    When a judge issues a legal subpoena, you must comply or face punishment. When a judge issues a subpoena for student e-mails, the university is compelled by law to produce them.

    The “change” in ACS policy reflects the university’s existing legal duty to comply with subpoenas. It isn’t some conspiracy by Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to invade your privacy; if anything, the new language is the university’s way of letting you know exactly what your rights are.

    It’s a clarification, and not an unusual one.

    Gmail does the same thing: It will hand over your e-mails when an “applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request” requires it (check www.google.com/privacypolicy.html). Yahoo! Mail will also disclose your personal information when required to do so by law, or “in a good faith belief” that disclosure is necessary to respond to claims that your e-mails violate the rights of third parties.

    If you want to defy subpoenas and face jail time, design your own e-mail system and use it. Or move to Azerbaijan to escape the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. But as long as you use an existing e-mail service provider in the United States, your e-mails will be subject to subpoenas. Sorry.

    — Daniel Watts
    UCSD Alumnus, 2006

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2320
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $2320
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal