2015-01-08 Clean Email Day

When I learned about Email, I started using Emacs and soon switched from Elm to Gnus. When Spam started to be a heavy burden, I switched to Gmail. I didn’t want to run a spam filter. I didn’t want to run a mail server. I wanted to read my mail both at home and in the office.

With the NSA snooping scandals made public by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers (thank you!) I decided I was going to invest some time and energy into running my own mail server. I set up a Raspberry Pi with Dovecot and used Fetchmail to get my gnu.org and gmail.com mail, and to collect mail from all the other hosts I am running. I still didn’t want to run a spam filter. It’s taking me a lot of time. Maintaining the server. All the things I had to learn. All the spam I have to delete. I hate it.

So. I decided to give Gmail another try. I went to my Google Account page and used their Google Takeout page to download my stuff. I had about 2.2GB of mails to download the next day. I downloaded this archive and then I trashed it all on the server. Then I went to the trash and deleted it again. And I deleted all my contacts and all my contact groups.

A fresh start! ☭

I can still occasionally download and delete all my mails. I feel better about this because snooping agents won’t be able to look at every single thing I ever did. Or maybe they still can, if they keep a copy of the entire Internet traffic in Utah, but this at least I cannot change as long as I keep using unencrypted mail. And even if I do, Social network analysis will still work. For those occasions where I feel like annoying the agents, I can still send encrypted mail via Gmail using my Gnus setup.

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