A while ago I wrote about using Reddit as a blogging platform. This is good for people wanting another layer of indirection in order to obfuscate their identity. The person that introduced me to this idea does just that.
Today I argued that there is no point in investing too much into email.
Mail is now but the medium of bills and spam. Messengers are the new mail and some people write very long messages indeed. The need to trust your provider remains but at least the cryptography seems to be solved, I hope? Or close to? I use Threema because it is not tied to a phone number, or WhatsApp as my fallback. Not ideal, but better than email.
Email is fundamentally insecure. And yet for a while I thought that if only I ran my own email server, I’d be a lot safer because the NSA would have to intercept my emails instead of being able to siphon them off a Google server. Remember SSL added and removed here? Well, now I think they probably do intercept most Internet mail traffic.
I ran an email server on a Raspberry Pi for a while and decided to abandon this. The setup of Sendmail or Postfix, Dovecot, SPF1, DKIM, Greylisting, TLS, Spam Assassin, the updates, the issues around certificates, it was a lot of work and in the end I wondered what I was defending against. I feared that my most likely enemy would be common criminals and in that case, relying on Gmail is definitely safer.
You could say that snail mail just the same: bills and spam. And you’d be making my point. I write about two handwritten letters a year to my sister. Everything else is bills and spam. All the banks and insurances and other services I know want to move their billing online, that is to say, to email. Little do they know that half their bills are classified as spam. Not only does my email account get sent bills I don’t want to read, the bills I need fetch the bills I need to pay from the garbage dump of humanity, the Junk and Spam folder. Sad!
In short, email is the new snail mail. And messaging is the new mail. How do I write love messages to my wife? How do people congratulate her on her birthday? How are pictures shared with the family? It’s all messengers. Some are on Threema, some on WhatsApp, some on Facebook Messenger, maybe some are on Signal, but I definitely know that my wife only reads her email once a week or less. Too much spam. Too many newsletters. To much noise. Nobody she cares about reads email.