In the 1980’s electronic mail or e-mail was a highly coveted technological novelty available only to the savviest of academics and business persons. Today e-mail is more commonly used than surface mail. Countless internet-based companies such as Microsoft’s hotmail.com, Google’s Gmail, Yahoo.com, Lycos.com and Mail.com, provide free e-mail services to anyone with internet access.
It has become public knowledge that e-mail is a potentially insecure means of communication. This means that it is possible for individuals to legally (as in the workplace) or illegally (as with hackers) intercept another person’s private e-mail.
In ancient and medieval times, power struggles often revolved around the flow of oral and written information. In years past spies attempted to intercept and forge papyrus and, later on, paper scrolls. Today the medium of legitimate and, perhaps, illegitimate competition is predominantly electronic.
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