Thursday, 12 February 2015

dumpster-diving or dead-letter office

Abusing the language of a 1986 provision that is meant to ostensibly give the government eminent-domain over letters that have gone unclaimed for six months—the right to search maybe overflowing and neglected mailboxes with no other suspicion than that they appear to have been abandoned, by American reckoning, this same provision can also extend to electronic correspondence exchanged past that same one-hundred eighty day period and stored in the ether. Are your archived items disowned and fit for the public record? I suppose it would not do to delete one’s old correspondence, either, since they’re then arguably even more forsaken then. While there is thankfully a contingency of legislators seeking to reform this statute and update the precise wording and intent, it does strike me as rather chilling that legal holdovers could be plied in such a way as to create loopholes.