Anyone who is using e-mail for private communications with a lawyer should be aware of the following statement required by the state of Missouri Bar Disciplinary Council.
All Missouri lawyers are to notify all recipients of e-mail that (1) e-mail
communication is not a secure method of communication, (2) any e-mail that is
sent to you of by you may be copied and held by various computers it passes
through as it goes to me to you or vice versa, (3) persons not participating in our
communication may intercept our communications by improperly accessing your
computer or my computer or even some computer unconnected to either of us
which the e-mail passed through. If you want future communications to be sent
in a different fashion please let me know.
If anybody ever had any thought their e-mail was secure they should re-read the above warning from the Missouri Bar Disciplinary Council.
In a recent article by Joseph Fitsanakis, he reported that the Russian government has purchased typewriters in order to safeguard classified documents against electronic interception. Russia’s federal protective service placed the order for twenty typewriters. The federal protective service known as FSO is responsible for protecting government officials including the President as well as operating federal emergency communications systems. It has also been reported that briefings to the Russian President are being produced in non-electronic format.
The next time you consider sending very sensitive material by e-mail remember the warning from the Missouri Bar Disciplinary Council and think about the Russians and their typewriters.