Sunday, July 03, 2011

Some email subject headers mean you must not open the email (from a legal viewpoint)

Tonight I marked as spam (without opening) an AOL email whose subject header boldly said it was c.p.  I suppose it would be illegal to open it, since that would cause possession on your computer (even after deletion).   (I'll say this: the word "hardcore" appeared in the subject, as did some other things.)  My email does block automatic opening of embedded html images, so maybe it could have been “safely” opened from a legal viewpoint.  It’s likely that the sender name was spoofed, and I would be concerned about what the potential legal consequences could be for anyone.   I don’t think this has happened before, or maybe it did once about ten years ago when I was in MN.  My email provider is AOL, since I’ve used it since 1994 with the same email address.  But I guess there are risks in using a findable email address without changing it for years.  

This incident makes me think of another issue: rapidly opening many emails to get through them, especially when the email server is slow and can't keep up. Legally dangerous, maybe?