[ILUG] Got My First Linux Book
paul at clubi.ie
Fri Apr 23 14:25:44 IST 2004
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004, Proinnsias Breathnach wrote:
> Actually, most of the authors are blisfully unaware of the sigs
> their companies append to their emails until a conversation such as
> this arises (as often the outbound email gateway appends the sig,
> not the MUA).
If that is the case, then these companies are even dumber than one
would initially suspect. The primary, nay probably sole, option a
company has to mitigate risk of email is to have good policies in
place on its usage and educate their employees thorougly in these
policies. So, if the employee doesnt know these disclaimers are
> The main reason for the sigs are not to get groups like ILUG in
> trouble, rather they are there to allow companies some strategy of
> legal avoidance.
What avoidance though?
> after whomever released the email, and / or have it excluded as
> evidence in any court cases that may surround the matter.
They can go after whomever regardless, provided they had half-decent
policies in place and the employees were made aware of these.
Further, the "this email is confidential" disclaimer will be useless
if _every_ email sent by a company is marked so - "your honour, every
email they send automatically has that attached, it is meaningless".
Which emails would be privileged and which are not are dependent
wholly on the context (eg professional privilege, or internal email)
- and that context is not set by some auto-attached-to-every-email
piece of text. Further, even privileged communication can easily be
used against the sender (see Western Provident vs Norwich Union, NU
staff had libeled western provident in _internal_ email only. NU
settled for £450k)
> How effective they are, and/or how legal is debatable.
They are legally completely useless. Even those who advise _for_
their usage still will not say they differently (eg see
http://www.emaildisclaimers.com/) - I'll pay €200 to anyone who can
find a lawyer who says otherwise and will _indemnify_ clients against
the risks these disclaimers supposedly protect one from.
> Many people with decades of legal experience seem to think they're
Find one who will go further than "appropriate" and tell you they
actually have some legal effect. (in the blanket attach case).
> given that email has been accepted in courts the world over as a
> legally binding written communication. They're considered to be
> about the same as writing on company headed paper, aka an official
> company communication.
Yep. And I note that it has _never_ been common practice to have
disclaimers printed on all company stationary.
Indeed, if you are system administrator who is asked by management to
implement email disclaimers, the best tactic to take probably to say
"Sure, no problem, will implement it just as soon as all stationary
has this disclaimer printed on it and the phone system plays the
disclaimer on every call".
Also, what do disclaimers say about a company's staff and it's
attitude towards them? This is what I read when I see many of those
"We dont trust our staff, indeed we suspect they are by and large
idiots who cant be trusted to use email properly. We doubt we'd have
any luck training them in proper email usage either, but we cant
really be bothered to go to the effort of doing that and finding out.
Instead please treat email from our employees with a suspicion of
malice and/or incompetance that we clearly think is appropriate."
> but yet again ... that's more guff being appended to peoples emails
> (not entirely sure if this is an argument that can be won either way)
Paul Jakma paul at clubi.ie paul at jakma.org Key ID: 64A2FF6A
warning: do not ever send email to spam at dishone.st
"Is this foreplay?"
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