Kenneth F. Belva

Please Read: My Policy on Publishing Email Correspondence

The other weekend I had an interesting experience.

I always assumed that blogging is public and that any email correspondence between bloggers should be kept private — that’s why it’s sent via email and not posted on the blog! — unless one asks and is granted permission to publish by the counterparty. I thought this was just good netique that everyone followed.

Just to be clear: my policy is generally not to publish email correspondence between myself and others unless I receive explicit permission. If the content of the email does not identify the sender, publishing the letter anonymously may be an acceptable exception.

Well, out of courtesy, I sent an information security blogger an email regarding my positions on certain topics and why I felt this individual may want to think through some of these topics further before publicly posting. No good deed goes unpunished!

At the end of the exchange, just as a precaution, I asked that the emails be kept confidential. This is not normally my modus operandi because I usually assume that most respect email privacy. It’s a good thing I asked because the reply was that if I wanted confidentiality, I should have asked for it before the exchange! WOW! These emails could not be published anonymously because I would surely identify me due to certain positions that I take and various correspondences that are published on my blog.

While this individual said they did not have plans on writing a post based on our correspondence, said person left the option to publish open. I know said person reads this blog and I hope this person respects the confidentiality that was asked for at the end of our exchange.

So, BEWARE! As a precaution, when you email a writer/blogger, be sure to ask for confidentiality up front(!) otherwise you may be sorry later.

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