Thursday, April 13, 2006

What's In YOUR Email?

I received an email last night that caused a severe allergic reaction. Here is an extract.
I usually don't get too worked up over things but check this out.

AOL is BLOCKING all email INTO aol email servers that has this link:
[www.dearaol.com]
...
Also, if you have an aol email account they won't let you SEND an
email with that URL in it, they block it but they don't tell you
they blocked it. They just EAT the email and say nothing.
...
So, AOL is deciding I don't need to GET an email or SEND an email
based on CONTENT they don't like.

The link contains an "open letter to AOL subscribers" that is in opposition to an "certified email" program that AOL is advocating. From the "dangerous" website...
Subject: An Open Letter To America Online

We wish to express our serious concern with AOL's adoption of Goodmail's CertifiedEmail, which is a threat to the free and open Internet.

Apparently because AOL objects to the content of this web site, it eliminates all references to it in both incoming and outgoing emails that go through the AOL servers.

Here is what AOL tells it's subscribers when the link is blocked.
EXPLANATION:

There is at least one URL in your email that is generating substantial complaints from AOL members.
I'll be kind, and merely call this "disingenuous" at best. (After all, I wouldn't want to rant and have someone block this content, sue me for libel, or blacklist me for job opportunities.)

So the question of the day is: What is in your email? (And the follow-up: How do you know whether or not your email has been censored by a commercial entity that just doesn't like the content of your "private" email?)

UPDATE: Article in LA Times

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