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Malaysian Government Offers Free E-mail To All Citizens

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Government 189

jfruhlinger writes "Attempts to move governments to electronic communications often hit a serious snag: Governments must serve all citizens, and not all citizens have email addresses. Malaysia's solution to the problem: offer free email to every Malaysian adult. Citizens will be able to get their @myemail.my address by inserting a smartcard into a reader or presenting it in person." Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

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What difference .... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941232)

Since american corporations were so keen on providing spying/filtering equipment to even the regimes they were banned from trading (iran), all world governments have the ability to spy on all kinds of communications already.

it wouldnt matter zit, whether government is your email provider or not. either way, they will spy on you.

Re:What difference .... (5, Interesting)

microbox (704317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941314)

it wouldnt matter zit, whether government is your email provider or not. either way, they will spy on you.

Actually, a government department is less likely to spy on you because they have no economic incentive. All you need is privacy provision in the email act, and the chances become very slim. I've worked in government, and they like to do things by the book.

Re:What difference .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941746)

Stealing from accused criminals ("Forfeiture") is a pretty damned lucrative business.
Think about it - our government is run by, serves, and basically IS a corporation.

If there was no economic incentive to spy on us, our government would not be doing it!

Not to mention ULTIMATE POWER!!!!!!!!! =)

Re:What difference .... (3, Interesting)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941876)

Yeah, nobody freaks out about the government being in charge of postal mail, and that's actively scanned by xray. And, there are always alternatives if you don't like it.

Actually, a government department is less likely to spy on you because they have no economic incentive. All you need is privacy provision in the email act, and the chances become very slim. I've worked in government, and they like to do things by the book.

Re:What difference .... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35942220)

Yeah, nobody freaks out about the government being in charge of postal mail, and that's actively scanned by xray. And, there are always alternatives if you don't like it.

You must not live in america. In the US, the Republican half of the population dislikes the idea of government doing anything other than defense and law enforcement. A much smaller part of the population takes hatred of government over the line into mental illness. For some reason, the news likes to give these people a platform.

Re:What difference .... (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941882)

at higher levels of gov, they do NOT do things by the book (unless that book is The Godfather or similar).

can you really - with a serious face - tell us that the gov has been doing things 'by the book' the last 10 or 20 yrs?

seriously?

Re:What difference .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941970)

The British version of the joke goes, "Please someone explain to the ministry that 1984 was a warning, not a how-to."

Re:What difference .... (2)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942080)

Do some reading on the Malaysian government, though.

They do not do things by the book. There is no book. The corruption, the nepotism, the thuggery, the ridiculous government-endorsed racism, the sheer idiocy and ignorance....

They (the party that's been in power since the 60's -- not a good sign, is it?) don't come under pressure to clean house from the wider world because there aren't genocides going on, no large-scale horrors. They keep the abuses relatively low-key (like heavy "affirmative action" for the majority race, gross misuse of government funds, only occasional murders), so even their own citizenry generally think it's not worth it to stick their necks out to fix things. Sure, the education system sucks, and if you aren't of the right "race" you have to send your kids out of the country to get any higher education, and the corruption is embarrassing, but it's fed by oil wealth more than out of citizen's pockets directly, so it just goes on & on.

Er, if it's not clear, no, I would not trust the Malaysian government-run email service. The internet is finally making it possible to fight back against government abuses in Malaysia with some level of anonymity and safety, and I have no doubt they're dying to get their hands on a good way to keep an eye out for citizens who might become troublemakers. Admittedly, you'd have to be a bit stupid to use your government-given email address to talk to your friends about a protest, but their education system nowadays doesn't exactly focus on critical thinking.

Re:What difference .... (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942200)

If there's anything to be found that might count as "evidence" or remotely useful to single out "terrorists" there will be spied on it. It doesn't need to be the same agency which is providing e-mail services to you. Most probably local police authirities would be the first to look through their citizens' mailboxes as soon as there's any series of unsolved offence. There's one sure thing: If there is data, there will be someone who wants them.

Re:What difference .... (5, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941382)

Considering these e-mail addresses are meant for communication with the government, I see no problem with them being hosted by the government. Just do all your normal e-mailling with a regular provider and communicate with the government using either your own e-mail address or the government-hosted one.
They could spy all they want; all e-mail in these boxes is either from or to them anyway.

Re:What difference .... (1)

Tomahawk (1343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941924)

Agreed. I have one email address that I use for my 'official' stuff, and my normal email address that my friends all use. (plus several more for spam dumps and various other things). I can use my Gmail to collate them all for me, so I don't need to check them all individually - I get them all to my phone. I also have Gmail setup so that I can email from any of these addresses too, so the recipient still gets an email from the address they have.

So yeah, let the Government host an email address for each person, and let them pick it up however they like. The main problem here, of course, is deciding on what the email address should be. Should it be @whatever (privacy issues), or @whatever (duplicate names, so who gets the real one and who gets the ones with numbers). Or @whatever, and then tell people what it is (either via a card, or on a social security card that has this number on the back, or some other means). That way, it's somewhat anonymous, but the Government has your email address linked to your social security number, so if you lose they you can easily recover it for you.

I do wonder, though, if the Government might then put something in place to detect if an email has been read, and what consequences this could have...

'Your Honour, we can see from our records that the accused read the email on October 27th of last year, so he was aware of the .....'

And could this lead to problems if you have GMail pick up the email for you, mark is as read on the server, and then filter it into spam for you?

Re:What difference .... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941610)

all world governments have the ability to spy on all kinds of communications already.

Yeah? How do they spy on TLS-wrapped e-mail, web, VoIP, or XMPP traffic, OTR-wrapped AIM, or WPA2 wireless, to name a few?

Re:What difference .... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941734)

deep packet inspection.

Re:What difference .... (1)

ArmchairGeneral (1244800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941808)

deep packet inspection.

DPI doesn't get past encryption though.

Re:What difference .... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941896)

sure. but governments have sufficient budget to set up server farms/equipment to decrypt, and there are quite a many american corporations willing to sell them equipment and give them technical advice.

Re:What difference .... (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942228)

To decrypt a few dozen people's communications? Sure. To decrypt every connection? Hardly.

Re:What difference .... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941920)

encryption is your warm fuzzy that you think you are secure.

think again.

think: blackberry. is that really secure? are you positive?

Re:What difference .... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941908)

calea

nothing can get online (as a commercial product) unless its sniffable and tappable by big government.

been this way for a long time, now, too.

all govs. ALL of them. 'good' and bad ones; all alike in this aspect.

DPI and hardware decode is the current rage in datacomm. (so many job interviews I've seen lately are ALL about 'managing' DPI based features on high end core-level and edge routers).

Re:What difference .... (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941840)

Obligatory xkcd:
http://xkcd.com/538/ [xkcd.com]

Re:What difference .... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942344)

That's not spying.

Re:What difference .... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941864)

Remember the predator software? It was never fully disclosed, and it has evolved into something else now. So, we know that they had some rather powerful software, for which some pretty wild claims were made, and it has been improved upon since then. With or without a warrant, the government arrives at your ISP one day, and sits down to intercept all your traffic for inspection. Everything that passes into or out of your network is theirs, simple as that. If you actually have anything that they can't peer into, or that they can't crack, then they just wait til you are at work, then with or without another warrant, they enter your home to install a keylogger on your keyboard(s).

If the government wants you badly enough, they've got you.

Re:What difference .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941960)

How do they spy on TLS-wrapped e-mail

By getting the content directly from your (ISP's) servers via closed/secret warantless court procedures.

Re:What difference .... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942308)

By getting the content directly from your (ISP's) servers via closed/secret warantless court procedures.

That's why I run my own mail servers. It's not hard.

USPO (1, Interesting)

uiucgrad (325611) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941236)

If the Post Office had done this 10 years ago it might still have a chance of staying in business.

Re:USPO (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941274)

The post office is a black government operation. It is self-sufficient.

Re:USPO (2)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941312)

The second MIB movie makes much more sense now. Thanks!

Re:USPO (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941536)

The Post Office has traditionally been self-sufficient. Whether it can remain self sufficient in the e-mail age is yet to be determined.

Re:USPO (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941668)

The Post Office has traditionally been self-sufficient. Whether it can remain self sufficient in the e-mail age is yet to be determined.

Yeah, if only they could invent a way for us to send our mail "electronically." Oh...

Re:USPO (3, Informative)

jmcharry (608079) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941478)

Over twenty years ago the USPS was working on a plan to install Group IV fax machines in post offices and offer a very fast document delivery service. Congress stopped them because they thought it would compete with private services. (Group IV fax produces copy about like a laser printer, and about as fast, but requires ISDN.) I suspect the same would have happened had they tried to offer email.

Re:USPO (3, Interesting)

boristdog (133725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941910)

I believe the USPS DID have a plan to set up "official" USPS e-mail addresses for people back in the 1990's.

I think it was the brilliant plan of charging people $0.15 per e-mail that did them in.

If they had just done a free service and charged advertisers (who provide the bulk of their revenue anyway) they could have preempted gmail, yahoo, hotmail...

Taco You Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941254)

Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

Taco, you are a moron. Have you ever heard of the United States Postal Service? What the fuck do you think they do?

Re:Taco You Idiot (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941334)

Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

Taco, you are a moron. Have you ever heard of the United States Postal Service? What the fuck do you think they do?

USPO delivers sealed envelopes. It's hard to open, read, and seal physical envelopes. It's trivial to read email in flight assuming people don't use PGP.

Re:Taco You Idiot (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941520)

USPO delivers sealed envelopes. It's hard to open, read, and seal physical envelopes. It's trivial to read email in flight assuming people don't use PGP.

I was just going to compare US mail with email+pgp. They know who you're communicating with, but can't easily read it. No difference really.

Besides, nowadays it's become painfully obvious how easy it is for any government to squeeze a copy of your emails out of any service provider on their soil. And just look at how efficiently blackberry has automated the process of the govt reading your email?

Anyone with any expectation of privacy in their email, from anywhere, from anything, through anyone, without PGP, is delusional.

CIA cookbook (1)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941540)

Re:CIA cookbook (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941964)

It's not practical to do physical tasks on millions or billions of physical items a day. It's practical and easy to read vast quantities of unencrypted email. That's all I'm saying.

Re:Taco You Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941654)

Envelope have been de-sealed and re-sealed before. Would you notice? Would you can enough to watch for every posible tiny detail? What if they just put the mail in a new envelop? Do you sing or certify the envolope you use?

Sealed envelop mean noting.

All gouverment should provide email to every citizen and make it acessible for free in poste office, library and other public acessible infrastructure where computer are avaible. People that do not own computer should have equal acess to their gouverment. This is a terrific idea.

Re:Taco You Idiot (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942036)

Envelope have been de-sealed and re-sealed before. Would you notice? Would you can enough to watch for every posible tiny detail?
What if they just put the mail in a new envelop? Do you sing or certify the envolope you use?

Sealed envelop mean noting.

All gouverment should provide email to every citizen and make it acessible for free in poste office, library and other public acessible infrastructure where computer are avaible. People that do not own computer should have equal acess to their gouverment. This is a terrific idea.

Dude, err, what?

Governments don't have the manpower to open and re-seal letters in large quantities. One perl script could scan huge amounts of mail in a very small amount of time.

Re:Taco You Idiot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941614)

You are an idiot. CmdrTaco simply asked a question.

Re:Taco You Idiot (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941862)

Have you ever heard of the United States Postal Service?

1990's totally-unbelievable fantastic paranoid delusions are ho-hum mainstream knowledge now. If we didn't already have a USPS, and someone were to suggest creating it today, seriously: would you trust it to be your mail provider? I think nearly everyone would just assume the service's real purpose would be to monitor citizens.

USPS was founded during a time when government's reputation was very different.

Would you (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941266)

> Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

I don't trust my government to be my government!

Re:Would you (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941366)

> Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

I don't trust my government to be my government!

The question begs you to think about it from our prospective as /.ers. Even if we disagree on some things we do have a common series of personality traits.

This is a program for people who don't have email already, and thus likely aren't going to do much for it anyways other to get or request info from the government that their government already has their hands in.

I wouldn't object to having and using a government email for government things, i.e. taxes, registrations, etc. to keep that stuff tied to a single email instead of trying to remember which email I used for that last year. Would I do everything on it? No.

Trust (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941276)

Sure. Since email's not remotely secure anyway, this would eliminate any "I wonder if my government is reading my mail" concerns. If you need secure coms, PGP is very easy to set up, so much so that I wonder why it's not used more. I would think that if Google supported it in GMail it would probably be more popular. Of course PGP doesn't hide who you're communicating *with*, only what you're saying.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941434)

More simply putting something in email is broadcasting it to the world period. The email provider is of no consequence.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941450)

That's fair. Regular postal mail doesn't hide who you are communicating with either. I'm fine with the government knowing that much. For one thing it's usually necessary for delivery.

Re:Trust (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941676)

Overall though, I'd prefer government to require a warrant to get even that information, from the Post Office, or an ISP.

Re:Trust (1)

donutz (195717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941830)

The return address is not required in many cases, so regular mail can certainly hide who you are communicating with. Or the return address can be easily spoofed.

And if you drop the letter in a big blue mailbox or at a post office, there's no way to track the origin of the letter.

Re:Trust (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941918)

The return address is not required in many cases, so regular mail can certainly hide who you are communicating with.

The return address is who you are. The recipient address is who you're communicating with, and generally it's hard to hide that, assuming you want it to actually get delivered.

Re:Trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941712)

I would think that if Google supported it in GMail it would probably be more popular.

Webmail can't really do crypto well. (Yes, I know about Firefox gpg plugins.) The whole idea of PGP is that the client machine is the one with the key.

Re:Trust (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941890)

True, you would have to trust Google with your key to use a web client. It only really protect content from over the wire interception, which would at least be a start. I'd just like to see someone well known introduce signing/encrypting to the public to raise awareness.

Re:Trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35942060)

If GMail supported PGP/GPG then you'd have to send them your private key and that would be a very bad idea.

Re:Trust (1)

ninthbit (623926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942188)

Actually, if they have a PKI setup as using smartcards may suggest, then this email account will likely be their most secure communication platform. It would only depend on how secure their private keys are. In any case, its more secure than an unencrypted mailbox that ANY law enforement agency or ISP employee can peek into like traditional email accounts.

Would I trust the government to send my mail? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941294)

Would I trust the government to send my mail? It's been happening for hundreds of years. Oh, you mean e-mail.

i trust anyone to be my email provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941302)

providing the message actually reach the destination.

Yes, i use GPG, and do not care who delivers the payload ;)

Portugal did this in 2000 (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941324)

Back in 2000 the Portuguese government announced the creation of up to 1 million email accounts. It was a flop I think, as most people that had internet access already had an email account, but still it looks good in the press releases...

my government vs my government + ATT (1)

a2wflc (705508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941340)

As long as my email travels over AT&T equipment it doesn't really matter if my government manages my mailbox. I have to assume the government has access either way. (Same for most other telcos)

Re:my government vs my government + ATT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941496)

AT&T follows laws around the world.

In the EU, there is an email law that requires ISPs (including AT&T) to forward all email headers to law enforcement in the EU. I worked a project at AT&T to do exactly that. Email headers send from sub-ISPs were also forwarded to the same servers. I doubt any filtering was performed to limit non-EU addresses since any email could be from or to any location in the world. The good news is this is just headers (to/from/date/subject and any x-headers). I'm unsure as to whether any intermediate email server connections are being sent since I didn't write the code.

This wasn't AT&T's idea. Talk to your representatives about your expectation of privacy and how those laws effect you. Every ISP is required to do this if they are in the EU. That means BT does it and I expect yahoo, hotmail and google do as well.

nice try, flamebait (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941346)

Re:nice try, flamebait (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941430)

I's not really the same thing. Physical mail needs a lot of manpower to intercept, most email can be processed with a bit of scripting.

Re:nice try, flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941644)

"Would you trust your government to be your mail provider"

Well, there is a difference: USPO has to respect some basic civil rights, the Malaysian government doesn't [wikipedia.org] .

Partial (1)

Meneth (872868) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941360)

I could use such a mail account for communications with the government. After all, they're gonna read it anyway, aren't they? Of course, for everything else, I would use one of the many gratis email providers found around the Internet.

Re:Partial (1)

todorb (169225) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941480)

I could use such a mail account for communications with the government.

i suspect that this is exactly the purpose of the government provided email addresses.

"Would you trust your government?" (4, Insightful)

seanmcelroy (207852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941370)

The question "Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?" is pretty irrelevant: if they government can subpoena your mail account for any reason, without notification, you know, to prevent any sort of "terrorism" (against the state, content providers, the prevailing political ideology)... then they already are your de facto mail provider.

Re:"Would you trust your government?" (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941598)

Actually, thanks to the completely misnamed USA PATRIOT Act, the US government doesn't even need a subpoena but instead can send a nice totalitarian-sounding "national security letter". The advantage of the NSL over a subpoena is that even if your corporate email provider wanted to fight the NSL, they couldn't do so legally because the recipient of an NSL is expressly forbidden to tell anybody about it, and that "anybody" includes a court of law. By contrast, if for some reason the corporate email provider wanted to stand up for its customers, it could attempt to quash the subpoena and argue its case in court.

Why wouldn't I? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941380)

The deliver my netflix DVDs back and forth. My rent payments. And so on.

Why not my email too?

Obviously things I want to hide from the government aren't going to go to or from such an email. Just like I probably wouldn't send my kidnap ransom demands via registered mail.

Trust the government? (2)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941406)

We already do....http://www.usps.com. Now the key thing is that USPS is a mail transport. At any time given appropriate legal action, they are authorized to read your mail. The question is, what do you choose to do to protected the contents of your mail knowing that you have an insecure transport? Oh I'm sorry, I forgot that most of the stuff that you send is irrelevant and nobody could give a rat's ass about it. Granted, electronic mail can be copied and archived for many years with minimal cost where as archiving copies of physical mail requires significant resource investment. So now you have to decide what to do to your mail knowing that you have an insecure transport where your information can be cheaply duplicated and stored for many years. Then the biggest question has to be asked, what will the Malaysian government do to people that make their mail difficult if not impossible to read by an unintended party?

Don't trust anyone (1)

deakklok (2038326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941448)

I don't trust anyone with anything...hence, I don't share personal information online...any shopping orders that I make are with prepaid cards...I don't use e-mail except to get "blanket news updates" Call me paranoid, but these days you can only trust yourself.

Funny how whenever Malaysia shows up in the news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941454)

it's always something that makes you go hmm...

Reading TFA, I noticed the fine print about the charge for using emails. A good site to get an opinion on what a great email provider the government will be there is http://www.malaysiakini.com/ [malaysiakini.com] It's a pay-to-view site, but the update on the article "Tricubes to charge 50 sen per email, confirms CEO" says it all: Users will be expected to pay if they want more 'secure' emails.

I'm just thinking it'd be like the Chinese government offering free classes on human rights or peaceful demonstrations :-)

Useful, but no necessary (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941458)

The widespread availability of free email services really makes this unnecessary, but a free, verified by Uncle Sam email address would be very useful. Unfortunately, I fear that if the US Government offered email, it would just make life easier for process servers and law enforcement while doing little of real value for citizens.

How apt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941462)

myemail.my... "MY EMAIL!!!! MINE!!! " governors!!!!!!!!! IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

captcha: viewable. OH DAMN WELL INDEED IT IS VIEWABLE.

Would I trust them? (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941512)

I would trust the government to be an email provider. They can send their stuff anywhere they want, including an email account they setup for me. In fact if it requires a smart card for access, it's likely more secure than postal mail.

That doesn't mean I trust them to be my only email provider...

If, in creating their system, they outlawed all other email providers, then I'd have some serious problems. I suspect that enough others would also have problems that PGP/GnuPG would become much more popular and widespread were that to happen. Of course, that would then be outlawed too...
*sigh*

Is this forced or optional? (2)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941516)

Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

Not personally, but if they're only offering this as a backup for people who don't have their own address already, it seems like a great idea

"Free" (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941538)

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

For several reasons, in fact.

Would you trust your governmnet? (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941546)

Four words: United States Postal Service.

Re:Would you trust your governmnet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941800)

A service which offers country-wide, and in the case of the military, world-wide delivery service with fantastically low error rates for a nominal flat fee? Service to every residence, business, and government office in the country 6 days a week? That one? Yes, please, I'd trust them to provide email services in a heartbeat.

thx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941552)

thanks very much

http://gwaker.blogspot.com/

Free internet would be more useful (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941574)

There are plenty of free email services that anyone could get if they had internet. Getting free email with no way to access it would be useless.

Re:Free internet would be more useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941778)

email exists on other protocols than HTTP, such as IMAP, POP3, & SMTP.

Oh, sure... (1)

Legal.Troll (2002574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941594)

"Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?"

No, but I'd trust the Malaysian government to be my mail provider!

Seriously though, I had a law professor who served as a law clerk to the chief justice of the Maylaysian supreme court. He said that at one point, government officials made it *very* clear that they were closely monitoring his communications, in terms of both who he contacted and what was said.

OF COURSE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941674)

GOVERMENT EMAIL MACHT FREI :D

OMG what paranoia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941686)

Would you trust your government to provide you with drinking water? Get over yourselves, you pathetic whining digital douches.

Why not just use it for them? (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941704)

I have a few Email addresses. Each has its own purpose. One for people I just meet on the Net, one for business-type communication, etc. Why not one for use with the government? I'd use it -only- for comm with the government. The only problem with that (as with ANY Email) is that there's no way to be sure your recipient has indeed received your message. Sure, read receipts, but they don't tell you who received it, just that someone did...somewhere.

If I'm going to use Email, I want it to be properly authenticated somehow, so that I know a) it hasn't gone off into the abyss, like so many other messages I've sent to companies etc AND...and this is the most important part...b) that when I receive a reply, I know that it's my government replying. (Can you imagine the phishing that could occur?!)

In the end, I would do it only if they required public-key encryption...but I know they won't...because that would kick start something they wouldn't like very much.

Does it really matter? (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941730)

"Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?"

Does it matter who provides it? Our government, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Stupidity, the NSA, not one provides email to the slaves. It does not seem to stop them from accessing them anyway.

Here's a simple solution (1)

stopacop (2042526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941732)

Send all your porn from your Gmail account

Great Idea!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941744)

Offering email address to citizens is a great idea. I would appreciate this, really. In the long term times, this idea can prove to be a path to world peace.

What's the Difference? (1)

Frightened_Turtle (592418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941758)

Not trust a government corporation not to read my mail? What country in the world has a government run corporation where the government doesn't have access to private communication? Clearly, the US Post Office has nothing to do with the U.S. Government!

As has been mentioned above, email is inherently insecure. It's broadcast out in the open and can be read by anyone either with access to the server or simply by snooping traffic coming out of a given port. It's been known for centuries that even traditional, hardcopy mail can be intercepted and read. Look how often mail coming from soldiers in the theater of war during WWII had their mail blatantly opened and censored. Wax seals and signet rings came about as a way to try and show that a document was sealed and not intercepted and tampered with by some third party. If you want to communicate something that you would consider personally compromising, email or mail are definitely not the answer.

As also mentioned above, if you wish to keep your words absolutely secure, PGP (or the open alternative, GPG) is easily available to encrypt your potentially damning script. If I was going to be sending any email to an individual whom a given government might have suspicions or concerns, I would prefer that my text be out in the open so that anyone could read it without any misinterpretations. Sending an encrypted message—even if it was only a request for a secret family recipe for a marinade for a steak barbecue—would only serve to raise the suspicions of a paranoid government.

If the government in question is open and transparent in their policies towards privacy and legitimate security or crime enforcement issues, then I would have no problems using a government supplied email system. If the government had a history of or was trying to suppress or subjugate the population, then I might think twice about using such a system. Or, at least, I would be careful about what communication I passed through their system.

Would you trust your government to be your mail pr (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941768)

I don't really think that is the correct question. Perhaps we should be asking the question "Do we want to continue to pay for governments sending us physical mail rather than using more efficient technology?"

There is nothing going on here that requires you to use this email address for your own personal communications.

Re:Would you trust your government to be your mail (1)

OFnow (1098151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942210)

"Do we want to continue to pay for governments sending us physical mail rather than using more efficient technology?"

There is nothing going on here that requires you to use this email address for your own personal communications.

Let it keep operating, but make it legal for UPS/Fedex/etc to use your physical mailbox. Lets see how that goes...

Libertarian gun nut here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941796)

I'd trust my mail provider to be my government, because I host my own mail.

If I don't already have email... (1)

somaTh (1154199) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941816)

Why would they assume I already have access to a computer and internet service?

Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941846)

Free as in beer or free as in speech?

Service ain't free: $.16 per email (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941860)

The project has come under heavy criticism in Malaysia due to the lack of transparency in the project funding.

It was initially announced as a RM50 millions (USD 16 millions) government-backed project, then later declared as a private sector initiative that would not be financed by taxpayers. Only to be explained the following day that government agencies (therefore taxpayers) would be charged RM 0.50 per email. Considering Malaysia's adult population of 16 millions, it would cost the government RM 8 million (USD 2.6 millions) to send ONE email to every malaysian adult.

The private company (Tricubes) that has initiated the project was about to be delisted from the local stock exchange to due financial irregularities, until the government granted it this RM50 millions program.

Cronyism is long standing problem in Malaysia. Sadly, this is only one of the many such examples.

lolwut (0)

cozzbp (1845636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941880)

Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

lulz.

Sure it's not perfect, but... (1)

ArmchairGeneral (1244800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35941886)

A few months ago a friend of mine was complaining about how difficult it was to get an appointment to see her doctor in Canada. She couldn't leave a voicemail as the box was full and the message said that someone would be only available in the office for 2 or 3 hours in the day. I do realize the potential for privacy concerns especially with medical, but an email system to create/confirm appointments would be ideal. I hate voicemail personally, and much prefer an email so I can quickly review it. So if this was incorporated into a government email plan I think it would be ideal.

write to us at; faith.hope.love@malaysia.gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941904)

why would there need to be more than one of anything? one excrement powered droid powered citizen drone per citizen etc...

disarm

Subcontracted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35941986)

The email service is probably subcontracted to some guy who don't know how to run an email service (and probably will end up sub-contracting it to others to do the real job, if it actually gets done).

And the other big question is (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942160)

... would you trust a big greedy corporation to be your email provider?

Microsoft Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35942182)

handled by hotmail!

myemail.my. 3600 IN MX 40 1852513953.pamx1.hotmail.com.

Would you trust your government (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942284)

Would you trust your government to be your mail provider?

For government correspondence? of course.
Just use something else for everything else like you do now. Maybe set up e-mail forwarding so you don't always have to check it.

I have no problem with it (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 3 years ago | (#35942362)

I'm fine with the government giving me a e-mail address which is only and specifically used to communicate with the government. I wouldn't use it for anything else, though.
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