Letter Privacy Stronger Than E-mail

Letter privacy

Letters provide a close, personal way to communicate with people around they world. Sealed up inside every envelope is an opportunity to receive correspondence in an intimate, tactile way. Nobody, other than the recipient, can touch it without permission or they’ll face pursuit by the Inspection Service. The same benefits don’t apply to e-mail.

A hacker can’t snatch letter mail anonymously out of the digital air, but if they successfully crack the password of an e-mail account, they can have access to everything in it. That includes all sent and received e-mails still stored in the account as well as contact information for everyone in an address book.

Criminals who attempt to steal letter mail will be tracked down by the Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, and brought to justice. The Inspection Service is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States, and has the necessary resources to carry out its investigations.

An e-mail might have a speed advantage over a letter, but that convenience comes with the price of persistent vigilance.

What are some other advantages of writing a letter over an e-mail?



  1. Yes, communicate around the world, but don’t expect the same privacy that you have in the US everywhere else. Growing up we still had relatives in East Germany. Letters were always opened — the envelopes were a different paper, written with a different ink in different handwriting than the letter within. Sometimes letters didn’t make it to the recipient, you had to be discrete about current events & politics. And some or all of packages didn’t arrive, just occasionally so you weren’t completely dissuaded from sending stuff.

    West Germany was the exact opposite, privacy was paramount, and those laws & that attitude has been infused throughout the reunified Germany. But I’m sure there are many countries out there where privacy is not guaranteed,

  2. Barbara Rohde

     /  June 22, 2013

    Being able to read a letter 20, 30, 40, 50 years later is one great advantage letter mail has over electronic messages (unless someone prints out every one they get). I have letters from my grandparents, stored away, who have been dead for nearly 40 years, and just the thought that I could read their words to me is heart-warming. And my parents have Dad’s father’s letters to his mother, when he served in WWI. I come from a long line of letter-savers!!

    • Grannybunny

       /  June 24, 2013

      You are so right. Everything about a physical letter — the choice of stationery and stamp, the handwriting, sometimes even perfume or lip-prints — is superior to electronic communication.

      • Jonn

         /  June 24, 2013

        I agree. I still have cards from family members when I was a pre-Internet youth. It’s great to read those again from time to time. Text message well-wishes don’t have the same lasting effect.

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