Re: PRIVACY: MSIExplorer email spy file

NetSurfer (
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 05:50:30 -0000

>There is nothing particularly surprising to a computer scientist that
>"deleted" data is not really gone; in fact, that's SOP for almost any
>data storage system, including the OS itself, all databases I know of,
>and probably many other email programs.

Certainly - this fact (and Microsloths slow "awakening" to the need for an
undelete) made Peter Norton quite wealthy.

The suggestions given are about as useless against a real enemy (such
as the FBI) as a $5 padlock or a fifth amendment. There are commercial
programs you can buy, like Norton's "wipefile", that claim to do a more
complete job of erasing data from a disk by physically overwriting it
many times with different values, but even these can be overcome by a
sophisticated snoop. The only secure way to erase a hard disk is with
something like thermite.

Yep - this has been a recurring discussion on Cypherpunks for at least four
years that I know of. And that method can land you in jail for destruction
of evidence, etc. (The second part of the discussions mentioned above i.e.
what can the gov't do to you if you refuse to give up your secret key,
destroy your computer, place a booby-trap destructor in the PC...)