Log in ....Tribune

Monday, July 28, 2003

Advantages outweigh disadvantages
Sukhpreet Bedi

SENDING and receiving messages, letters, etc in the modern society is no longer dependent on the postal system. As electronic medium has ushered in a revolution, computer has become a necessity instead of luxury. The Internet has gifted us e-mail too besides e-commerce, EDI and surfing. E-mail is a facility that has bridged the communication gap among the Netizens and aided in the spread of globalisation. Its use is not merely limited to sending and receiving messages and letters in the form of text but much more which includes memos, reports, graphics, etc. The user can send them through e-mail to an individual or a group of individuals. Moreover, electronic mail can be received, answered, deleted or kept in the memory.


1.E-mail is cost-effective as we can send a long letter to a user for the cost of just a single local call irrespective of the distance.

2.It is immaterial whether the person to whom the message or a letter is e-mailed is present or not since the facility of inbox is provided.

3.Speed is a remarkable feature of e-mail as the mail can be sent anywhere around the globe within a few seconds.

4.The mail, which has to be sent to various persons, need not be rewritten. It can be sent as a copy to other users.

5.E-mail once sent or received can be stored indefinitely.


1.Security is one of the major issues on the Net, as techniques that can threaten privacy exist.

2.The user needs to be familiar with the keyboard and should know typing at a reasonable speed.

Overcoming e-mail tampering
Deepak Bagai

E-MAILS have become an integral part of the modern business world. E-mail tampering has made sending and receiving them dangerous. E-mail tampering refers to altering of contents of real e-mail to make a fake e-mail containing damaging material. The contents of e-mail can be used as evidence in a litigation process. Voice mails get erased as the mailboxes have small storage capacities. Hence the evidentiary power of voice mails is negligible. In contrast, e-mails can be kept on the hard disks for an indefinite period. Computer forensic techniques can retrieve the deleted e-mails.

The menace of tampering can be overcome if proper backup logs are maintained. Another solution is the efficient use of digital IDs. This is an encoding scheme that proves that the e-mail was actually sent. When e-mail is sent, the receiver sees a small tag on the upper right hand corner signifying "signed". If the receiver tries to edit the real e-mail message, the signed message will turn into an invalid ID, which indicates tampering. With a digital ID, the e-mail fraud can be eliminated at an initial stage.

Goodbye e-mail, hello courriel

GOODBYE "e-mail", the French government says, and hello "courriel" - the term that linguistically sensitive France is now using to refer to electronic mail in official documents. The Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of e-mail in all government ministries, documents, publications or Websites, the latest step to stem an incursion of English words into the French lexicon.

The ministry’s General Commission on Terminology and Neology insists Internet surfers in France are broadly using the term "courrier electronique" (electronic mail) instead of e-mail - a claim some industry experts dispute. "Courriel" is a fusion of the two words.

"Evocative, with a very French sound, the word ‘courriel’ is broadly used in the press and competes advantageously with the borrowed ‘mail’ in English," the commission has ruled.

The move to ban "e-mail" was announced last week after the decision was published in the official government register on June 20. Courriel is a term that has often been used in French-speaking Quebec, the commission said. The 7-year-old commission has links to the Academie Francaise, the prestigious institution that has been one of the top opponents of allowing English terms to seep into French.

Some Internet industry experts say the decision is artificial and doesn’t reflect reality. — AP