I’ve written twice about the press coverage surrounding emails I received and wrote about a decade ago. The first time I wrote about the issue was simply to apologize. The next time I wrote about the issue was to provide more context than I felt was appropriate the first time around.
Since this happened, people keep asking me the same question: is what happened to you legal? The answer is no; it’s illegal to steal someone’s emails. In fact, it’s a crime.
More than 1,500 articles have been written about my stolen emails. Virtually every one of those focused on remarks in the emails made by me and others. Almost entirely unmentioned was the fact that the only crime committed in this episode was stealing the emails in the first place.
Some would say that while stealing emails is a crime, we should just assume these things happen in today’s world. I hope that’s not the case. I hope there’s a zone of privacy where we don’t need to think: how would this look if read by strangers?
This experience has got me thinking about the phrase “leaked emails.” At least in my case, the more accurate description is “stolen emails,” which we should keep in mind is a crime.
But that’s the past. I’m more interested in the future, and what I can learn from this experience; what I can do to promote understanding and tolerance. Those are things that matter to me. And I am starting to get some ideas about how to do it. I’ll look forward to sharing more about it in time.