Here is an interesting story -- Facing a Lawsuit, Corzine Swears Off E-Mail - New York Times
In response to a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking public disclosure of e-mail messages he exchanged with the state union president who is also a former companion, Mr. Corzine said he had decided simply to stop using e-mail. He has insisted that his e-mail messages from a private campaign account to the union leader, Carla Katz of the Communications Workers of America Local 1034, are private, and therefore insulated by executive privilege.
To avoid any problems, he said, he has decided to rely on a mode of communication that was in vogue well before he was born in 1947. “We’ll go back to the 1920s, and have direct conversations with people,” Mr. Corzine said.
On the other hand, it might not change much in New Jersey government:
Interestingly, those who know Mr. Corzine well say he never exchanged a lot of e-mail messages in the first place.
Those intimidated by the gigabyte generation may take comfort in what friends and aides of Mr. Corzine, a former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, say: that he is a bit of a technological klutz.
While this may sound silly, it raises fundamental questions of what is public and what is private. We have a situation where the technology is defining the situation rather than the common use. Email is treated as a permanent record (like a letter), rather than a temporary conversation (like a phone call) because it can be treat that way. The technology allows it. No matter that social custom has evolved in a direction that email is an informal conversation.
Now, the technology has evolved to a point where phone calls can be made into a permanent record as well. But, image the outcry if someone was taping all of our phone conversations. Oh. Um, well never mind . . .