One more obstacle
March 30, 2018
by Ivan Raconteur

Just when I thought email couldn’t possibly get any more annoying, the evil geniuses who profit by selling things to public bodies said, “Hold my beer,” and they stepped up and found a way.

It has slowly been finding favor among government entities, such as counties.

It’s called secure email, and it works like this: they send you an email, but instead of just clicking on the email to open it, you have to log in with a password to do so.

That’s just great. I had just been wishing I had one more stinking password in my life to keep track of.

I got one of these emails late this afternoon.

It was from a local county sheriff’s office, so even though I was into about hour 10 of my workday, with a long list of things still to do, I opened it. Or rather, I tried to open it.

Naturally, I had forgotten my special secret high security password from the last time they did this to me, so I had to go through the process of setting up a new one, which involved creating a password, clicking on a link that they sent me, confirming that I wanted to establish a new password, and then logging in with my email and the new password.

By the time I got through with this, I was thinking some awfully black thoughts about the people who came up with this idiotic system, and what I’d like to do with them if I encountered them in a dark alley.

Shaking their hands and congratulating them was not what I had in mind.

Now, I want to be very clear about this. I appreciate the communications I get from the sheriff’s office and from the county, but sending me a message should not involve imposing an additional burden on me.

I’m willing to concede that there may be applications in which additional security measures may be necessary, but this just isn’t one of them.

Remember, I’m a newspaper editor. When people send me things, it’s because they want and expect me to disseminate them to the public.

So, why should I have to go behind the veil of secrecy just to get at the information?

My whole job revolves around public data, and if a public agency has data that is private, they wouldn’t be sending it to me in the first place, with or without a password.

A press release by its very nature involves public information, so don’t make me jump through hoops like a trained seal to get that information. I’ve got all I can do to keep up with the daily flood of email as it is. I don’t need the government to make it any more difficult.

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