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Deceased Email Essay

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Should Justin Ellsworth’s Parents have been given access to his email?
Richard O. Crichton
TUI University

This is a case about a young Marine that unfortunately was killed while serving in Afghanistan and whether his parents should have access to his email.   It is my opinion that yahoo acted correctly by not releasing the email correspondences until ordered to do so by a court order.

This is a very sad and emotional situation and I think most of the people involved are identifying with the parents.   The Majority if not all probably have, has had, or knows someone that is currently deployed or has been deployed.   For the rest simple patriotism and the young age of the diseased is probably involved.   I am in no way blaming them for feeling this way, however it is my opinion that they are not viewing the issue objectively.  
Emails should be treated the same as medical records. They involve private thoughts and should be accorded the same privacy.   All social media and email net works has a privacy statement that every user has to agree with prior to obtaining an account with that provider.   For Yahoo it states that the provider would treat all correspondence as private and it would not be released to unauthorized personnel.   An unfortunate situation developed and they stood by their agreement.
What message has been sent regarding privacy since the courts has decided in this manner? What are the long term ramifications?   There are always pros and cons to every situation; however, I think in this situation there are more negative than positive.   Based on what I have researched and read the email status from a legal point of still have not been resolved.   With this being the case it comes down to the companies and courts.  
The question then arises who benefits more?   If private thoughts contained in emails are released just because someone wanted to know what the individual were thinking then how far behind are we from releasing medical records for...

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