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Also, it might surprise some people just how many servers an email travels through to get to its destination. I just grabbed a random mail from a mailing list I'm on (generally a worst case scenario) and it had 7 Received headers. Every mail server is supposed to add a Received header when the mail passes through but there's no way to enforce that, so all I can really say is that mail probably passed through at least 7 servers on it's way to my inbox.

Each one of those hops may or may not have talked TLS to the next hop. Each one probably wrote the mail out to a disk based mail queue in plaintext. There is nothing preventing any of those 7 servers from keeping around that mail even though they forwarded it on. There is nothing preventing them from indexing the mail for spam or marketing purposes.




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