Once in the past, when a prospective customer was on a mission to determine whether or not he wanted to transfer his websites to ICDSoft, he had no choice but to ask us several pre-sales questions - as there was not much information about ICDSoft available on the Internet at that time. For privacy reasons, I’ll just call him “Mr. Smith.” Mr. Smith executed the mission by asking us these questions in separate emails - a bonus test in itself to make sure we had a fast response rate. The support guy who received his very last email came to me, unsure of the best way to answer Mr. Smith’s question: “How can you assure me that you WILL NOT read my emails, should I decide to trust you for hosting my websites?” I smiled and told my colleague that I would answer this one. So I paused what I’d been working on, and put all my focus on writing him an articulate answer, knowing the clock was ticking no matter who sent the response:

Dear Mr. Smith,

Thank you for your question. This question deserves much more than a one-word, yes-or-no answer, so I will go into more detail. Yes, we will be reading your emails and we already do, but ONLY when they are addressed to us. Let me explain why we will not read your other emails, even if we have access to them.

We host 69,052 web sites. Each domain hosted with us has eight mailboxes on average, which amounts to roughly 550,000 mailboxes at this moment. They get five to ten million emails every day. Combine them with outgoing mail, and that amounts to more than 115 emails per second, 24 hours a day. We have between two and four support team members on shift, and they are very busy providing customer service at any given moment. Assisting customers begins with reading and answering many emails, and there’s typically plenty of action required beyond that.

So, even if we wanted to read through the private email communication of our customers, it would be simply impossible. As you might know, the government got the silly idea to mandate that we store your emails for several months - even those that you have deleted. But we fancy ourselves rebels, and we refuse to do this for two reasons:

1) Storing your emails for several months would mean immense spending on tons of hard drives and space paid by you and by us.

2) Even if we did comply, the people being paid for reading your emails would actually not even come close to coping with the workload; see the figures above. Their case numbers would be insanely bigger, and they’d still have to read news, anecdotes, and their own private emails. In the best case scenario, this job could be outsourced to machines, and algorithms could be the ones digging for suspicious activity… but this is not an option for us.

So, no other human will see your emails, unless someone hacks into your computer or your mailbox.

One of the biggest problems of today is that everyone is so busy with their own stuff that often they do not have any extra bandwidth to care about others or listen to others, and we all end up feeling so lonely. I am sorry to be so blunt, but we are lonely in our virtual lives too… and no one really cares what we keep in our mailboxes.


Mr. Smith did not answer this email. But within the next hour, he opened with us hosting accounts for several websites.