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John Kerry says he assumes Russia and China can read his e-mails

Technically Incorrect: Not entirely spreading confidence in Web security, the secretary of state says he's very concerned about cyberterrorism.

2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

"Remind me, John. Is 'Harry Potter' Merkel or Hollande?" Official White House photo by Pete Souza

The Siamese cat has jumped over the fence and is heading for the snowplow.

Flying marsupials spotted in the Aegean skies.

Rendezvous with Harry Potter and Jason Bourne. 7am. Nefertiti.

These aren't random expectorations of words left behind from a night on the town. These are my imaginings of how John Kerry's e-mails might read.

I am assuming, you see, that the secretary of state writes in a certain code. I am assuming this because he assumes that China and Russia are reading his e-mails.

I cull this information from an interview Kerry gave to CBS News. He was asked this question by Scott Pelley: "Do you think the Chinese and/or Russians are reading your e-mails?"

Kerry replied: "It is very likely. It is not...outside the realm of possibility, and we know they have attacked a number of American interests over the course of the last few days."

The secretary of state added: "It's very possible...and I certainly write things with that awareness."

Which, therefore, makes me wonder what codes are being used, what words have strange and new meanings and whether there's ever any misinterpretation at the receiving end.

Harry Potter. That's Merkel, right? Wait, no. It's Hollande. Of course it's Hollande.

It's clear that federal workers have had their computers hacked by nefarious foreign actors. It's not quite clear to what extent this has occurred.

But if there's now an assumption at the very highest levels, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Kerry made it clear that the government is spending millions of dollars to protect its digital interests. Google is no doubt doing the same. But as more cars get hacked remotely, as the Internet of Things throws up more possibilities for our lives to not only be tracked but also broken into, every aspect of our existence is surely more open than we'd like it to be.

Perhaps, like baseball teams, we'll all have to set up complicated communication codes so that those who intercept our missives stare at them for hours and believe that we have finally, completely lost the plot.