Annoying email footer:
Reading, publishing, adapting, forwarding, copying or distributing an e-mail that is not addressed to you is illegal.
As they says at the end of Itchy and Scratchy:
The following program contained scenes of extreme violence and should not have been viewed by young children.
If lawyers who insist on the annoying email footer were at least half-serious about information leaks, they would at least put the annoying text first (maybe they just do not know that, at least in the US, most people write and read top to bottom, not bottom to top?) and indicate clearly who is the intended recipient:
The following message is meant to be only read by Joe William, head of Computer Science Lab of Joe Computing.
How do they think I can determine if the message was intended to me if I cannot read it?
If they did it properly, at least they might be able to show that they tried to prevent people from reading the message if it was sent to them by mistake - if the recipient email was mistyped for example.
- writing at the end of a message "you shall not be reading this"
- not mentioning the name of intended recipient, or even the slightest hint of that might be
- adding the same message to every outgoing email, even emails to public mailing lists
they prove without doubt that they are just trying to protect their a** if there is an information leak and it goes to court, rather than actually trying to prevent information leaks.
My guess is that could be used to show that the company who add such "legal" wording is not behaving honestly, but that may be because I am a normal person who believes that the DO NOT ENTER sign should be visible when you are about to enter, before you do. (Maybe the job of lawyers is to argue that DO NOT ENTER signs to not have to be visible at all to have legal standing.)
Of course, IANAL.