From the December 1996 magazine.

Your Move - Responses from Readers on the Topic of "Online AA" from the May 1996 Grapevine

A Postcard to the World?

An article recently appeared in a local newspaper, citing an apparent lack of privacy in e-mail transmissions and one commercial server's rather fluid policy on 1) reviewing correspondence the sender believed erased; 2) providing names to outside parties. Short of encrypting every message, every sender of e-mail sends a postcard for the world to see. If the article is accurate, then there's no anonymity online. With the best will in the world, online meetings could only be considered open meetings, with the same status as a public information meeting, because meeting participants cannot guarantee anonymity individually or collectively. In face-to-face meetings I can at least guarantee that I'll respect anonymity Traditions. While I'm glad that online services give us the opportunity to get a meeting whenever needed, I'd oppose affording recognition to an online meeting as an AA group because of the inherent conflict with our other Traditions respecting anonymity.

-- Jeff T.

St. Louis, Missouri

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