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Newbie's question: Timestamp discrepancy on e-mail  

New Member

I emailed written material that I created (and later copyrighted) to a volunteer website, who apparently shared its contents with the staff of a TV program. There's nothing malicious going on here; the fact that a volunteer forwarded it to the TV show may actually help me out. But now the Admin Contact for the volunteer website won't give me a straight answer admitting that he shared the information, perhaps because he fears legal consequences. His email response to me suggests that an attorney is ghostwriting his answers to my questions.

I sent the email around 8pm EST (Microsoft Outlook Express displays a timestamp). His email records (he's in PST zone) show the email was timestamped the following day?! Does this indicate the email was routed through a middleman before he received it, or does it actually show nothing at all?

If I were able to get a copy of the email in his records, would it reveal anything about who else received my copyrighted material?

Thanks in advance to people who looked at this.

Posted : 17/06/2012 3:20 am
Active Member

Have him forward the email back to you - take a look at the email header. It will show the email hops taken along with timestamps.

Short of a read/delivery receipt you will have a hard time proving when the recipient read/received the email unless you can get access to his mail server/mail client itself.

As for routing through a middleman, you would find many middlemen.

Posted : 17/06/2012 6:17 am
New Member

Thanks pbobby. Before following your suggestion and asking him to forward the email back to me, I looked at earlier emails he sent me to see if they revealed anything. Basically, I'm looking to see who else received emails between the 2 of us. Looking at the I.P. addresses didn't seem to reveal much. I'm wondering if my poking around is pointless, or I may need to look at more than I.P. addresses.

There were I.P. addresses for Google (his ISP), Gmail, Earthlink (my email provider), Williams-Sonoma in San Francisco (I was surprised to see that name), and one I.P. address that couldn't be identified but I'm guessing was assigned to me by Comcast (my ISP). If the email I checked was typical of what he'd forward to me, I may be better off with a different strategy to his evasion.

Posted : 18/06/2012 2:30 am