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The Independent Online

For poor old Dubya, life keeps getting harder. All those problems with Korea, missile defence and carbon dioxide emissions. And now he's in the White House, they won't let him use e-mail either.

For poor old Dubya, life keeps getting harder. All those problems with Korea, missile defence and carbon dioxide emissions. And now he's in the White House, they won't let him use e-mail either.

The deprivation is not a small one. In old-fashioned spoken word, the 43rd President of the United States may be a bit of a duffer. But, it seems, put the fellow in front of a computer screen, and the words simply pour forth, fired off in pithy little messages all over the place.

But, say his advisers, no more. The risk is not so much hackers, but that even old friends cannot be trusted to keep their mouths shut. A few clicks of the button and the unguarded Presidential thought is in the cyberspace inboxes of half the world.

In truth, Dubya should be thankful. He at least escapes that dreadful law of human communication, whereby the number of messages increases to fill the means available to send them. True, he may have to put pen to paper now; but unlike the rest of us, he will not vanish in a Sargasso Sea of e-mail.

And anyway, since when did a President write his own letters?

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