HTML email banned at DoD

At least someone is still concerned about the harms of HTML email. Email formatted with HTML has become so common these days that even I, previously a staunch opponent, started using it a few months back. Now, the Department of Defense has barred the use of both HTML email, as well as Outlook Web Access. It looks like they convert any HTML to plain text along the way (as opposed to blocking the mail altogether).

Though almost everyone I know has no qualms about using it and wouldn’t bother even listening to the arguments against HTML email, it’s good to know that there is still some hope.

To recap, here are some of the drawbacks of HTML mail:

  • Not all email clients support it (this argument has become redundant since even Mutt can view it)
  • It unnecessarily increases email traffic (something that usually only admins have to be concerned with)
  • It opens up a number of holes for viruses and spam to propagate
  • Virtually all spam is delivered in the form of HTML email

The advantage is just that you get richer and more visually appealing content as compared to plain text, but most people would argue that this can also be achieved with sending the data as an email attachment.