December 21, 2004 2:49 PM PST

Yahoo denies family access to dead marine's e-mail

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around Iraq and send correspondences through Web mail providers such as Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft's Hotmail.

Only officers outside the front lines get official Marine e-mail accounts used for interoffice communications. If the officer is killed, the Marines delete the accounts after retrieving messages that could be important for planning.

E-mail has become a source of information about soldiers on the front lines. Images of the war and correspondences to loved ones have helped paint a picture of life in Iraq and Afghanistan, while helping families stay in touch with loved ones serving abroad.

Soldiers killed in action may also have important information in their e-mail accounts to help families settle personal matters, such as closing out accounts or other housekeeping matters.

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