If you have not done so already, read this quick post and its comments to bring you up to speed.  In the comments, i gave a few scenarios where your email could be read by persons other than the intended recipient.  What i did not talk about was your Internet Service Provider.  All of your Internet traffic goes through your ISP.  Consequently, they can see everything that is not encrypted, and since they’re large corporations, they’re sensitive to pressure from the government and from other powerful entities.  The same is true of the large companies that provide web based email services, e.g., Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc.

So yeah, it’s technically possible that someone could be looking at your traffic but not likely right?

Here’s some stuff to click on:

Google Transparency Report FAQ

Room 641A

Golden Shield Project

NSA Spying on Americans (tons of pertinent documents)