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Email archiving’s legal implications

A SearchITChannel.com article penned by Nicole Lewis, Email archiving drives storage sales in channel, reported recently that email archiving is the “fastest growing market for resellers and possibly the most troublesome, because of the role email plays as evidence in lawsuits and financial investigations.”

As Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is now finding that out, the legal implications of email archiving are extensive. A recent Boston Globe article reported that last year Gonzales’s former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, sent former White House counsel, Harriet Miers, a list of possible replacements for the White House prosecutors who were dismissed. This message contradicts Sampson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, in which he said they had no replacements in mind. White House officials also announced an investigation into 5 million emails sent by President Bush’s top aides, which were allegedly lost when the administration switched computer systems.Congressional Democrats want to know whether the emails were deleted to cover up information.

Our IT glossary, whatis.com, defines email archiving “as a systematic approach to saving and protecting data contained in email messages to it can be accessed quickly at a later date.” It also says that “today’s compliance legislation and legal discovery rules make it necessary for IT departments to manage a company’s email in bulk, so messages can be located in minutes.”  

It is probably worth considering what the legal implications are for the channel, and what policies a reseller should implement to protect him/herself? According to the aforementioned article regulations and policies implemented depend on the customer and the industry. What do you think?

Esther Friedman

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