White House Must Answer For Missing Emails
February 16, 2008 1:57 PM
Emails on the Iraq War, CIA operative name leaks, and actions by the U.S. Justice Department were accidentally taped over; now one Judge demands answers
Colleen Kollar-Kotelly looks to have another busy month. After
at the end of January with two more years of oversight, another of her rulings is now drawing national attention.
The ruling pertained to the
case of Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
watchdog group's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for access to White House email. When access was not granted, the group sued the White House Office of Administration in May, demanding access under the FOIA.
ruled this week
that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics could submit a plan for discovery to the court by February 21, 2008. If the plan was acceptable the case will proceed to a discovery phase where the group can question White House officials. The goal of the discovery process is determined whether the White House is subject to FOI request, or whether it has immunity from them as White House officials have insisted.
The ruling to allow the case to proceed to discovery is a clear victory for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and a headache for the White House. The nonprofit group demands access to emails concerning several contentious issues, including the reasons for launching the Iraq War, the release of a CIA operative's name and actions by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The White House Administration says that it can not comply as the emails are destroyed. The White House admits it routinely copied over its backup tapes from 2001 to 2003, destroying most of the previous contents. The White House claims this is an innocent record keeping error, while some groups and individuals argue that its a willful attempt to destroy their digital paper-trail.
Presidential historian and author Robert Dallek stated, "Given how secretive this administration has been, it of course fans the flames and suspicions about what has been destroyed here. I hope we'll get an investigation."
The subsequent case by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is drawing a surprising following --
experts. Storage experts showcase the case as a need to implement effective backup systems to avoid legal hassles. If you've got nothing to hide, don't make it look like you're hiding something, back it up, they say.
Mike Osterman, president of Black Diamond, Wash. based Osterman Research Inc. says that many large businesses and organization operate under the false premise that email is not part of their business record. He complains, "A lot of people are not implementing e-mail archiving [processes]; they're saving e-mail, but not in a cohesive or consistent way. Companies can say 'Yes, we need to archive,' but [the process] must be policy-driven and taken out of users' hands."
He describes the White House's woes as a good learning experience, calling it a "good shot across the bow and a very good lesson for senior managers."
This exact principle landed Intel in legal trouble last year when
AMD alleged the company carelessly destroyed backups
pertinent to antitrust litigation.
Another expert, Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group states that many entities lack the ability to optimize backups and make crucial data easy to get ahold of. Whitehouse points out that people trend to two extremes -- paranoia or carelessness. She states, "Everyone is afraid to throw anything away. All that [stored data] on the production system isn't pruned. It's all just continually backed up. [Paranoia] is a characteristic of a lot of companies out there, and they're not repeatedly optimizing their backups."
Whitehouse says, "As unsexy as it is, we need to make sure we're doing it right and we have the right level of resources applied to [backup]."
Meanwhile the White House is left to try to develop a defense to establish that its negligence was accidental and not willful.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
U.S. Antitrust Court Slams Microsoft With Two More Years of Oversight
January 31, 2008, 10:11 AM
Hitachi, Fujitsu, Toshiba Talk Storage Joint Venture
January 14, 2008, 4:18 PM
AMD: Intel Destroyed Evidence in Antitrust Case
March 5, 2007, 3:43 PM
Not All the High-Tech Jobs Are in California
August 4, 2016, 8:29 PM
Google's Gleaming Glass HQ Gets Mountain View Snub, LinkedIn Gets the Love
May 7, 2015, 6:58 AM
Tech's Tax Day Fortunate Few: Qualcomm, Xerox, GE, et al. Pay Little or No Taxes
April 15, 2015, 11:30 AM
LinkNYC Terminals to Blanket New York City With Free WiFi, Free Calls, and Ads
November 17, 2014, 6:50 PM
Microsoft is Open-Sourcing Most of .NET, Adding OS X and Linux Support
November 12, 2014, 8:27 PM
Home Depot Lost 53 Million Emails, Blames Windows, Buys Execs New Macs
November 9, 2014, 5:00 PM
Most Popular Articles
Car Insurance - The Hidden Discriminatory Practise
October 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Tesla Announces Level 5 Autonomous Driving
October 19, 2016, 8:30 PM
Apple iOS Contains Secret One-handed Keyboard Code
October 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Thieves Love iPhones – More than $13,000 Stolen from Apple Store
October 21, 2016, 7:13 AM
Do you hate to do yard work?
October 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Researchers use CRISPR to Accelerate Search for HIV Cure
Oct 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Medical Council of India Makes Generic Medicines Mandatory
Oct 25, 2016, 5:00 AM
MacBoo Pro 2016: Release date Oct. 27
Oct 24, 2016, 7:16 AM
Mac Users, Try this if Your Mac is Infected?
Oct 23, 2016, 7:00 AM
Tips to Prevent Smartphones From Overheating:
Oct 22, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nasa Flies Drones at Nevada Airport
Oct 21, 2016, 8:21 AM
T-Mobile Data Problems
Oct 20, 2016, 10:17 AM
Annoying Apple Watch Problems and How to Fix Them
Oct 20, 2016, 5:00 AM
Your Mail May Soon Be Delivered By Robot
Oct 19, 2016, 9:34 AM
2018 Jeep Wrangler Prototype Sells At Junkyard
Oct 18, 2016, 5:00 AM
Samsung Shines with Gold Edition Tablet
Oct 17, 2016, 9:24 AM
Tesla Hints Mysterious Product Debut for October 17th
Oct 16, 2016, 10:14 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones on US flights
Oct 15, 2016, 5:00 AM
Comcast Fined $2.3 Million For Unconfirmed Services Charged To Customers
Oct 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
“American singer / songwriter “Bob Dylan is awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Oct 13, 2016, 10:33 AM
Battery Defect in Medical Device
Oct 12, 2016, 5:00 AM
IBM Bolsters Social Services Sector With Technology Grants
Oct 11, 2016, 5:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information