Jun 18, 2007

Messaging News Magazine - May/June 2007 - Cover Story: Calendaring: Why Isn't It Just Like Email?

I am quoted in this great cover story by Michael Sampson regarding the state of Calendaring options today. 

Since the widespread adoption in the 1990s of the various Internet standards for email, we have been able to quickly, cheaply and easily send messages to anyone. We can choose whatever email client we want to use, with little or no reference to the email clients that others select. Plus we can change between email clients at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately that is not the case with calendars, but the situation is changing. The lack of interoperability has been a problem for many years, and in our hyper-connected world it has become a critical problem.

Messaging News Magazine - May/June 2007 - Cover Story: Calendaring: Why Isn't It Just Like Email?

Presidential Records Act and e-Mail retention

 Some very interesting results so far in the congressional investigation.

The Presidential Records Act requires the President to “take all such steps as may be necessary to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of his constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented … and maintained as Presidential records.” To implement this legal requirement, the White House Counsel issued clear written policies in February 2001 instructing White House staff to use only the official White House e-mail system for official communications and to retain any official e-mails they received on a nongovernmental account.

I see parallels with organizations and the new FRCP regulations over electronic information, which includes e-mail. Without making judgements, the current situation does not look good for the "we deleted that e-mail" argument. Certainly judges have also been unconvinced as evidenced by the $2.75M US sanction in the US v Phillip Morris case or the $29M US jury award in Zubalake v UBS Warberg LLC. Both were the result of the defendant not retaining or producing e-mail records per court orders. Read the committee's findings about not putting measures into place to preserve records. My gut reaction is that if you have any skepticism in reaction to this, what do you think a judge will think if you try to use the same argument?

The Use of RNC E-Mail Accounts by White House Officials :: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform :: United States House of Representatives