Court Orders White House to Preserve Bush-Era E-Mails

IT World Canada has an interesting article today by Grant Gross. Last week, there was buzz about how the National Archives is concerned that the volume of e-mail may overload its servers. Now we hear that 5 million e-mails concerning the invasion of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina have disappeared.

We’re working on strategies at my office to ensure that business related e-mail gets migrated into appropriate repositories. It’ll be interesting to see over the coming months how successful we’ve been in convincing people to move e-mail into those shared repositories, and out of pst folders or other silos.

Outlook is unfortunately constructed to make it very easy to pull documents into personal folders. While it’s not particularly difficult to take e-mail out of the inbox and file it elsewhere, it’s more steps than drag’n’drop. Consequently, it becomes very easy to put off the task.

I’d be very interested to hear how other orgs are getting you to manage e-mail. Have you been able to overcome inertia? How did you make it easy to comply with stated policy?


  1. We have recently instituted an e-mail archive server which auto-archives everything coming into our Exchange server to a searchable, secure environment. We did this not only to preserve valuable data for lengthy time periods (8 yrs), but to push out compliance (demand) for auto deleting e-mail over 1 year old from Outlook. We also have the ability to save email that is file related to our DMS – there is no reason to keep hordes of material on a mail server.

    No server overload, yet searchability, path preservation, and content preservation assured. It also speeds up the daily email barrage.

    Potential hurdles:
    Overcoming bad habits of retaining client-matter email in folders in an individual user mailbox rather than in the organizationally responsible DMS saved copy method.

    I don’t remember problems archiving correspondence when we used carbon paper…