In 2000, corporations learned that e-mail could be as dangerous as it is easy and efficient.

Several news events drew attention to this issue: the investigations into the FBI’s Carnivore, an e-mail surveillance tool, and the Justice Department’s use of e-mail in the antitrust case against Microsoft.

TechRepublic writer Mike Walton talked with legal and e-mail experts about the pros and pitfalls of e-mail archiving policies. They suggested IT executives take two steps to protect the company:

  1. Establish an e-mail policy that outlines how long e-mail exists and what should be archived.
  2. Delete all short-term e-mail from the server, and inform all employees that they will be responsible for any e-mail that needs to be archived.

This topic struck a chord with TechRepublic members. “Are you an e-mail pack rat? Better police that policy” was CIO’s fifth most popular article of the year, receiving a 4.1 overall rating and nearly 20,000 page views.

While it may be too late for Microsoft, it’s not too late for your company to establish e-mail archiving practices and policies that will help protect your company from liability.

So if you missed the article in April, be sure to read it now. Don’t forget to peruse the related discussion thread, where TechRepublic members share their experience with e-mail archiving.

The top five articles of 2000
All this week, we’ll revisit our top five most popular features from last year. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2000.
We want to know: In 2001, would you like more advice on the legal implications of IT policies? Or would you prefer more moderated discussions by analysts and other IT professionals? TechRepublic is a community of IT professionals, so our article and discussion ideas often come from TechRepublic members. Let us know what you’d like to see on TechRepublic in 2001 by e-mailing us or posting below.