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White House ordered to provide millions of missing email

This issue has been around for a while (see "White House eschews email." and "What’s worse than 18 1/2 minutes of deleted audio?" previously posted on FGI). According to the SF Chronicle, the White House today is being ordered to provide information on millions of missing email from White House servers. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has more background and a link to the judge’s order.

A federal magistrate ordered the White House on Tuesday to reveal whether copies of possibly millions of missing e-mails are stored on computer backup tapes.

The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola comes amid an effort by the White House to scuttle two lawsuits that could force the Executive Office of the President to recover any e-mail that has disappeared from computer servers where electronic documents are automatically archived.

In their lawsuits, the National Security Archive and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington suggest the e-mails were improperly deleted from White House computer servers. Over 5 million White House e-mails are missing, CREW alleged. Recently, the group said it has been told by reliable sources that the actual figure of missing e-mail is over 10 million.

In asking that the complaints be dismissed, the Bush administration says the president’s record keeping practices under the Presidential Records Act are not reviewable by the courts. Also, the Federal Records Act does not allow the far-reaching action the two private groups are demanding, the administration contends…

 

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