Thursday, August 16, 2012

It Is All On The Record

Another reminder that once it is in digital, it becomes easy to find.  Toss politics aside and focus on the error of trying to cover tracks but at the same time communicate in writing.  Investigators have unearthed this advice to subordinates in Washington:

"Don’t ever send an email on doe email with a personal email addresses,” Silver wrote Aug. 21, 2011, from his personal account to a program official’s private Gmail account. “That makes them subpoenable.”

You can read the whole story at the Washington Post.

It reminds me of the attempts by athletic administrators to similarly avoid FOIA by taking their discussions to Gmail or Hotmail rather than good old .EDU.  This also reinforces the answer to that question I still occasionally get - you mean they can get my private email?

Jonathan Silver tells you exactly how -- at least in discovery of your email account name.  I still caution that even if you follow Silver's advice, if the perception arises that official business was taking place outside of the official channels - whether you are state or fed - subpoena power can compell a network admin to show activity records.  Guess what now? Better hope you never logged into that other account at

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