Archive sues to recover 5 million missing White House emails

The National Security Archive is suing the White House to obtain and preserve more than 5 million government
e-mail messages believed to have been deleted from White House
computers between March 2003 and October 2005. Snip from announcement:

The lawsuit filed
this morning in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
names as defendants the Executive Office of the President and
its components that are subject to the Federal Records Act,
including the White House Office of Administration (OA), and
the National Archives and Records Administration (which is responsible
for long-term preservation of federal and presidential records),
under the records laws and the Administrative Procedure Act.

White House officials ranging from spokesperson
Dana Perino
to counsel Keith Roberts have acknowledged in
press and Congressional briefings that e-mail is missing from
the White House archive, and that the EOP in 2002 abandoned
the electronic records management system put in place by the
Clinton White House. Whistleblowers cited in conjunction with
a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the watchdog
group Citizens
for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
alleged that more than 5 million e-mail messages are missing
from the White House servers.

"The Bush White House broke the law and erased our history
by deleting those e-mail messages," said National Security
Archive director Tom Blanton. "The period of the missing
email starts with the invasion of Iraq and runs through the
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."


See also this previous Boing Boing post:
NPR "Xeni Tech" – How Long Should Government E-Mail Linger