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RECMGMT-L  May 2000

RECMGMT-L May 2000

Subject:

RAIN 05/24: Wall Street Journal

From:

"Kurilecz, Peter" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 24 May 2000 12:55:31 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (63 lines)

Today's WSJournal contains a front page article for both records managers
and archivists. Unfortunately the Journal's website is strictly subscription
only. However a single copy from a newstand is only 75 cents  or one dollar
or check your local library. Anyway here are some excerpts to wet your
appetite.

The story concerns a recent Northwest Airlines case against the flight
attendants union. The airline was able to gain access to employees' personal
computers (the ones at home) to search for evidence.

In Airline's Lawsuit, PC Becomes
Legal Pawn, Raising Privacy Issues
By MICHAEL J. MCCARTHY
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

<snip>
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Each day, Ted Reeve pours his life into his home
computer. He spends hours reading news online, and dutifully records monthly
payments for his Visa card and Toyota Camry, along with ATM withdrawals at
Ralphs grocery store. He regularly types up notes -- from talks with his
doctor, and one day wrote up an offer to his landlady to buy his apartment
building from her.
It never occurred to him that such personal data could be extracted and
shared among strangers. But that's what happened when his computer's hard
drive was copied by two investigators retained for his employer, Northwest
Airlines. Working right in his living room with a program called EnCase,
they excavated every last bit and byte from his desktop hard drive.
<snip>

<snip>
Northwest suspected that its flight-attendant union had used the Internet to
run an illegal call-in-sick campaign to disrupt the airline, the country's
fourth-largest. So the airline won a court order to search 20 or so hard
drives at flight attendants' homes and union offices.
<snip>
Swamped by the files unearthed from just the first few computers in its
search, Northwest complained to one judge that printing each document found
inside the workers' PCs would amass a paper pile five times as tall as the
Washington Monument, which stands 555 feet.
<snip>
<snip>
Using sophisticated software, computer detectives can exhume even data
nestled in remote, hard-to-access areas, such as the "slack space" or
"unallocated" parts of the thin disks.
<snip>
<snip>
The search of just Mr. Griffin's and Mr. Reeve's computers proved
formidable. "The responsive data identified would consume 75,200 pages of
paper," Mr. Morrow said in his court statement, much of it nothing more than
"unintelligible computer code." By discarding the documents with gibberish,
Ernst & Young cut the number to 22,500.
<snip>

Well you get the idea. This story is definitely a keeper.


Peter A. Kurilecz CRM, CA
Manager, Records Management
Woodside Summit Group, Inc
Richmond, Virginia
Tel: 804-744-1247 extension 23
Fax: 804-744-4947
mailto:[log in to unmask]

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