Email Archiving and the IRS: The Dangers of Canceling Your Archiving Service at the Last Minute

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  • Email Archiving and the IRS: The Dangers of Canceling Your Archiving Service at the Last Minute

    There isn’t any bigger news story than the debacle at the IRS and their notoriously missing emails. But it’s an even bigger warning tale about email archiving than we’ve previously seen in any other story. The reason is because some news came out recently that showed just how careless the IRS really was in not archiving their online communications. It appeared to be deliberate on their part with an apparent assumption they were too powerful to worry about archiving the most important communication tool for any company.

    The Deliberate Canceling of Email Archiving

    It’s been reported that an email archiving company was under contract with the IRS for five years before all the Lois Lerner emails disappeared. Oddly, the IRS canceled their contract with this archiving company just a few weeks after the supposed computer crash containing the Lerner emails. Then they lost further emails in another computer crash just weeks after canceling their contract with the email archiving company.

    Related Blog: IRS unable to recover emails

    Why the IRS did this just adds to the complexity of the case and the overall ineptness of their actions. But, on the other hand, it’s easy to see why the power of a company seeming invincible would think they wouldn’t need to archive any emails. Were they a victim of the “it won’t happen to us” frame of mind, or was it a deliberate attempt to get rid of emails to avoid being found guilty?

    The “It Won’t Happen to Me” Syndrome

    No company thinks they’ll be subpoenaed to turn over emails until it actually happens. As much as we thought the IRS had everything together in recent years, they go and do something possibly illegal due to political bias. While we wouldn’t always expect such activities in businesses that aren’t household names, it’s easy to shift into the wrong frame of mind in being impervious to getting in trouble.

    Part of the above comes in the idea that just because a business isn’t overly well known, they won’t be investigated for something. It’s a major mistake to think only big companies will be asked to turn over emails. The reality is that it goes beyond just investigations and can relate to the government wanting to simply see if you’re complying with government regulations.

    Those who think email archiving isn’t important ultimately end up on a slippery slope where being complacent ultimately leads to others in the company being complacent. And it’s then when a true unraveling may begin.

    Will Lessons Be Learned from the IRS?

    We have to be almost thankful the loss of emails came from the IRS, a government agency most of us despise. When it happens to a smaller business or any company that does good things for others, it’s much more disconcerting to see. Those businesses, though, will be able to learn the lessons of the IRS’s complacency (or possible deliberate actions) and apply it to their own business life.

    Quality email archiving ultimately puts together all your emails in an organizational way so employees won’t accidentally press the delete button when searching for older communications. Here at Intradyn, we offer an archiving system that provides a perfect structure to handling massive email archives and with an easy search feature.

    You’re better off realizing how much anything can happen nowadays and how important it is to save every single email you receive. It’s always that one email you need to present which might disappear and throw your business into a state of chaos with the law.

    Contact us at Intradyn for information on an email archiving solution to reduce the storage costs and stress on your servers, as well as instant access to enormous volumes of emails and electronic documents for eDiscovery regulations.

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    Azam is the president, chief technology officer and co-founder of Intradyn. He oversees global sales and marketing, new business development and is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s product vision and technology department.

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