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October 16, 2009

E-mail Archiving: Adhering to the Freedom of Information Act, 'Sunshine Laws' (Part 3 of 10)

By Amy Tierney, TMCnet Web Editor


Editor’s Note: In its 10-part series highlighting governmental rules and regulations associated with the management and storage of electronic communications, TMCnet recently featured a story on the SEC Investment Advisers Act of 1940, a law that requires provisions to secure, manage and archive electronic communications, such as corporate e-mail, to protect customers from possible fraud.
This week, TMCnet takes a look at the so-called “Open Records,” or Freedom of Information Act and state “Sunshine Laws,” which govern public access to governmental records. While there are no specific guidelines regulating the storage of data, organizations must deliver requested material within a 10-day period. The story below discusses how 123Together.com, a leading provider of hosted business services, can help organizations easily fulfill Freedom of Information Act requests with its GuardDoc Hosted E-mail Archiving Solution.
 When it comes to public access of information, the federal government and most state governments have long established Freedom of Information, or “Open Records” laws. The intention of the laws is to give people access to the activities of government agencies and other officials.
Unlike other regulations, the law doesn’t specify how long organizations must retain their e-mail messages. But agencies’ IT departments must adhere to the information request within 10 days of its receipt. And without an e-mail archiving solution, firms often face the challenging, time-consuming and costly task of restoring backup tapes and manually searching across multiple mailboxes.
But organizations can ease the pain with GuardDoc Hosted E-mail Archiving Service from Burlington, Mass.-based 123Together.com, a provider of hosted business services. The company’s service helps government agencies implement hosted e-mail archiving solutions that ensure their compliance with the requirements of Freedom of Information Act and “Open Records” laws. With the solutions’ ability to capture and store all e-mail messages, full text indexing of e-mails and attachments, immediate search and quick retrieval, FOI requests can be easily fulfilled even by businesses with no, or limited IT resources, company officials said. 
 With the help of GuardDoc Hosted E-mail Archiving Service, customers can access data around the clock using company’s intuitive web-based interface, and easily search e-mail and export results in a number of different file formats including .pst, text, .pdf, mime, among others.
In addition, 123Together.com’s (News - Alert) small monthly subscription price for GuardDoc hosted archiving service includes unlimited e-mail storage at no additional cost, thus eliminating the need to adhere to mailbox size quotas and allowing customers to still keep all of their e-mails, company officials said. The account can be easily configured and managed with the web-based administrative console, and company provides around-the-clock, live, U.S.-based technical support to all users of this and other hosted business services provided by 123Together.com.
A 30-day, no obligation trial is available on 123Together.com’s Web site.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney



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