December 16, 2014—The Obama Administration ended up pitting efficiency against transparency when it ordered federal agencies to streamline email management systems by 2016.
Both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have found an opportunity to just delete most emails they have stored, though they claim different reasons. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) just approved the CIA’s request to delete emails of all employees who’ve been off the payroll for at least three years, plus emails seven years old or older with exceptions for 22 top offices in the agency. NARA also approved DHS’s request to delete emails that “don’t contain any research significance.”
NARA’s approvals are not the final say before any action is taken, however. 22 senators are taking up opposition to the CIA’s request in particular.
From the article at Engadget:
Led by California Senator Dianne Fenstein, the group sent NARA a letter detailing why they want the Archives to reconsider its tentative approval of the CIA’s proposal. Based on what was written there, the senators seem concerned that the agency might use that opportunity to expunge any important correspondence or materials (say, any evidence of dubious activities) not filed as a permanent record.
While NARA has already tentatively approved these proposals, they’re still not a done deal. They’re both open for public comments, which means you can have your voice heard by contacting NARA via email or through its website.
Don’t worry—while the government is deleting its emails, it’s still reading yours courtesy of NSA spying.
What do you think will happen if these new practices for deleting emails are adopted?