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Scrutinize This

6:15 PM -- I'm coming down with a case of Filtering Fatigue.

Vendors, you see, are busy beating the drum that customers open themselves to unspeakable risk (or legal penalties and fines) by not scrutinizing every outgoing email or instant message for proprietary, obscene, or personal content. (See Jury's Out on Email Scrutiny.)

Normally, we shy away from writeups of vendor-sponsored surveys and their highly predictable findings. ("More than half of our customers found an actual business case for our product!") But our reporter found enough of the other side of the story that it was worth pursuing beyond the press release.

So why the fatigue? It was just a few short weeks ago that vendors were jumping all over the online indiscretions of elected officials. We got deluged with pitches for how such shenanigans could have been prevented with Our Product, and counter-claims that the vast majority of filters would have missed the "What are you wearing?" IMs that threatened the moral fabric of our country.

In fairness, we've been beating the drum a bit more loudly of late at Byte and Switch over new developments in e-discovery and emerging frameworks like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (See Regulators Rip Records Managers and FRCP Tip Sheet.) The underlying themes that emerge are a combination of "You better know what's traversing your system," and "You damn well better know where it's all been stored."

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