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Stop That Email!

What if you could ensure that no one in your company would ever send problem email? A growing number of companies are looking to do just that with software that sifts email, IM, and BlackBerry missives before they create legal or regulatory exposure.

"Those Foley emails should never have seen the light of day!" quips Michael Rothschild, senior director of product marketing at one firm, Orchestria, that offers such software.

Indeed, if Orchestria had been installed on House of Representatives laptops, perhaps those emails wouldn't have gotten out. Orchestria's product, called the Active Policy Management platform, comes with modules designed to find email that contains obscene or inappropriate words or references. If anyone sends out a sexually oriented message, they get a popup message alerting them to fix it. If they persist, the email can be blocked.

Orchestria's software deals with a lot more than dirty words, though. It also nabs emails with a variety of red flags denoting violation of confidentiality rules and official regulations like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and others.

For example, if a financial analyst forwards a report to a client without the proper disclaimer at the end of the message, it's a no-go. Likewise, the software can peer into attachments and find phrases like "preliminary results" or "for internal use only" that indicate the message is questionable.

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