[IP] Microsoft told to explain e-mail deletion memos

dave at farber.net dave at farber.net
Fri May 21 04:43:00 PDT 2004

...... Forwarded Message .......
From: Barry Ritholtz <ritholtz at optonline.net>
To: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1969 19:44:02 -0500
Subj: Microsoft told to explain e-mail deletion memos


This is an enormous development, given the history of all the
litigation against Microsoft.

The Judge's order implies a concern over a very conscious decision by
the software giant to eliminate incriminating emails -- after receiving
a judicial order to archive all of them during the Anti-Trust case.

Additionally, being ordered to search the legal department's archive
suggests (in my biased opinion) that because of the affirmative actions
of the company in ordering email destruction, they are not able to hide
behind Attorney-Client privilege. Further, this implies that some
Microsoft employees perjured themselves during prior sworn testimony.

As previously disclosed, I am on the Board of Burst, and have
absolutely no objectivity whatsoever. But read the report yourself, and
reach your own conclusion.

Barry L. Ritholtz
Market Strategist
Maxim Group
britholtz at maximgrp.com
(212) 895-3614


Microsoft told to explain e-mail deletion memos

Friday, May 21, 2004

A federal judge ordered Microsoft Corp. yesterday to search a company
computer to help explain why Vice President James Allchin told
employees in 2000 to eliminate e-mails.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Baltimore issued the order in
an antitrust and patent suit by Burst.com Inc., which has accused
Microsoft of stealing its technology for broadcasting sound and video
over the Internet at high speeds. Burst.com charges that Microsoft
destroyed e-mails that may help the smaller rival win its case.

Motz told the company to search a legal department computer for any
evidence that Microsoft lawyers advised Allchin and others to adopt a
policy of scrapping e-mails. A written policy circulated in 1997 by
company computer operators advised employees not to save e-mails for
more than 30 days "due to legal issues."

"I want to know as much as I can how 'due to legal issues' got in
there," Motz told Microsoft lawyer John Treece at a hearing yesterday.
"I want to know who talked to Mr. Allchin from the legal department
before the e-mail was sent and what was said."

Motz didn't accept Microsoft's explanation that the information
technology department inserted the words in the company policy
statement to make it easier to persuade employees to delete e-mails
after 30 days to save computer memory space. "It may be true, but it
doesn't have the ring of truth to me," the judge said. Allchin's Jan.
23, 2000, e-mail said: "do not archive your mail. 30 days." Allchin
told employees, "This is not something that you get to decide. This is

You are subscribed as rah at shipwright.com
To manage your subscription, go to

Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/

--- end forwarded text

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list