Since the advent of the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) in 2006, e-mail archiving – and records retention in general – has received ample attention from media and practitioners alike. However, this focus detracts from the primary aim of the FRCP, which is the amendment of processes for e-discovery. IT professionals should familiarize themselves with the concept of e-discovery and its definitions before tackling archiving.
Electronic discovery (e-discovery) refers to the process of searching, locating, and retrieving data for the purpose of using the “discovered” information as evidence in a civil or criminal court case. E-Discovery can be carried out on corporate computers, networks, personal PCs, and other devices as dictated by a court order. Data that can be searched includes text files, spreadsheets, databases, software applications, calendars, Web sites, media files, and e-mail.