Why is News International Changing its Email System Now?

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News International are in the midst of one of the biggest scandals in media history, with allegations it ordered the hacking of the phone and e-mail accounts of missing children, Royalty and Prime Minister’s, but it’s just a complete coincidence that the very same week that the News of the World went under that management inform their employees that a change in e-mail operating systems will curtail access to all e-mails over one year old. Well that’s the likely story being offered by Simon Greenberg, Director of Corporate Affairs at News International.

Last week, as the News of the World went into freefall, Dublin based News International staff were called in for meetings with Information Technology experts from the organisations Wapping headquarters.

The staff were told how the organisations email platform, Microsoft Outlook was changing to the free Google Mail system, staff were also informed of how they would no longer be able to access mail sent from or received on their old accounts before a certain cut off point – believed to be 12 months prior to when the change takes place.

When News Internationals Dublin office were contacted earlier this afternoon the issue was bounced across to London were just after six o’clock I managed to get through to an exasperated Simon Greenberg, Director of Corporate Affairs at News International, who declared the issue a ‘non-story’, stating it was a pan organisation switch to Google Mail and that it had ‘nothing to do with the current situation’ at News International.

When he was pressed on the issue of whether Journalists could access e-mails sent or received from their old Microsoft Outlook accounts, after the switch, he refused to comment, continually stating that it was an “organisation wide move” and that it was a “non-story” refusing to answer whether e-mail’s from the time the various accounts were created to the present day could all be accessed equally.

Mr Greensburg explained that he was a very busy man before abruptly ending our two minute chat.

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2 Responses

  1. Roy H W Johnston

    July 13, 2011 10:46 am

    This opens up the overall question of the legal status of electronic archiving. Is every organisation free to expunge its record? What will future historians access?