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Sarah Palin is always keen to talk about open and transparent government, indeed it was one of the main focal points of her campaign when she ran for the office of Governor in Alaska. Of course, she continues to talk the transparency talk now that the campaign has ramped up a notch or three to Presidential level. But some are asking with increasing urgency if Palin can actually walk the walk.

Especially considering the whole hidden email debate that has raged ever since the Palin Yahoo webmail account was hacked. With emails coming from gov.palin@yahoo.com with subjects such as 'Court of Appeals Nominations' amongst those revealed, it is hardly surprising that questions are being asked as to just how open Palin is being.

Now a state judge in Alaska has ordered Palin to ensure that the contents of that account are preserved for the public record. And, of course, Palin is only too happy to oblige.

So, how much might it cost if you wanted to exercise your right to access an email or two? The answer is more than you would expect. According to the Office of the Alaska Governor, the cost will be $960.31 to search an employee's email account, plus the 10 cents for every sheet of paper used as the office cannot apparently provide copies of electronic mail, er, electronically.

The figure is based upon it taking six hours for a programmer, charged at $73.87 per hour, to compile the email for a single employee. Oh, plus an additional two hours for security checks. Not forgetting the other five hours to do a keyword search for the person requesting the documents.

Do they not have some kind of enterprise search system in place? Most organizations can rustle up an email history of an employee in about 5 minutes flat and that would include printing it out and licking the stamp for the envelope. Of course, that is nonsense. Most organizations would simply email the archive to the person requesting it, suitably encrypted of course, so knocking another minute or two off the total time.

In another odd twist of events, Palin's office would appear to be unable to honor any such public record email requests until November 17th which just happens to be well after the nation votes in the Presidential election.

Funny that...

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by infotechland
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Yea, funny how that works. I write about content management and related issues including email archiving for Fierce Content Management and funnily enough my Editor's Corner this past week was about email archiving. Turns out a study has found that many companies don't understand the difference between email archiving and backup even though they are legally obligated under eDiscovery rules in the US to have an archiving plan in place.

It may truly be that Palin's office is just incompetent, or it may be that they are trying to make it as difficult as possible. I wonder if the transparent governor of Alaska supports a Freedom of Information Act, which if I'm not mistaken would require the government to give those public emails to anyone who made an official request at no cost to the requestor.

You can read my Ed. Corner here:
http://www.fiercecontentmanagement.com/

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No, if you use FOIA they can charge you reasonable fees for materials and manpower.

I'm tired of all this election crap, I can't wait for it to be over. Everyone is always bashing palin. So what she used a personal email account for some business. I have a government email address, but I use my personal one a lot of times. This is like obama's camp saying palin doesn't have any federal government experience and therefor should not be VP, but he neglects the face that he has only spent around 3 months of his career as a Senator NOT campaigning.

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