$15 million for Palin's emails


That sounds extremely excessive to me. Aren’t these public documents? I believe the article mentions that the state is allowed to charge for the labor involved to produce requested documents, but $15 million just sounds crazy to me.

I get the majority of my online news from MSNBC. Is this a reputable source, or is it considered biased? If this cite isn’t considered valid I can see if I can find it on other news sources.

It’s probably one of those no-bid-contracts Republicans have gotten so fond of lately. Those little two man outfits with a minimal web presence and a bogus Virginia street address can be darned expensive to find.

If they are running Outlook on the desktops, as stated in the article, then I would assume they are running Exchange on the back end. I administer Exchange systems and call bullshit on this price tag and the amount of labor involved. Sounds like they need some better tools.

You forget the cost of the hundreds of lawyers repeatedly scrutinizing every word of every message for any remotely plausable excuse not to release it.

Then there is the cost of photocopying is such a way that the document is almost legible.

They’re under no obligation to release any of it, except to courts or legislators, neither of which will be charged more than a few dollars per page plus a “research fee” which would be less than a thousand dollars.

She’s not billing them for legal services; she’s just saying “no” without technically saying no.

Not so sure of that

In Colorado, government employee emails are considered public information. I work for one such government. We had to dig through months and months of backup tapes and retrieve all emails between two people.

It was enough of a pain in the ass to make us change policy. We now only keep 1 month of email backups. ‘Deleted’ emails in individual mail boxes are purged weekly. It was a big change.

I believe the article states that the emails are public records. I thought that meant that they were available to anyone who asked for them (but obviously for a sizable fee).

Some of them are from when state business was conducted via personal email accounts, and if you have a fast and easy way to download an entire folder from a Yahoo Mail account I’d like to hear it.

I will downlaod every active Doper’s Yahoo email folder for the low low price of $7.5 million.

I thought using personal Yahoo email for state business was a no-no. I may have been misinformed though. Despite that, if it is the case that personal email was used for state business, then those email should be forwarded to the state’s email system and made available at no cost to the public.

My fault. I didn’t read the article- just assumed they were talking about the Yahoo! emails from the Troopergate investigation.

Still, note that the $15 million price tag is for the emails of all 16,000 employees of the State of Alaska, not just the Governor.

And they said the total data size was almost a terabyte.

Not a terabyte!!! Heavens no!!!

While that is a substantial email store, it is not unheard of. Information Stores are databases. Either getting third party tools, or writing your own, to query Exchange DBs is not a $15,000,000.00 task. I still believe that the price is ridiculous and it sounds as though the state needs better IT tools in place. But I can understand if the State of Alaska was not prepared for the number of requests they are undoubtedly receiving. Keeping that in mind I understand a delay in gathering the information and presenting to the person requesting it. My only problem that I’ve had is with the price tag associated with the task.

Why would anybody want all the emails of all the employees? Aren’t the in and out boxes of the pertinent people enough?

This is absurd. Everything is queryable on the back end. Give me a SAN, a deck of tape drives, some database tools, a couple of techs, and a week’s worth of pizza and Mountain Dew, and I’ll give you the freakin’ emails.

Wow, that sounds like an excellent solution to the problem—let’s just eliminate backups. Sure hope the state of Colorado never needs to find out what was in those old emails. So much for accountability.

While that cost is certainly egregiously high, I think you guys don’t realize there is a whole industry around this and that costs are frequently very high due to a host of specific issues surrounding the legal review process.

It’s not so simple as you think. Emails can easily be dumped from exchange or lotus notes, sure… but then they have to be loaded into some sort of application that will process the email data (including attachments) into a format that can be assigned to a squadron of lawyers who need to review and redact the files. Before they can start, the data has to have text extracted and indexed for searching, and any files that need redactions applied need to be converted to a safe format for doing so (TIFF or pdf, usually). There are specialized electronic discovery systems and services that do all of this stuff, but they tend to be very expensive.

Of course the real cost here is the specialized needs of the legal profession, which if you think about it, is always very high. If they simply wanted to dump the emails directly, sure, that’s easy. Getting them all reviewed and redacted in time, that’s a pain in the ass and companies routinely pay millions of dollars for that.

This is actually a county government within the state. But I would have to agree with you.

This being the same day Obama has added $15 million to an appropriations bill marked “Communications (and by communications, I’m talking S____ P_____'s emails”). Hmmm.

Was anyone else pleasantly surprised to discover that Palin can use email?