The man who used to run Google, Eric Schmidt, deleted almost every email immediately after reading it. His successor, Larry Page is an outspoken proponent of hoarding email. In whose inbox do you think the feds recently found incriminating evidence?
If you guessed Page, you are correct. You may have heard that last week Google paid $500 million to settle Justice Department charges that it knowing showed ads for illegal prescription drug transactions. Well, today it was revealed that this settlement came about because federal "prosecutors found internal emails and documents that, they say, show Mr. Page was aware of the allegedly illicit ad sales," according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal went on to refer to emails "by Mr. Page," implying he wrote at least some of the evidence being used against him.
Page certainly helped encourage the practice of email retention. "Gmail solves all of my communication needs," the Google co-founder said in 2004 when announcing Google's Gmail and its unprecedented 1GB quota. "It's fast and easy and has all the storage I need. " He was right: Gmail's a great — the best, actually — email reader precisely because it can store and quickly search all your old correspondence. It just so happens that those features happen to be incredibly helpful to people who want to make you pay very large fines. So try not to type anything illegal.
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