Humboldt County Response to Email Request is Pathetic

from Lost Coast Outpost:

 “the county’s computer infrastructure “is unable to reduce a computer search to the subject line containing the word ‘HELP’.”

http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/may/4/document-dump-humboldt-herald/

I am sorry but that is so pathetic (if it is true), I can do that easily in my FREE GMail account.

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4 Responses to “Humboldt County Response to Email Request is Pathetic”

  1. Any email client does this. I think even Pegasus Mail from the 90s does this. It’s trivial to search one man’s mailbox.

    However, the ability to centrally search all county email boxes for a given text might be a tall order for some older email systems.

  2. Good point, I was thinking only of an individual mail account, not an entire system.

    Still, I think in any up to date email systme this should be trivial. Is the county system in house IT or outsourced?

    I mean, if the system can’t be searched what are the reasons for having record retention laws? Maybe they should just do an online text dump of all county emails and let us search experts go to work on them.

    have a peaceful day,
    Billl

  3. Missed this response.

    Yes, it’s still weak. I don’t know what the county has but I’d bet it’s older than the hills. You do have to wonder what’s the point of records retention laws if those records cannot be accessed in a meaningful way.

    I’m not excusing them, but I do bet they run something older than the hills that’s missing out on the last decade or so in advancements to enterprise email servers.

    I’m more concerned about the fact that they apparently don’t know how to redact documents properly. That’s a severe breach of privacy.

  4. The person(s) doing the redaction may have an agenda that is advanced by questionable redactions. I’m not making any accusations but just stating a possibility. There is an element of deniability inherent.

    Also I can’t help but notice that the county’s response is rather coy in saying it can’t retrieve HELP in the subject line. The response almost says (it implies) that if you had made a better search query then we could have done it. Kind of calling the requesters dummies. Or maybe its my imagination.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

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