Web Archiving News: ESI Metadata Required in Courts

| May 9 2012

In one of our more popular blog posts of 2011, I discuss how and where a web archive fits into <a title="Where Does a Web Archive Fit Into the E-Discovery Reference Model?" href="http://www.hanzoarchives.com/where-does-a-web-archive-fit-into-the-e-discovery-reference-model/">EDRM</a> (eDiscovery Reference Model.) One key point made is the necessity of capturing and preserving web and social media content in native format. The reason for this is the collection of the "seen" (rich media, blog posts, tweets, intranet wiki content, etc...) and "unseen" (metadata, http protocol, hashes, links or embedded content, intranet wiki admin pages, etc...), which only maintain integrity and authenticity when captured and stored in native format.

At the time I wrote the original post, the understanding of the important role native format web archiving plays in eDiscovery remained limited to the circle of early adopters. Fast forward to today, and the understanding has expanded and pushed native format archiving into the realm of necessity. In this recent Law.com article, "<a href="http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1335724409936&amp;slreturn=20130515074846">Metadata Meets Facebook E-Discovery,</a>" author Mark A. Berman cites several cases in which metadata is being required for presentation along with its "seen" ESI (electronically stored information.) Crucially, metadata proves authenticity and that no electronic files were altered, which came into question in the first case Berman mentions, regarding email tampering. When metadata is not present, proving that emails and web and social media content contain all the original elements and files is impossible.

Throughout the remainder of Berman's article, there are numerous instances where metadata is requested to be included along with social media content, because the courts don't look at web and social media content as being different than other ESI. Technical limitations on this are no longer a valid excuse! This is why Hanzo Archives' technology archives web and social media content in native format.

A case in point of what happens when companies don't have active archiving policies is outlined in a <a title="Why and How to Archive Web and Social Media Content" href="http://www.hanzoarchives.com/why-and-how-to-archive-web-and-social-media-content/">post we published last November</a>.

With interactive web content, business social networks and collaborative web technologies continuing their fast evolution, its no wonder native format web archiving is becoming more common place across all industries worldwide.

Have you thought about how your company would respond to electronic eDiscovery? It seems like a good time to do so.

Hanzo Archives provides proactive web and social media archiving to some of the worlds greatest organizations. Our technology archives websites, wikis, business social media, and public social media at scale and in native format.

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