IT Compliance Advisor

Apr 1 2009   6:41PM GMT

EDiscovery.gov has launched: Will e-discovery be nationalized?

GuyPardon Guy Pardon Profile: GuyPardon

Have you been to Ediscovery.gov yet? Before you gasp, remember what day it is. If it’s April 1, it must be time for online jokes and hoaxes — check out TechCrunch’s list of April Fools jokes.

Compliance officers and infosec professionals will be especially amused by what Kurt Leafstrand at Clearwell Systems worked up: “Government launches bold new recovery effort.” Here’s the demo:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/cbCy2MG1nU0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Kurt and his compatriots put some time into this effort. Here’s the faux press release:

SEEKING NEW AVENUE FOR COST-CUTTING, GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES BOLD NEW RECOVERY EFFORT

WASHINGTON — Senior Administration officials today took the wraps off of their latest effort to stabilize the American economy: The nationalization of the electronic discovery industry. According to a senior official who declined to be identified, “Even before the beginning of the current turmoil, everyone acknowledged that electronic discovery costs were out of control. Now, with litigation accelerating and corporate earnings plummeting, something had to be done. Without this action, a significant number of leading American corporations would be in danger of shutting their doors due to the overwhelming burden of e-discovery.”

Effective immediately, all electronic discovery projects are being centralized under a single authority, the National Electronic Record Discovery Institute (NERDI). The Institute will be launching a nationwide electronic discovery portal on April 1, 2009 at www.ediscovery.gov. The site will build upon the recent success of the government’s economic recovery accountability site, www.recovery.gov. Said one Institute official, “Just drop the ‘r’ and insert a ‘dis’, and you get eDiscovery. It really is the next logical step in the government’s efforts to help the country in a time of profound need.”

Industry experts initially expressed skepticism about the government’s ability to make electronically discoverable information available in an efficient, expedient, and secure manner. Early plans had the government using the U.S. Postal Service and the network of I.R.S. tax return servicing centers as the logistical backbone for managing the collection and processing of documents. However, after negotiations with the National Security Agency, this step was eliminated from the process. Instead, all electronically-generated information in the United States will be instantly processed and made available through the ediscovery.gov site. Commented an NSA spokesman, “We have all the information anyway; why not make it easily accessible, instead of pretending it’s not here?” As for security, officials stated that “individuals can expect the same level of security and identify protection they’ve come to expect from their financial institutions and credit card companies, along with the additional protection and responsiveness they’ve come to expect from the Federal government.”

Nicely done, folks. We look forward to a briefing from NERDI later today, as we’ve heard a global NERDI initiative may be undertaken in 2010.

(Hat Tip: Gabe’s Guide, via The Posse List)

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