Enron Chiefs Hoisted by Their Own E-Mails

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2006-05-25 Print this article Print

Opinion: The Enron execs are officially guilty, and maybe one of the most important lessons learned from this scandal is how e-mail can come back to bite you.

So today Ken Lay and Jeff Skillings were were found guilty on all counts.

One of the great business lessons in this whole mess (aside from the value of being an honest rather than dishonest business executive) is how e-mail can come back to bite you.

Remember that as part of the legal proceedings, 1.5 million e-mails among Enron employees of all levels were made public and posted on the Web.

When those 1.5 million electronic missives were created you can be sure those writers and readers didn't think that one day their discussions about back room business dealings, hotel suites and visits to strip clubs would become part of the living Web. But were they wrong. For a revealing and humorous romp through the e-mail story, click on the Salon article here.

One lesson for the tech community, business executives and all those aspiring comic e-mail writers is: don't do it. Don't put anything in e-mail that you wouldn't feel comfortable having your mom read on the Web.

The threats of Elliot Spitzer and the SEC is nothing compared to wrath of an irate mom. If you are in the tech profession in your company, now is a good time to remind one and all that you need an up-to-date e-mail policy that is very specific on how long those e-mail records are meant to remain.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Hoisted by Their Own E-Mails

Since 1996, Eric Lundquist has been Editor in Chief of eWEEK, which includes domestic, international and online editions. As eWEEK's EIC, Lundquist oversees a staff of nearly 40 editors, reporters and Labs analysts covering product, services and companies in the high-technology community. He is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and user events and sits on numerous advisory boards. Eric writes the popular weekly column, 'Up Front,' and he is a confidant of eWEEK's Spencer F. Katt gossip columnist.

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