With Exchange 2010, Microsoft added a new feature for legal holds that was sorely missing in previous versions of Exchange. It makes Exchange more manageable for legal discovery.
Microsoft took an unusual tack when designing the legal hold. It chose to leverage the Deleted Items folder. For Exchange 2010 the Deleted Items folder and its underlying behavior was completely re-designed, and it is now called “Dumpster 2.0.” Dumpster 2.0 can be configured by the admin to block email from ever leaving a mailbox–hence it performs as a legal hold. Email is only permanently removed from a mailbox when the admin says so. Dumpster 2.0 functions the same for both the primary and archive mailboxes.
Managing legal holds in this way–at the mailbox level–has some potential short comings:
- Normal practice is to manage legal holds for email on a per item basis, not on a per-mailbox basis
- Mailbox level legal holds allow users to alter email content and properties. However, email that is on legal hold must remain 100% original no alterations allowed
By managing legal holds at the mailbox level, Microsoft facilitates questions about email authenticity, which could cause fines or penalties in a law court. Microsoft is no doubt well aware of this issue and will likely introduce a more robust solution for managing email legal holds in a future release.
Bob Spurzem – In addition to his role as Ferris analyst, Bob is director of product marketing at Iron Mountain Digital Division, which was recently purchased by Autonomy.