The Oracle Australia and New Zealand Middleware and Technology Blog.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Turnbull's Fake Email

Hi all

There's been some interesting activity here in Australia this week surrounding an alleged email that purports to implicate the government in allegations of favouritism in assistance being offered to a car-dealer by the prime-minister's office. After a brief investigation, the Australian Federal Police announced that they had 'found' the email and identified it as a fake.

Interestingly enough, a few years ago, things would have been very different! Firstly, we wouldn't have been talking about an email but about a printed document. Secondly, locating and identifying the document as a fake would not have been as easy. With a physical document, creating a forgery can be achieved relatively simply and assuring its authenticity would be an expensive process. In the past few years, we've witnessed changes in the way that any organisation manages its information and with the quite-recent BAT and C7 cases here in Australia - now have changes coming through the court-system in the manner of practice notes leading to cheaper and easier eDiscovery activities and processes.

The government departments concerned in this case probably utilise a number of business-tools that made the discovery and identification of the email a quick and easy process and to be brutally honest, the perpetrators involved in this really should have known better. You simply cannot, today (and without some deep, deep, deep knowledge of the underlying systems) create a document and pass it off as something it isn't!

Whatever happens in the coming weeks - one thing's for sure, the real winner in this case is eDiscovery and the tools that support the processes required! I just would not want to be in Godwin Grech's shoes at the moment......


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, my understanding is that the case against Mr Turnbull centres around the swiftness of his attack without validating the authenticity of the email.

In his defence, it has been said that this particular source of leaks has previously proven very reliable .

In this case, I think that in addition to eDiscovery that Information Rights Management (IRM) should be a big winner.

This is just one high profile (and relatively harmless, in retrospect) instance of information leakage. We'll see even greater priority on the proactive protection of IP and Confidential Information across all industries moving forward.