January 2017 Email Metadata (Information Technology, Massachusetts)

Matt Chapman - Free Our Info, NFP filed this request with the Information Technology, Massachusetts of Boston, MA.
Due Sept. 21, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Matt Chapman - Free Our Info, NFP


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

For all accounts managed by your department, please provide me the following information for all emails sent during January, 2017:

1. From address
2. To address
3. bcc addresses
4. cc addresses
5. Time
6. Date

Please note that I am not requesting the contents of each email.

I am more than happy to provide documentation or tips for extracting this information from your mail server if needed. Documentation that I have available include methods using excel, powershell, msaccess, Office 365 eDiscovery tools, and the direct extraction from an exchange database using forensic analysis tools.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matt Chapman

From: Information Technology, Massachusetts

Good Morning Matt:

The City of Boston has received your request for records. I have discussed
this request with the Digital Information and Technology department
(DoIT). The records you request are voluminous and producing the records
would be extremely difficult. I ask that you consider narrowing your
request. For example, if you seek metadata for a particular email address
it would be more likely that the City could promptly provide responsive
information.

I await your reply.

Yours truly,

Shawn A. Williams, Esq.

Director of Public Records

Records Access Officer

City of Boston

1 City Hall Plaza, Room 615

Boston, MA 02201

publicrecords@boston.gov

From: Matt Chapman - Free Our Info, NFP

Thank you for your email. Could you please let me know how the records would be produced? While I understand that the records are voluminous, the production of the records are likely not as difficult as you may initially think. Please let me know if you would like any documentation, or if you would like any recommendations for reducing the required work.

Thanks -
Matt Chapman
Free Our Info, NFP

From: Information Technology, Massachusetts

Good Morning Matt:

It is my understanding that fulfilling the request would indeed be
extremely difficult. I have discussed your request with the personnel in
the Department of Innovation and Technology; that department asked me to
reach out and request that you narrow your request.

Yours truly,

Shawn A. Williams, Esq.

Director of Public Records

Records Access Officer

City of Boston

1 City Hall Plaza, Room 615

Boston, MA 02201

publicrecords@boston.gov

From: Matt Chapman - Free Our Info, NFP

Could you provide me with their method for extracting the records responsive to this request? I might be able to offer tips or documentation.

Also, does the IT department have ediscovery tools? Perhaps they could use those, as they come included with most modern email systems' offerings.

Alternatively, would it be possible to reach out to Microsoft directly through your IT contracts? I am almost certain that they can provide methodologies, software, or documentation.

I only suggest the above because other agencies from cities of similar size have been able to fulfill this request with either little, or no difficulty. If I am mistaken in my understanding of the difficulties, I would be very interested in understanding why!

Kindly,
Matt Chapman
Free Our Info, NFP

From: Information Technology, Massachusetts

Good Morning Matt:

After conferring with the Department of Innovation and Technology it has
been determined that your request is overly-broad and it is not possible to
provide a response. For the month in question there were over 1,000,000
emails; creating a log of the metadata from these emails is not possible.

If you wish to narrow your request please let me know.

Yours truly,

Shawn A. Williams, Esq.

Director of Public Records

Records Access Officer

City of Boston

1 City Hall Plaza, Room 615

Boston, MA 02201

publicrecords@boston.gov

From: Matt Chapman - Free Our Info, NFP

Could you explain in further detail why it's not possible? Many departments and agencies throughout the US have been successful in completing this request - some of which had over six million.

Files

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