Who is to blame for the missing emails: Gov. Scott’s staff or Harris Media?

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The New Times‘ Matt Hendley picks up where I left off…trying to get to the bottom of who is at fault for the missing emails from Gov. Rick Scott’s transition period:

The man who was Scott’s attorney during his transition period as governor-elect says members of Scott’s staff simply didn’t understand that the emails would be deleted when they closed their account with the private hosting company, Rackspace.

Rackspace has an agreement customers must sign or accept to when they purchase the company’s services. Among those conditions are statements that make it very clear that if you don’t ask for emails to be archived, they’ll be deleted, and even recommends archiving services for customers with “regulatory requirements”:

5.3 We do not promise to backup your data unless you have purchased backup services.  If you purchase backup services, we do not promise to retain the data backup for longer than the agreed data retention period.

5.5 Certain Rackspace Services are designed to help you comply with various regulatory requirements that may be applicable to you.  However, you are responsible for understanding the regulatory requirements applicable to your business and for selecting and using those Services in a manner that complies with the applicable requirements.

Well, is ignoring those terms the fault of Scott’s staff, or the fault of Harris Media, the company the Times says was hired to handle online communication for the governor’s transition team that actually held the contract with Rackspace?

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.