“Nonetheless, out of the abundance of caution, the Court will order an additional preservation step to minimize the risk of any inadvertent loss of potentially responsive emails. Specifically, the Court will order the individuals to copy any emails from the relevant time period in any private email accounts that might contain responsive materials onto portable thumb drives, to be kept in the individuals’ personal possessions,” the judge added. “Copying the emails to a physical drive will minimize the risk that any responsive email might be inadvertently deleted.”
Moss acted in a FOIA suit Judicial Watch filed seeking all private-account emails the four officials handled during a two-year period from 2013 to 2015. While most DHS employees were barred from accessing email on official computers, the four officials and others had exemptions that permitted such access.