In a recent article published in The Nation, it revealed the improper use of a law meant for completely different purposes by by federal prosecutors. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was meant to provide authorities with tools to prevent criminal behavior by corporations. It was put into practice after the Enron meltdown when it was found out that executives or their servants following orders torn into shreds every document they could think of which may prove them guilty. The legislation’s goal was to stop companies from committing large fraud and then damaging the evidence of their conspiratorial criminality while investigations were under way.
As Hanni Fakhoury of the Electronic Frontiers Foundation put it, the government is saying:
“Don’t even think about deleting anything that may be harmful to you, because we may come after you at some point in the future for some unforeseen reason and we want to be able to have access to that data. And if we don’t have access to that data, we’re going to slap an obstruction charge that has as 20-year maximum on you.”