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As an SEC-regulated company, it had been saving e-mail to optical platters. At a rate of about 200,000 e-mails per week and with only 5.2GB per platter, "we were filling it up pretty fast," Lowe says.
WORM tape critics contend that the media doesn't have the 20 plus-year longevity of optical. That didn't worry Lowe because the firm is only required to keep e-mails for three years. After that point, "anything we keep over that becomes a liability," he says, and the media is physically destroyed.
Instead, "the biggest struggle we have is the SEC accepting the media and the process," Lowe says. An SEC interpretation issued this spring, however, seems to clear the way for WORM tape.
This was first published in September 2003