Thesis: Data Mining Email for Compliance (Using Enron as an Example)

Posted by K Krasnow Waterman on Sat, Jun 17, 2006 @ 11:06 AM
I finished my thesis on May 15, 2006.  Here's the abstract: 

"I propose the creation of a real-time compliance “bot” – software to momentarily pause
each employee’s email at the moment of sending and to electronically assess whether that
email is likely to create liability or unanticipated expense for the corporation. My thesis
describes the confluence of historical events making such a product necessary and
desirable – increase in corporate regulation, explosive growth of email, acceptance of
email as evidence in litigation. The cautionary tale of Enron provides the backdrop for the
thesis. The government released hundreds of thousands of Enron management emails and
they have become research fodder for those interested in “Knowledge Discovery,” a
computer science discipline that gleans meaningful information from data otherwise
indecipherable due to its sheer size. CEO’s and other C-level corporate managers are my
intended audience, so I have attempted to counter the weightiness of the technical topics by
focusing on the search for readily understandable management headaches such as the loss
of productivity due to high participation in the fantasy football pool or the potential for
dirty jokes to become evidence in an employment law claim."

If you would like a copy of my thesis (described below) please send me an email at


Topics: technology implementing law, technology for lawyers, technology for business managers