India's HCL says News International deleted mail

The outsourcer said another contractor was responsible for archived e-mails

News International directed service providers contracted to maintain its e-mail system to delete some messages, according to Indian outsourcer HCL Technologies in a letter to the Home Affairs Committee of the U.K. Parliament.

News International is the U.K. publishing division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. that has been embroiled in a scandal involving reporters accessing voicemail accounts of crime victims and members of the Royal family, among others.

HCL was at times asked to work on the deletions with another vendor who was responsible for the e-mail archival system where the bulk of old e-mails is kept, and also for deletions and restoration configurations, according to the letter. As a remote infrastructure services provider to News International, HCL's services were mainly related to the live e-mail system, and such services do not require or provide for the storing of any e-mail data by HCL.

HCL was responding through its solicitors, Stuart Benson and Company, to a letter last month from Keith Vaz, member of Parliament and chairman of the home affairs committee of the U.K. Parliament that is investigating the scandal.

HCL said it was able to identify nine instances of discussion on e-mail deletions all of which occurred between April 2010 and July 2011.

In September 2010, for example, News International requested HCL to coordinate with the third-party vendor for deletion of e-mails from the e-mail archival system, to stabilize the system and make the archive of a more manageable size and number of years.

The letter did not say whether HCL cooperated with the specific request, but the solicitor said that the issue of deletions arose from time to time during the course of the contract. "I do however wish to emphasize that my client is aware of nothing which appears abnormal, untoward or inconsistent with its contractual role," the solicitor Stuart Benson said.

In January 2011, News International wanted to know from HCL about its ability to "truncate a particular database" in the e-mail archival system. HCL said it answered in the negative, and suggested assistance from the third-party vendor.

Vaz wrote to HCL last month asking for information on whether News International currently holds or has ever held a contract with HCL, whether HCL holds e-mails for News International within its storage facilities in India, and if News International has ever requested HCL to delete any of the e-mails.

The charge about the destruction of data by HCL at its facility in Chennai in south India was first made in Parliament in early July. Allegations surfaced that managers at News International asked HCL to delete e-mails related to accessing phone records.

HCL, a leading Indian outsourcer, however, said that it does not and never stored any data in India or anywhere else in the world for News International, and therefore the question of deleting e-mails data held by it did not arise. This stand was reiterated by the company's CEO and vice-chairman, Vineet Nayar, in an earnings call last week. The company entered into a contract with News International in 2009, he added.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags outsourcingservicesHCL TechnologiesNews International

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?