On 28 March 2012 the European Commission (EC) imposed another fine for obstruction of one of its “inspections” (dawn raids). This was the first fine for obstructing the EC’s access to emails during a dawn raid. The fine, set at EUR2.5 million, concerned a raid that took place in 2009 at the premises of an energy company in the Czech Republic. At the start of the raid, the EC blocked access to email accounts of certain key personnel by setting new passwords known only to the EC staff. However, on the second day of the raid, the staff found that the password for one account had been modified in order to allow the account holder to have access. Further, on the third day of the raid, the staff discovered that one of the employees had requested the company’s IT department to divert all emails arriving in certain blocked accounts away from those accounts to a server. The case provides a reminder that IT issues must be carefully handled during a raid and that compliance training needs to cover this issue in detail. The EC takes obstruction issues very seriously indeed and is concerned about the ability of companies rapidly to modify or delete information stored in IT systems.
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Compliance warning: handle IT issues carefully during a dawn raid
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Cisco Systems, Inc