The Enron email archive is a corpus of more than 500,00 emails, written between 158 senior executives of the Enron corporation during the last years of the company’s operation. In March of 2003, following revelations of Enron’s spectacularly corrupt business practices and subsequent demise, these emails were deemed public domain and released online by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This was the first release of an email database of this size, and it remains one of the only large public domain collections easily accessible online. As Finn Brunton, author of Spam: A Shadow History of the Internet, observes "The FERC had thus unintentionally produced a remarkable object: the public and private mailing activities of 158 people in the upper echelons of a major corporation, frozen in place like the ruins of Pompeii for future researchers."
The corpus has since become a uniquely valuable linguistic resource for computer scientists who have used it to train spam filters and other natural language machine learning systems. This dataset, which was generated by a group of mostly white male corporate criminals, is in our lives in ways we don’t understand and haven’t considered.