On Wednesday, the inspector general of the Department of State issued a scathing report on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private mail server during her tenure there, further securing the episode's legacy as perhaps the most historic case of "shadow IT" ever.
The corporate counsel had the story spiked because it exposed a Sarbanes-Oxley breach—not exposed by me, but by the company's failure to have a backup system.
Often, people use shadow IT at work because of a lack of official IT resources to support a need.
Looking at the government sector, shadow IT has constantly gotten people in trouble for a host of other reasons: federal records laws, Federal Information Security Management Act FISMA violations, and privacy violations.
And lest we forget, well before Clinton came to the State Department, members of the George W. Bush administration used a private e-mail server at gwb43.com run and paid for by the Republican National Committee—at least 88 accounts were set up for Bush administration officials in order to bypass the official White House e-mail system and avoid the regulations around presidential record retention, the Federal Records Act, and the Hatch Act which bans the use of government e-mail accounts for political purposes, among other things .
Besides, Clinton's excuse basically boils down to this: other people broke the rules, so she should have been allowed to as well.