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In Sarbanes-Oxley, does anyone know why the figure of 7 years was chosen as the data retention period (and not, say, 6 or 8 years)?

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This is not really a legal question; it's more a question about the political process to finalize the law or one about technical implementations of the act's requirements. Try

https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/33-8180.htm

http://www.soxlaw.com/

http://www.sarbanes-oxley-forum.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=10121

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