A federal court has given White House officials three days to explain why they should not be required to make copies of all e-mails on computers in the Executive Office of the President.

In a three-page order Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola expresses concern that a large volume of electronic messages may be missing from White House computer servers. That's the allegation made by two private groups that are suing the White House.

Facciola's proposal would require the White House to make copies of all e-mails from the period of March 2003 to October 2005.