Skip to comments.White House: Computer hard drives tossed
Posted on 03/21/2008 7:37:36 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005.
The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed.
"When workstations are at the end of their lifecycle and retired ... the hard drives are generally sent offsite to another government entity for physical destruction," the White House said in a sworn declaration filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola.
It has been the goal of a White House Office of Administration "refresh program" to replace one-third of its workstations every year in the Executive Office of the President, according to the declaration.
Some, but not necessarily all, of the data on old hard drives is moved to new computer hard drives, the declaration added.
In proposing an e-mail recovery plan Tuesday, Facciola expressed concern that a large volume of electronic messages may be missing from White House computer servers, as two private groups that are suing the White House allege.
Facciola proposed the drastic approach of going to individual workstations of White House computer users after the White House disclosed in January that it recycled its computer backup tapes before October 2003. Recycling taping over existing data raises the possibility that any missing e-mails may not be recoverable.
At a House committee hearing last month, a computer expert who previously worked at the White House called the e-mail system "primitive" and said it was set up in a way that created a high risk that data would be lost from White House servers where it was being archived.
Under pressure to provide details about its computer system, the White House told the congressional committee that it never completed work that began in 2003 on a planned records management and e-mail archiving system. The White House canceled the project in late 2006 and says it is still working on a new version.
In the absence of a permanent archiving system, the White House has been archiving e-mails on White House servers since early in the administration.
The White House says it does not know if any e-mails are missing, but is looking into the matter.
It would be costly and time-consuming for the White House to institute an e-mail retrieval program that entails pulling data off each individual workstation, the court papers filed Friday state.
It might be against the law to destroy them - depending on the contents.
Boy, I wish I'd been there to hear that. I've heard buildings talk before, but it's been a long time since I took any drugs.
I used to open them to salvage the rare earth magnets inside.
Have you ever been in search of something to keep a heavy paper on the refrigerator? Look no more!
Oh, in case you don't know about rare earth magnets... they don't really stick to a refrigerator; its more like the refrigerator sticks to it; to separate, you steady the magnet and pull the frig away.
Now, c'mon; I KNOW that the White House SURELY backed up the data that was stored on those hard drives, and that the missing e-mails are located somewhere within the reach of the White House, right? I mean, they wouldn't just off and destroy the final repository of the e-mails in question would they? It couldn't POSSIBLY be a fruitless search now could it?
Failure to destroy them is definitely a violation of various privacy and national security laws.
I thought that everyone destroyed their old hard drives. Any time I’ve ever gotten a new PC, I’ve first taken and transferred some of my stuff to the new PC, left all the old junk, clutter, and old emails on the old drive. I then remove the drive from the chassis, take it outside and whop it a half dozen times with a 16 pound sledge. I don’t want some trash picker taking my old PC chasis out of the trash on trash day and browsing through my old bills, documents, and personal stuff. Even formatting the drive will not remove the files from a determined hacker. You have to physically destroy the drive.
Kiss your arse good bye, troll
I remember that just before W first took office he canceled his email accounts for this very reason. No ‘lectronic trail. Smart move.
Not if the emails were restricted to a LAN system restricted to the White House.
Good idea, but I'd settle for a sweep of their refrigirators to see how many keep more than $10,000 there.
Actually, you need a program that “wipes” the drive completely clear to prevent people from snooping on the drive. I believe there are programs out there that allow you to rewrite every sector with a single type of data (government rules require you do re-write every sector three times).
Did we get one? Cool!!!
I love trolling and hooking a trollfish,,, repeat offender , I’m sure. 8-)
same old story different administration. E-mails, what e-mails?
Dang, missed the zot.
The word “tossed” was carefully chosen by the thought shapers at AP to imply the White House night janitor just pitched them in the dumpster out back.
He was a sleeper. Low volume poster.
even better. :-)
btw, thanks everyone. You’re our eyes and ears.