Skip to comments.Republicans keep pressing IRS over lost emails from Lerner, six others (Calling IT Professionals!!!)
Posted on 06/19/2014 7:08:51 PM PDT by Innovative
Republicans are still pressing the Obama administration to find missing emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and six other IRS personnel, but the White House insists they are not recoverable.
"As the IRS said, I.T. professionals worked to restore Lerner's hard drive and were unable to do so," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
I can barely spell IT, but even I know that emails first of all don't reside on computers, but on servers, which are backed up regularly and the data is kept for a long time.
Do you think the IRS would take the chance of tax payers information to disappear and not be able to tell whether people filed their taxes or not?
The Republicans should subpoena the email servers of the IRS. This claim that if someone's office computer crashes, all emails would be lost is totally preposterous, but even on FoxNews, they are not interviewing IT professionals who could explain in plain language that first of all emails are stored in servers and no way would they only be kept for six months in any halfway decent company, especially not in a government organization such as IRS -- they are still talking about her computer crashing -- it doesn't matter! Why isn't someone asking for a subpoena for the IRS servers?!
I just have Hannity on - and he is at least talking about servers, but still not explaining clearly -- and some so-called computer expert who is claiming it's quite possible -- how much money is he getting from the Dems -- maybe they just had "bad policies". !!!
And not just emails, computers are always backed up too!!!
IT Professionals please comment!!!
“Dude,That Was Like Four-Years Ago”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Their claim is that the backup tapes were recycled every 6 months, which is an absurdly short period of time. Especially from the IRS which requires taxpayers to keep records for 7 years!
I imagine White House spokesman Jay Carney would be able to explain this in technical terms, but I'll give it a try in the spirit of their story. Sure, emails are backed up "in the cloud" but with Global Warming (discovered by Nobel Prize winner Al Gore) we're running short on clouds, and all of Lois Lerner's emails evaporated. It's George Bush's fault for not cracking down on CO2 emissions when we had a chance.
The drives and servers are gone. And a bolt of lightning struck “The Cloud”.
Congress needs to subpoena ALL the IT people that could or did work on the server system and put the fear of jail in them.
Call the NSA, they have copies.....
I have a sister(the youngest in our family)who refers to her 5-siblings as”Idiot-Breeders”!!!No SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!!
nothing new for this administration national archives lost part of obamas mothers passport records then they selectively lost part of pertinent travel records.
how many people are involved in covering for this crime syndicate?
If this turns out to be false, BOTH Lerner and Carney need to be in jail!!!!!
Just start charging them with Contempt of Congress. That’ll put a fire under their rear ends answering their questions.
To the extent that the emails pertain to evidence in criminal actions, law enforcement (and not “IT professionals”) should be tasked to recover the information, or, at the absolute least, to secure the evidence. That the chief law enforcement officer of the land failed to do this is telling, at a number of levels.
Just call Snowden.
What they are talking about is physically impossible. I worked on those systems, and there is no local data storage other than cache on a hard drive. The data is held in multiple locations and moved offsite. It is a felony to destroy the data unless ordered to do so under a HSPD, and the data can not be detroyed without Presidential authorization at about 5 difference levels of Management and Sysadmins.
What this means is that the entire Federal Government top to bottom is corrupted. No Sysadmin would do this of his own accord, or else he’d spend the rest of his life in pound me in the ass Federal Prison- not to mention never working again in IT.
By IT professionals, is Jay referring to the type of professionals that were responsible for the rollout of HealthCare.gov?
Did any of these professionals hazard a guess as to the number of times that the sledge hammer was driven into the chassis of her computer?
As a SAN admin/Systems Admin, I can tell you without a doubt that the emails still exist. They need to get some professionals in there, to examine the off-site backups, and Virtual Volume Physical Copies/VV Snapshots ( of which they could have thousands ) and find them. Until they actually call in the pros, and stop talking to people who really have no clue, this investigation is just a joke.
Yep, get their own pros in there with unlimited access to retrieve them. Then indict the officials who are stonewalling for obstruction of Congress.
Why didn't they tell Congress months ago? My guess is that they have been feverishly erasing them from the backup servers.
BTW...did any press person ask Carney about backups?
None of the IRS workers would have 86’d any of the computer systems of the IRS. They would be aware of the criminal penalties for doing this.
No. This would have been a job that was farmed out to a contracting firm from say, Pakistan or China even...
We keep everything , forever. Storage is cheap, particularly with high compression. Lawsuits are expensive when you cannot reasonably refute allegations. Companies keep everything, it costs a couple of bucks per employee per year.
I am an I.T. professional and have been for 30 years. I will GUARANTEE those emails are recoverable.
The IRS uses what is called an Exchange server. EVERYTHING that uses Outlook is stored in an .OST file on a SERVER. In the case of the IRS it is almost with certainty that server is located within a data center. That server and probably hundreds of others are backed up with multiple backups AND in other locations.
If the hard drive in a users PC crashes, burns, stolen or whatever, you simply plug in a new one, reconfigure Outlook to grab the .OST file from the server and magically all of your email, folders, contact list, calendar, etc,etc,etc, come back to life on the PC.
Now, these servers are configured with RAID drives that mirror each other. If one goes bad the others keep running. All you do is plug in a new drive and it mirrors again. Plus the servers are mirrored as well. It’s called FAULT TOLERANT.
Even if somebody destroyed the actual .OST files and the backups from the servers. The RECIPIENTS still have those emails and...they are on servers as well.
I would have EVERY computer, tablet, smart phone and any other devices seized from Lerner and EVERYBODY in her contact list as a start. Then I would seize the servers and subpoena EVERY person involved in the administration of those servers. Answers would come swiftly if facing jail time.
The IRS is a criminal organization so you have to think like a criminal. Thing is, they always screw up somewhere.
Check with the NSA they have copies.
Maybe they should jail Lois Lerner until they show up.
Does anyone one know what company the IRS uses for their email gateway?
The only way that this story works is if none of those emails can be found. Anywhere. Ever.
This would have been an incredible undertaking. The political apparatus in DC could not have managed this technical of an undertaking.
Just deleting all copies of emails would not be enough. Log files would have to be edited or deleted. Of course, just about every app on a server writes to a logfile of some sort. To have cleaned everything up would have been monstrous.
I am betting that something was missed.
I think it's possibly not an untrue statement, but not the whole story. Daily backups are only part of a proper backup scheme.
I could see them doing incremental daily backups and keeping 6 month's worth of those daily tapes, and then doing a full backup at 6 months. The full backup tape would be archived offsite and not overwritten. Then repeat the cycle in the second half of the year (re-using the 6 months of daily backup tapes) and sending a year-end full system backup to the archive.
How long would something like that take?
I believe it’s possible that the emails in question aren’t recoverable, but that very fact would be proof positive of a massive criminal conspiracy. Of course the work of deleting the emails would have been farmed out to foreign contractors.
The guys who took care of this weren’t the incompetent college buddies of Michelle who created Healthcare.gov, more likely they were the same IT wizards who worked on Obama’s campaigns.
I also expect that with a little digging we would find that those involved in the IRS targeting of conservative groups used multiple pseudonym email accounts to cover their tracks. This is also illegal, but that is merely academic in a lawless government with no effective opposition.
Thanks for the info! I’ve been looking for someone with clear knowledge of what it takes and what is involved with servers and backup systems
As a former IT guy I’ve been around a good number of crashed hard drives, especially in the old days. “Parking the heads” was incorporated in drives a long time ago so the read head would physically hit the spinning disks. So missing sectors is always possible, but a cataclysmic crash that destroys all the disk surfaces would be to my mind near inconceivable.
Data is also spread over the entire disks, especially one that’s been in service a while and not defragged.
My point is, they certainly could have lost some data off Lerner’s drive. But to lose all of 2 years of data given current forensic techniques on modern drives would pull my leg out of its socket.
That data is archived off-site.
It is very unlikely that a data forensics pro would not be able to retrieve a majority of what was on the original “damaged” HDD.
Further, the law requires those emails to be printed and stored.
This damn government is as corrupt and evil as they come.
Jay CarniVal??? He's soooo yesterday. What'd they do? Dredge him up? Where's Earnestly Joshing?
I'm not judging but this is not a good thing.
I'm involved in IT for a public company, and there is often litigation involving customers.
Your email retention policy determines how far back e-discovery can go. If your email retention policy is to keep everything forever, then e-discovery can go back as far as possible.
If your policy is to keep email archives for, say, 3 years, then e-discovery can only go back 3 years.
At least that is my understanding, and is why we do not keep everything forever.
But 6 months is absurd. And when this scandal erupted, a "legal hold" should have been placed on all of Lerner's emails, which suspends the retention policy for the litigated records.
In the IT dept I work in at a casino. We back-up daily, weekly and monthly. The monthly tapes have to be held for five years in compliance with IRS regulations.
Most use grandfather,father, son schemes which decreases the size of the backups and allows for fill recovery at any point. The tapes are reused, but the records are archived off site. The retention of all government records is governed by Federal law and I don’t know any IT pro who would be willing to destroy ANY data under their control.
Hard drives and hardware is regularly destroyed—complete physical destruction is required for all secure systems. However, the data always backed up.
Hardware is not really considered an issue anymore. The inherent redundancy makes it impossible for any one component to cause a major loss of data. The largest possible loss would be one day’s data, but I would find it hard to believe that they are not running log backups every hour.
Isn’t there one, honest Federal IT person who will come forward and outline how the average IRS administrator’s email archives are maintained daily, weekly and monthly?
2 years’ worth gone missing- really??
1) User email has never been stored on a PC hard drive except for backup. You have always had to manually set your email reader to download emails. This is an archaic model to say the least. On all modern systems, email is stored on the server and sometimes (more often than not) cached on the PC so you have limited functionality when you have no network connection. On typical systems, when you delete an email, it is deleted from the server.
- On most email servers, when a user deletes an email, it is recoverable for usually 30 days. This is a typical setting for MS Exchange servers and it is the most common email server in use today.
- The US Government is required to archive and keep emails for accountability purposes. What this means is they must keep ALL emails for a given length of time (I'm not sure what the mandate is). There are software platforms designed just FOR this purpose. This software works as a wedge on your email server and sends copies of every email to the archive... out of the reach of the user. These emails can only be deleted by a system admin delegated with such privileges.
- I haven't seen a email server is YEARS that had a hard drive (singular) in it. today (and as with the case with the US government), servers have no hard drives in them. These servers are attached to a centralized storage platform via fibre channel, iscsi or other odd protocols. In these storage platforms, disks are built in RAID arrays consisting of MANY (sometimes thousands) of disks. The RAID concept stores strips or parity of data across all drives so in the event a drive or multiple drives fail, the data is redundant. The drives can be swapped out hot and the system rebuilds the lost strips or parity back to a normal state. this is a regular and common occurrence. I replace at LEAST one dead drive every single day in my arrays and SAN platforms and I've never lost one single bit of data.
- Backups: We know the email is stored on an email server. In this case, a CLUSTER of servers. This means that even if one or two servers completely crash and lost their data, the others remain online in the cluster and contain the redundant data. These are also backups up to backup media. In the old days, it was backed up to tapes. In todays world, that is too expensive and inconvenient. Data is backed up to other SAN or storage platforms and almost ALWAYS in a remote data center for disaster recovery purposes.
Her's the simple fact: that data was purposefully scrubbed, or they still have it. In either case, they are a) lying or b) need to be arrested on the spot. There is NO WAY those emails were lost in a crash. There are far too many redundancies in the systems... it would have to be a concerted and coordinated effort to get rid of the data... things are so redundant these days,, data is kinda like herpes... it's hard to get rid of... most especially in a government data center running redundant server clusters, offside replication and hard-core SAN platforms. They are flat-out lying and I'd bet my reputation on it.
It would sure perk up my ears if I were a tax attorney looking for a line of defense for my clients having trouble with the IRS.
Maybe it’s time to try a different strategy. IRS has a disaster recovery play, have to. If Congress could get off their asses and ask for that plan before it’s rewritten then they would know where the offsite backups and archives are kept.
Just a thought.
“...that data was purposefully scrubbed, or they still have it.”
Absolutely. It has to be one or the other.
What really disturbs me here is how brazen the administration has become, repeating their preposterous “crashed and thrown out hard drive” excuse and seemingly daring Congress to try to do anything about it.
I had the same feeling when the D.O.J. went after Dinesh D’Souza. We are being blatantly mocked.
Ya need a special prosecutor to shake these crooks. As soon as they have to start hiring lawyers they will start chirping
They do this on purpose. They like it stupid and messy. All Federal drones do/// This works out for them much better!!!!!
yes we are being probed tested and MOCKED!!!! Made asses of!!!