Friday, April 13, 2007

"Missing" White House email

Co-incidence does not equal causation, or at least it doesn't have to.

Neither, however, does co-incidence eliminate causality.

Example: the fact that the White House has just discovered that it had "lost" thousands of emails which it is required to record may just happen to co-incide with congressional demands that it produce those emails.

My reaction is best summed up in those two unique positive words that miraculously combine to produce a negative.

Yeah, right.

But regardless the potential outcomes for the White House are not co-incidental.

As any IT person will tell you, emails that are merely "deleted" are far from irrecoverable, copies remain both on the sender's computer, the recipient's computer, and quite possibly on the computer used as the network server.

So, under normal circumstances all the emails should be recoverable.

But, as any IT person could also tell you, emails can be fully erased, IF you take special measures to eliminate them, measures beyond a simple monthly delete protocol.

So, either the White House email eventually will be recovered, or their senders AND recipients will have taken purposeful measures to fully erase them in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Neither outcome will paint a pretty picture.

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