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posted by n1 on Saturday June 14 2014, @11:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the inconvenient-data-is-impossible-to-retrieve dept.

Lois Lerner, former director of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, is a key figure in the IRS's controversy over the tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups. Now CBS News reports that the IRS has told congressional investigators that the IRS cannot locate many of Lois Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year. "Isn't it convenient for the Obama Administration that the IRS now says it has suddenly realized it lost Lois Lerner's emails requested by Congress and promised by Commissioner John Koskinen?" says House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa. "Do they really expect the American people to believe that, after having withheld these emails for a year, they're just now realizing the most critical time period is missing?

According to a veteran IT professional, the IRS' claim that the agency lost two years' worth of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails is "simply not feasible." Norman Cillo, an Army veteran who worked in intelligence and a former program manager at Microsoft, says it is very difficult to lose emails for good because Microsoft Exchange used by the government for their email servers have built-in exchange mail database redundancy and all servers use some form of RAID technology and tape backup. Cillo says it's possible the IRS is telling the truth if the federal agency is "totally mismanaged and has the worst IT department ever." "I don't know of any email administrator that doesn't have at least three ways of getting that mail back. It's either on the disks or it's on a TAPE backup someplace or in an archive server. There are at least three ways the government can get those emails."

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Sunday June 15 2014, @01:13AM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 15 2014, @01:13AM (#55444)

    I don't know about "this administration". That sounds largely political and divisive to be quite honest. EVERY administration for the last 50 years or so has been corrupt to me. We argue about who they are corrupt the most towards.

    The most salient point you made is the LAW. Some laws are so strict that regulatory compliance is a product and service in it's own right.

    A plethora of 3rd party services, and directly supported Microsoft technologies, exist to maintain such regulatory compliance. It's black and white in their marketing materials. I could post links to Microsoft Exchange support pages for regulatory compliance, retention policies, etc., but there are so many.

    Using such a system it's IMPOSSIBLE to lose ANY emails at all, save catastrophic drive failure and poor disaster recovery plans. The very moment it hits the SMTP server on inbound and passes the filters to be routed towards a user, it's also split and routed towards the compliance product. The user lacks the ability to even inspect or directly/indirectly access compliance archives.

    The one I managed for 8 years stored compliance on separate drives with it's own backup. You never looked at any user accounts to deliver requested emails. You went to the compliance archives, exported every email serviced by the MTAs for the given date range, and then delivered a compressed file for the lawyers.

    Which was the whole value being proposed by the 3rd party vendor; Iron clad compliance whereby it can be reasonably stated that compliance was immutable WRT employees and executives, and nobody but IT could ever deliberately delete a single email.

    The IRS is either completely inept and stupid, or just corrupt and playing games.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday June 15 2014, @01:26AM

    Simply because this story and the acts in it were set in this administration and it really has been the least open, most oppressive to free speech administration since, and even moreso than, Nixon's. Over three times more whistleblower prosecutions than all other presidents combined. IRS getting used as the political beatin stick. Is the NSA too? Sure as shit would be if I were already using the IRS.

    Nuff said, yo. Divisive or not, that BO is the biggest hater of liberty to ever sit that chair is just a flat fact.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
  • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by frojack on Sunday June 15 2014, @01:41AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 15 2014, @01:41AM (#55453) Journal

    I don't know about "this administration". That sounds largely political and divisive to be quite honest.

    Why is it any time someone says anything against this administration is is politically divisive?
    Why is that? What is wrong with you that you can't see that his administration is simply corrupt?
    And it is corrupt in ways that prior administrations wouldn't even think of.

    Does it not bother you in the least that they think you are so stupid you would eve believe this
    story about data loss? They are laughing their asses off at you and you worry about being politically divisive.
    Unbefuckinglievable!

     

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    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by edIII on Sunday June 15 2014, @02:29AM

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 15 2014, @02:29AM (#55463)

      Why is it any time someone says anything against this administration is is politically divisive?

      It usually is intended to be so, especially when you say "this administration". What's the point of that at all? I firmly believe they have all been corrupt, so see no point in singling out any specific Democratic or Republican administration.

      One could just as easily say "government" and mean the same thing to me. In other words, to reference a single administration gives room to say the others were any better. Something I firmly believe is not true, and only introduces a bunch of emotional partisan noise to the rather important signal.

      Does it not bother you in the least that they think you are so stupid you would eve believe this
      story about data loss? They are laughing their asses off at you and you worry about being politically divisive.
      Unbefuckinglievable!

      That's why I say it's political divisive. You're writing out vitriolic statements without even reading my post completely, and that was due to my observation about complaining about Barrack Obama. If you noticed, the poster replied back *only* with comments about Barrack Obama and not my technical observations about how unfeasible the data loss really was. Mr. Obama has nothing to do with this, other than he's the current sitting President of the United States. It could have just as easily been Bush, or Hillary doing this. I'm openly acerbic about *all* administrations and political parties.

      I also wrote at length about just how many different technologies are available, and common, to deal with regulatory compliance. If that wasn't enough, I thought the bold and italicized statement at the bottom about ineptitude or corruption was pretty damn clear.

      My point about political divisiveness was spot-on, as you didn't even read my post.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15 2014, @02:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15 2014, @02:30AM (#55464)

    Exactly. This administration is under attack constantly from old people who cannot stand to see a black man as president. Just a bunch of racists who want to destroy the country rather than get over their ignorance. All presidents do this kind of stuff. It's called winning the god damn election by popular vote, and you get to do what the fuck you want.

    Republican presidents have this kind of crap all the time. The last one stole two elections, invaded a soverign country without authorization from congress, and then caused the market to crash right at the end so his cronies could run off to the bank. The one before that had the Iran Contra scandal. Look it up. Nobody was forced to resign.

  • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday June 15 2014, @04:04AM

    by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday June 15 2014, @04:04AM (#55485)

    "The IRS is either completely inept and stupid, or just corrupt and playing games."

    Can't they be both?

    --
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  • (Score: 3) by davester666 on Sunday June 15 2014, @04:35AM

    by davester666 (155) on Sunday June 15 2014, @04:35AM (#55496)

    If you remember back to when GBjr first came into office, one of the first things they did was throw out the existing email system, installed Exchange servers, DISABLE any email backup on the server, then have a policy for each employee to manually export their email each week and copy the exported files to a server as their email retention policy.

    Completely legal, and guaranteed to lose emails.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16 2014, @01:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16 2014, @01:53AM (#55735)

      You forgot that they also used non-Government email (run by the Republican party) to conduct official business. And don't forget, interesting parts of that email system went missing as well. [wikipedia.org]