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Whitehouse Emails Were Lost Due to "Upgrade"

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the upgrading-to-orwell dept.

Politics 482

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "We now know how the Whitehouse managed to lose about five million emails. It seems that they 'upgraded' their Lotus Notes system, which had an automatic retention and backup system, for Microsoft Exchange, which did not support the automatic system. So they changed it to a manual process, where aides would manually sort emails one by one into individual PST files, which they call a 'journaling' archive system. They're still building a replacement for the retention system. Right when they had one finished, the White House CIO complained that it made Microsoft Exchange too slow, so they hired yet another contractor to build another one, causing a senior IT official to quit in protest. So they still haven't completed the project after almost eight years, and rely on humans to sort millions of emails."

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This, my friends, is... (1)

sheepoo (814409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250698)

ridiculous!

yes it is. (2, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250734)

It's almost dumb enough to be true but it's a transparent lie. They made backups before they switched systems and those backups should still exist. If nothing else, M$ has a copy of the pst files because they can and would. Windows is no way to run a government.

Re:yes it is. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250802)

Not to defend microsoft, but COME ON! Who do they have doing their tech support? Is Bush doing it himself?

I find this frankly impossible to believe, and insulting on top of that.

Re:yes it is. (0, Flamebait)

dascritch (808772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251206)

Clippy didn't found Weapon Of Mass Disastrous

Re:yes it is. (0, Flamebait)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250878)

Windows is no way to run a government.
An excellent line, I have to give him that.
Now let's see how many times this asshat has his sockpuppets agree with himself.

Re:yes it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251080)

Now let's see how many times this asshat has his sockpuppets agree with himself.

Why do you care? If he wants to play with sockpuppets, fine -- write your own insightful posts, and let real people reply to them.

Re:yes it is. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251172)

An excellent line, I have to give him that.
Now let's see how many times this asshat has his sockpuppets agree with himself.

Oh, for the love of fucking god. I'm getting awfully tired of this public spat about twitter, his sock puppets, and the people who want us to know about them.

Since most of us don't have a friggin clue what this is all about, make it go away. It really isn't better than the rest of the trolls and ACs spewing crap into Slashdot nowdays.

And, for the record, I am not twitter, one of his sock puppets, or whatever. But this whole on-going thing is getting pretty tedious.

Twitter, if you have nothing better to do than post under a few pseudonyms so you can get mod points and generally be an ass ... get a life. If other people have nothing better to do than point out this twitter conspiracy, the same applies.

Re:yes it is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251178)

If nothing else, M$ has a copy of the pst files because they can and would.

Did you just accuse Microsoft of spying on the Office of the President of the United States of America?

Re:This, my friends, is... (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251130)

ridiculous!
Evidently, you have never used Lotus Notes!

Re:This, my friends, is... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251252)

No. This is completely normal and to be expected for any government run project.

 

This is a classic case of... (5, Insightful)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250710)

"Strategic Incompetence"

Re:This is a classic case of... (5, Funny)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250814)

"Mission Accomplished"

Am I the only one that (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250714)

read the summary and understood the Whitehouse is blaming Microsoft? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

There is nothing that will happen for the rest of the week that can make me more light hearted than this. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Re:Am I the only one that (2)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250772)

Or that the aides are manually sorting emails. What a crappy job.

Re:Am I the only one that (2, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251028)

I imagine it sucks worse than what Clinton had them do.

Re:Am I the only one that (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251160)

I imagine it sucks worse than what Clinton had them do.
I don't know if sucks worse is the right phrase to use here.

Shens? (1)

PawNtheSandman (1238854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250726)

C'mon. After 8 years they still couldn't come up with something? As a Government employee I know how slow things can be, but 8 years?

Re:Shens? (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250916)

Hey! Losing emails is hard work!

HMM (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250728)

That's what I say when someone has a bad hard drive at work. OOps, you forgot to back them up. Tough.

These days... (5, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250740)

It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between subterfuge and sheer incompetence.

These days? (4, Interesting)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250784)

Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with saying "Never blame on malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence."

Re:These days? (5, Insightful)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250864)

And any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Re:These days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251068)

Nice quote. I think I'm going to steal it.

Re:These days? (1)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250994)

Perhaps he said that to provide plausible cover for his own malice.

Re:These days? (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251086)

Once you get to a certain level of incompetence, it's really indistinguishable from malice. In this case, the incentives are all there for them to want to keep this "problem" in place. It lets them conveniently lose any incriminating email and blame it on "them dang computers". Everyone's lost some files at one time or another, right? Ok, so maybe you didn't have your own IT department in charge of running the communications for the most powerful government in the world...

Re:These days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251176)

That sounds like Hanlon's Razor.

Re:These days... (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250908)

It's getting harder and harder to tell the difference between subterfuge and sheer incompetence.
Because the bullshit is so deep?

Re:These days... (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251066)

With the Bush administration you are guaranteed it's from both column A and column B.

Re:These days... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251262)

Does it matter?

But Exchange is supposed to be better! (1)

1_brown_mouse (160511) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250746)

Honesty, why throw out what works?

Our government is a black hole of wasted money and half-assed IT projects that some contractor is stringing out to make the most money.

Re:But Exchange is supposed to be better! (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250850)

According to the Republican mantra, Bill Gates is rich, therefore M$ft Exchange must be good - the "free" market has spoken.

Re:But Exchange is supposed to be better! (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251108)

What's worse is that they deployed without a full plan. If you go from one system with a retention system and that is a requirement then don't you want to plan out your retention policies on the new system?

Exchange has no trouble retaining email and archiving it off with any number of products, most SAN providers even provide software to do it. It's malice, there is simply no way anyone with enough knowledge to deploy Exchange for a site that large wouldn't know how to retain the messages.

Re:But Exchange is supposed to be better! (3, Insightful)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250930)

why throw out what works?

Because "works" in this case is a means by which they can get caught?

If I was going to be as corrupt/incompetent as this administration, I'd try to limit how much that criminality/idiocy could be directly documented for criminal proceedings/historical study.

Re:But Exchange is supposed to be better! (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251032)

You assume Lotus Notes was fitting their definition of "works."

The article seems fishy though, because you can backup Exchange and have been able to for a while, and I know I saw Data Retention as a feature, although maybe eight years ago it was not.. still, a backup should have been done, and that should have gotten more emails.

Upgrade to Exchange? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250748)

I think that claim alone is pushing the limits of credulity.

Memory (1)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250752)

So now you're telling me it wasn't Alzheimer's that wiped out Reagan's memory?

Re:Memory (1)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251034)

The Alzheimer's gambit was already played-out. They had to come up with something new for this administration.

Re:Memory (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251116)

Just pain stupid works

sounds plausible enough (2, Insightful)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250760)

What was that quote about never ascribing to malice?

It's a well put-together story (plausible enough) but I'm still skeptic though.

Maybe we've just seen too many lies :)

Re:sounds plausible enough (1)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250868)

Had this been the excuse given on day one, it would have been a plausible example of incompetence. Given the amount of time since the scandal broke, it now looks like it took some work to craft a lie that appears to be plausible incompetence.

And MSFT likes to say (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250764)

How Much Exchange and Windows lowers total Cost of Ownership. Sure This isn't MSFT's fault that lies strictly with with IT department, but if MSFT worked better with others this wouldn't be so much of a problem.

Once your locked into MSFT's system you can leave easily. I have 15 year old email boxes that load up just fine in thunderbird, Apple Mail, pine, etc.

But the question remains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250780)

What happened to the backups they apparently DID have prior to the "upgrade"? Shirley they have these, correct?

Re:But the question remains... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250932)

"...and don't call me surely."

Re:But the question remains... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251014)

"...and don't call me surely."

You don't mind if I call you Surly, do you?

Re:But the question remains... (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250966)

Backups? Well yes, funny story. We were upgrading the backup storage facility at the same and suddenly- oh look over there! There's a bird or something!

*runs*

Oh, and stop calling me Shirley.

So does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250788)

... IBM is Democrat and Microsoft is Republican?

Six P's (2, Interesting)

gregarican (694358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250794)

Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. This shouldn't be taken as a Micr$oft bash as much as an example of poor planning. After having administered both Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange I can say that ditching Notes for Exchange isn't a bad move. But doing so without planning out the migration path is. Any large scale project should involve a considerable outside contracting firm that would have automated measures in place. You could even plug in a server appliance before your front end Exchange servers that would automatically archive off mail messages being sent to/from the White House staffers. Another example of US government being inept. Just look to how the US air traffic control centers still operate with equipment that is so outdated that some units are out of commission because they can't order vacuum tubes to service them...

Re:Six P's (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251000)

This shouldn't be taken as a Micr$oft bash as much as an example of poor planning.


Or perhaps an example of really good planning. If I was planning to make sure a few million potentially incriminating emails never found their way into the public eye, that is how I might do it. Certainly if I had spent a number of meetings discussing how and when Americans should torture people [washingtonpost.com] I would be motivated to do so.

Re:Six P's (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251150)

Exchange supports a small fraction of the functionality of Notes. As long as you only use Notes for e-mail and scheduling, moving to Exchange is fine.

It's really too bad that most organizations running Notes don't understand all of the other things they can do with it.

So to summarize (4, Funny)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250796)

The White House's failure to follow records retention laws was due to deficiencies in Microsoft software?

I predict this will lead to a civil, thoughtful Slashdot discussion which results in many useful recommendations for avoiding similar problems in the future.

I recommend fire.

Re:So to summarize (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251118)

Well, if it's a fire at the Whitehouse you want, then the spirit of 1812 [wikipedia.org] still burns in our hearts!

Re:So to summarize (1)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251142)

I recommend fire.
Seriously, how are you supposed to burn an email? Print it out first?

Re:So to summarize (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251222)

Seriously, how are you supposed to burn an email? Print it out first?
Thermite?

Re:So to summarize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251202)

and lots of it.

Faith-based computing (2, Funny)

Misty Steele (1019368) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250804)

Computation and Turing machines and all of that science stuff are just theories. The so called "experts" tell us that these things can sort email, but it's better to trust the people to get about the business of the government. I wonder if Bush looked into the eyes of Bill Gates and saw his soul? Maybe if we allow enhanced interrogation methods, we can recover the email? Ahh, too easy, I could go on for hours but I'll stop now.

Plan (0)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250810)

1. Blame it on Microsoft
2. Post on Slashdot
3. ???
4. Profit!

Re:Plan (1)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251114)

I think for this administration it goes in a different order

1. ?????
2. Profit!
3. Blame it on Microsoft
4. Post on Slashdot

How about use the default backup? (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250818)

Re:How about use the default backup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251268)

Backup -ne Retention

There's a difference between backing something up for disaster recovery and archiving it for retention purposes.

PST Files Suck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250830)

I myself have lost over 6000 emails in two separate incidents involving Outlook.

That being said...que the following comments just to save everyone time.

1. Bush is a Nazi...Cheney Too
2. Impeach them all.
3. Most corrupt in history. blah blah blah
4. Throw in a global warming shot...you pick which.
5. Haliburton!
6. Not a real democracy.
7. Incompetent (now that is a valid charge)
8. Long shot but..."Democrats are no different".
9. Someone will say "Fuck You"
10. Incredulity on the part of EU slashdotters.

I think that covers it. Might as well just disable comments.

Re:PST Files Suck! (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251186)

I myself have lost over 6000 emails in two separate incidents involving Outlook.
Are you the IT department in charge of the White House's communications, required to adhere to the laws regarding preservation of those communications? If so, shame on you for screwing this up! If not, then your example has practically nothing to do with this situation.

BS (1)

sgeye (757198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250834)

I just finished setting up our email retention system, which took a grand total of 3 months from the initial inquiry until complete date. Now I work for a smaller, more agile organization than the Whitehouse, but that doesn't mean that it should take 32x as long for them to complete a similar task. To any technical person it is painfully obvious that this was the intended results of their actions, email retention isn't that hard.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251148)

Yes, their excuse is ridiculous, because we all know that our government is famous for getting things done quickly and efficiently with minimum expense and fuss.

The moral of the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250846)

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.

Especially in government. Those of you in the private sector may think you know how bad PHBs and other ridiculous management types can be, but they can't hold a candle to the layers upon layers of pointless stupid decision-making that goes on in government. Then add Microsoft software to the equation.

Seriously, the Bush administration sucks, but the missing e-mails have nothing to do with nefarious scheming. The deciders aren't nearly competent enough.

Re:The moral of the story (2, Interesting)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251048)

the missing e-mails have nothing to do with nefarious scheming

By itself, that might be a sane assumption...but when you consider their other email problem, specifically, that they conducted government business over the RNC's computer to avoid leaving tracks, well, no. It's pretty clearly an obvious plan to avoid any record of what they do.

Re:The moral of the story (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251070)

Strictly adhering to that maxim leaves you vulnerable to manipulation by malice masquerading as incompetence.

And frankly there comes a point where incompetence just isn't a believable excuse anymore. Being unable to implement an email retention system in 8 whole years is so bad, it doesn't matter whether it's incompetence or malice. The people responsible should be punished either way.

Gosh darn it (1)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250872)

Well we meant to backup up all these terrible incriminating emails but wouldn't you know it, there was a technical glitch.

so to summarize... (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250894)

Basically this comes down to either:

The Government was Incompetent.

or...

The Government is lying and covering up.

Hmmm.... Mr Rock, meet Mr Hardplace.

Re:so to summarize... (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251002)

Basically this comes down to either:

The Government was Incompetent.
or ...
The Government is lying and covering up.

I understand the concept of Occam's Razor, but it could really be a case of AND instead of OR.

It fits the results better, actually.

Mission Accomplished (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250912)

the incompetence permeates all levels of this White House.

LoB

The dog ate my incriminating evidence (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250914)

Seriously, this is the least bullshit excuse the could come up with? If ANY corporation in the US tried this kind of thing, the wrath of SARBOX would rain down on them like you wouldn't believe.

Even given the staggering incompetence of the Bush administration in nearly all aspects, this just doesn't pass the laugh test.

Seems like a market for e-mail archiving... (4, Insightful)

metoc (224422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250926)

1) To bad the Whitehouse isn't using an e-mail system like millions of other people. Wait they are. Like it or not MS Exchange is everywhere.
2) To bad the requirement for e-mail archiving and retention is unique to government. Wait, most publicly traded companies have legal and compliance requirements to do so.
3) To bad there is no market for software to archive and retain e-mail on one of the most common e-mail platforms. Wait, there is, and its huge.
4) To bad nobody has nobody has developed technology for this market. Wait, there are dozens of solutions.

To bad no one is getting fired, imprisoned or impeached over this one.

Re:Seems like a market for e-mail archiving... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250984)

If you're going to start EVERY sentence with the same word, at least make sure you know how to spell it. It's TOO, goddammit! TOO! Can you spell that? It's not like it's fucking difficult! T-O-O!

Small fingers (1)

certain death (947081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250934)

You know...they probably off shored it to China, I hear you need really small fingers to sort those .PST files manually!!!

This may be the secret (2, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250968)

... to how the Bush white house oversees "job creation":

rely on humans to sort millions of emails

axis of evil (1, Offtopic)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250974)

George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer -- the real axis of evil!

Ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23250978)

Ha ha, its what they get for using that virus spreader called MicroSoft Exchange!

Anyone for the high-jump? (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250980)

Are the people involved in this process, from conception to the current state, being held liable for criminal negligence?

They're being heavily fined and potentially imprisoned for a blatant disregard for government policy?

Is there anybody in a position to make in-depth enquiries regarding the processes involved in this fiasco, who has the wherewithal and political clout to actually do something about it?

I didn't think so. Now bend over and get ready for another "Oops, we did it again!" situation.

Nothing to worry about. (3, Funny)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250990)

and rely on humans to sort millions of emails.

No problem. They had the job outsourced to India.

I know I am being overly simplistic but... (1)

ds_job (896062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23250998)

...could they not use Auto Archive to put them to a PST instead of doing it manually. You have the pain of the PST files but you don't have to rely on imbeciles to manually archive stuff. Eventually rotate the PSTs onto removable media and store them in a nice safe place that the government already owns.
So, backup onto floppy and post to underground storage next to the accelerators at Fermilab then.

Another example of (1)

Is It Obvious (1236200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251008)

the audacity of bullshit.

Getting tired of this crap... (0, Flamebait)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251010)

The First Dog could take a dump on the sidewalk and the White House Secretary of Dog Poop could forget to pick it up and the collective of slashbots would be calling for an impeachment.

Give it a rest, already. There are far worse crimes than hiring the low bidding, incompetent IT contractor. God only knows there is no shortage of incompetent IT people out there.

So where's the loss? (1)

CambodiaSam (1153015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251012)

At best given the explaination provided, the emails are not lost, they are simply unsorted.

Also, what about backup tapes? You don't do a major upgrade without a backup. Even the most slackjawed IT yokel (like me) knows that.

How's That Impeachment Coming Along, Y'all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251022)

Better hurry!

Ha ha ha!

I declare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251088)

...shenanigans. No one can be that incompetent. There are several products that will archive Exchange email. I've set one up here at my work not knowing anything about it and in a week it was working fine, it's not that hard.

bloody hell. (3, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251092)

utter bollocks. just unbe-fucking-lievable.

*every* backup system should result in a set a of data offsite or in a storage area never to be touched again.

even if you use incremental backup every nth backup should be a complete archival read only copy re the previous sentence.

the *very* worst case should be the last major backup is in a format that is not readable with the current system and some red faced admins need help to read read the data.

5 million emails? jesus wept.

add the conspiracy theory factor into the mix and you have something that, on the face of it, sounds unbelievable.

as one of our politicians in the UK said to another a short while ago "you cannot have it both ways, you were either ignorant or incompetent - and neither is acceptable".

When Will Someone (1)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251106)

be held accountable for this debacle?

And you want government healthcare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251120)

"The doctor can't fix your severed hand because our IT department can't boot our server." Talk about a blue screen of death.

Criminal? (3, Interesting)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251174)

So, assuming for a moment their story is true and it *is* just negligence, incompetence, and stupidity; it is still FEDERALLY CRIMINAL negligence, incompetence, and stupidity, Right? Books will be thrown at those responsible, yes?

Like the man says.... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251194)

"The Bureaucracy must expand to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy." I wonder how much those human email sorters get paid? I bet one of them sabotaged the Exchange server

If only... (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251204)

If only someone could come up with a device that can do repetitive work without error and without getting bored. Some sort of electronic mechanism that could look at a certain field in an electronic document and then put the associated text into an electronic bucket labeled for an individual.

Why hasn't someone invented something like this?

Sorry, No. I don't believe it. (3, Insightful)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251230)

One of my first projects after moving to Vancouver was a couple of test installations of pre-release Exchange server back in 1996. Since then I've worked constantly with every version of Exchange in all kinds of backup situations. Early versions of Exchange were a bitch to restore but it's gotten better.

However, there has *always* been a way to retain and archive emails automatically from Exchange and no shortage of migration utilities from notes to Exchange. The reasons stated in the article just don't wash. No one, not even the newest tech school grad could come up with a system like that currently in use.

However, it may in fact not be intentional malice from the start but more likely an existing state of incompetence that was taken advantage of to hide traces or misdeeds or at least to make finding any evidence difficult.

This still doesn't address the use of non-government email systems for official business by Rove and other Republican members. According to the laws of the United States this is all highly illegal. Don't you care at all about what your government is doing or do you think whatever you do won't make any difference?

PST files well that explains it (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251234)

I lost a lot of email using Outlook and PST files for backups. After reinstalling Windows from scratch and trying to import the PST files into the new Outlook, 9 times out of 10 it couldn't import the email. That is why I switched to Thunderbird which has better success of backing up email files and importing them after a RRR (Reboot Reformat Reinstall).

outsource it (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251236)

They should just switch to hosted E-mail services with Google Apps :-)

Seriously, though: the White House should not be in control of White House IT services. An independent agency should be responsible for that. It's all part of checks and balances.

Believable (1)

laing (303349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251238)

I work for a fortune 500 company. We migrated from Notes to Exchange about 5 years ago. I liked Notes more.
  As an aside, Notes had support for POP3 so you could use any mail client you wanted.
  Exchange has its problems. One time a few years ago our company "focal" (lead supporting 50K people) could not resolve a bug which crept into my profile without deleting me from the system and re-creating my account. Unfortunately when this happens, all of the group mail lists and recurring meeting notices with my name got dropped. There was no way to recover aside from manually correcting the lists. This caused headaches for several months afterward.
  There is no good way to back up mail on an Exchange server. What I do is to create two rules which run whenever I send mail, and whenever mail comes in. They copy the message to an "archive" folder which is on another network share. Eventually the size will grow so that you'll have to archive your archive. The bottom line is that the burden of backup falls upon the end user.

  Why does Microsoft feel the need to re-invent things that already have standard (and superior) solutions?

--
This space for rent

Lower TCO (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251244)

You can't argue that using Exchange in this case did not lower the total cost of ownership for the Whitehouse, by all indications, it would have been much more expensive for them if the emails had been preserved.

New Tag Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251254)

Dumbocrap propaganda

We need to have a single gov wide IT department... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251260)

We need to have a single gov wide IT department and we need to keep it mostly in house with little to no contractors in it as they are slowed down by red tape. The armed forces can keep there own system under this as well as long as it is not the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet tape set up they same must have the same contractor rules aka the gov has full control and can step in at any time and take over.

Hanlon's razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23251264)


Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Hanlon's razor [wikipedia.org]

See, Bush isn't incompetent, his government IT staff is. Just like our friends in Oklahoma... Bad IT developers [thedailywtf.com]

Book out on the subject with good background (1)

TheHappyMailAdmin (913609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23251274)

David Gewirtz of the Outlook Power and Domino Power magazines has published a book on the subject titled Where Have All the Emails Gone? [amazon.com]

It's written to be read by a non-technical crowd, so if you pick it up be prepared to skip some chapters which go over networking and e-mail application basics. It's still a very interesting read in that provides some fascinating history going back to the first e-mail system used in the White House and works forward to the current controversy. None of the administrations is blameless in their handling of information.

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