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Data Storage Republicans United States

Bush's Electronic Archives Threaten To Swamp National Archives 185

Posted by timothy
from the if-you're-smart-this-can-all-end-well dept.
ColdWetDog writes "The New York Times reports that the soon-to-be-disbanded Bush / Cheney White House threatens to overload the National Archives with close to 100 Terabytes of data. This includes the Barney Cam and even 'formats not previously dealt with.' By way of comparison, the Clinton White House dumped less than a single terabyte into the archives. Of course, Mr. Cheney, always the Good Citizen, tried to help out when he 'asserted this month in a court case that he had absolute discretion to decide which of his records are official and which are personal, and thus do not have to be transferred to the archives.' Glad to see that somebody over there is trying to clean up the cruft for posterity."
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Bush's Electronic Archives Threaten To Swamp National Archives

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  • Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pnumoman (1348217) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:09AM (#26247845)

    "I'm told researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up," Mr. Cheney said. "I want to wish them luck, but the files are pretty thin. I learned early on that if you don't want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don't write any."

    This really says it all, doesn't it? I mean, wasn't this essentially Nixon's view on things? That if the president (or his puppet master, vice-president Cheney) deems it not for the public's purview, it's none of your damn business? I mean, what part of PUBLIC office does this numbskull not understand? (Excuse me, the mastermind understands, just doesn't care.)

    Sickening. What's even worse is that no one's gonna make this administration accountable for anything they've done. In fact, I'm sure no one's gonna really take a hard look at what exactly this administration has done until a looong time later; everyone's too preoccupied with moving on.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:25AM (#26247907)

    If someone isn't too bothered about criminal acts when in power, explain to me why they should worry about data deletion being illegal?

  • by Zorque (894011) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @05:18AM (#26248041)

    Sorry, Right-wingers, that wasn't a troll. Just because this guy said something you don't like doesn't make it any less true, or any less valid of an opinion to express.

  • by Atario (673917) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @05:29AM (#26248081) Homepage

    When trying to hide something in plain sight, drown 'em in irrelevant crap.

  • by Firehed (942385) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @05:42AM (#26248107) Homepage

    Does Cheney really follow the rules of typical partisan politics? (If so, someone should let him know - he refuses to follow any other rules) He's involved in too many places to go away just because we elected a democrat.

  • by an.echte.trilingue (1063180) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @06:02AM (#26248151) Homepage
    For years I have been listening to people here rant about the potential for records to get lost due to proprietary formats. Nobody listened, and now it is happening:

    The contingency plan, quietly approved by the National Archives on Nov. 7, emphasizes the difficulties posed by large numbers of White House records created with proprietary commercial software.

  • by unassimilatible (225662) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @06:30AM (#26248219) Journal
    Than go driving with Ted Kennedy.

    And where in the Constitution does it say that the Executive cedes power to Congress by a mere passage of a law (FOIA)? I thought the actual Executive was in charge of that branch.

    For all of you constitutional purists, I'd ask where in Article I Congress has the right to limit executive authority, whether it's FOIA, FISA, the War Powers Act, "congressional oversight," etc. I am looking but can't find in the Constitution where Congress can do this without ratifying a new Amendment.

    Oh, and we are still waiting for that big Clinton records dump into his library that we've been promised. I guess we'll have to wait until Hillary is elected president in 2016 - wait, re-elected in 2020 - before they dump everything.
  • by Meest (714734) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @07:24AM (#26248471)

    A question that should be asked. Is why was there not a network admin/security offical managing this data durring the administration? Did all of this data just get dumped into a hard drive with no organization?

    Sounds like another bad excuse for not planning for the future... This should have been proactivly handled and organized. Now the "Oh Shit" factor is very large and daunting.

    Time to hire a security/system admin for the president administration...

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @08:51AM (#26248883) Homepage Journal

    If you think this is bad today, this is only the tip of the ice burg. The national archives better ramp up for a drastic increasing curve of data to store as each new president is elected.

    Not that i have the answer, but i can see it happening. Just look at the exponential increases in personal information for the average citizen.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @08:55AM (#26248903)

    Actually, there are advanced national and international programmes for digital preservation around the world. Quite a few people in those programmes have participated in these discussions.

    But the message hasn't entirely got through to all the other government departments, who are still stuck in a paper mentality. Most are willing but don't know quite what to do (and certainly aren't sure how much it will all cost), and a few are actively difficult to work with, for whatever reasons.

  • by will_die (586523) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @09:54AM (#26249197) Homepage
    It is policy that dictates usage for personal communications and that varies by branch and office.
    What you do have are laws preventing the use of federal systems for purely political uses. This is what was the problem with the mailing system a year or so ago. People were given blackberries and other systems for political and party related messages and because of government requirements not given those same types of tools for government business. People being people and since they had those tools available to them tended to use them for all types of messages.
    The other big problem was that law there was no penalty for not recording the email for the national archive but there are penalties for using government systems for political reasons.
  • by schon (31600) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @10:05AM (#26249277)

    McCain would probably have stood up to him

    Two points:

    1. McCain lost any credibility he had when he endorsed US torture of foreigners.

    2. If McCain was someone who would stand up to Cheney, he'd never have been chosen for the Republican ticket.

  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @11:02AM (#26249587) Homepage

    Oh come on, now the Bush Administration is evil because they are giving too much data to the archives? That's complete garbage.

    Sure, Clinton only had 1 TB of data, but for the day that would have easily equaled 100TB now. I mean really, in 2008 I had like 10gb that more than held all of my entire world.

    in `2008 the family desktop machine in my living room has 2 TB of storage with all of my family movies, photos, music etc, and that's just one machine in my house. That doesn't count my linux box, my laptops, or my work desktop in my office.

    I wonder if the people that hated previous presidents complained that they turned over 100 times the shoe boxes of photos that previous presidents did.

    I've thought Bush was a bad administrator since he was my governor, but give me a break this is just silly. Buy some hard drives, and download a codec pack.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @11:33AM (#26249801)

    Exactly, back in 2001 do you really have a way to restore, read or repair Office 97 and exchange 5 files? Especially if the data has been archived "according to law".. which means they wipe everybody's current mailbox every 6 months to a backup tape and start over.. now you have 8 years history of backup tapes of varying formats and varying versions of the software, none of it overlapping in time frames.

    This is the same game Microsoft pull when you sue them they can produce lots of "documents" but your ability to actually read thru them and get something meaningful is greatly diminished. With paper, every body expects boxes of 8 1/2 by 11... with a computer you can make every page take the secret decoder ring from your box of Cracker Jacks!

  • Okay. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @12:24PM (#26250205)
    (1) Conspiracy to get the United States involved in a war, in order to personally profit himself and his business associates (Halliburton).

    (2) [As a result of (1)]: Treason

    I don't pay attention to any hate sites. But his actions have been pretty blatant.
  • Re:100TB (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @12:25PM (#26250207) Homepage Journal

    Needle.

    In a haystack.

    "If there's anything we haven't classified or destroyed, let's make it impossible to locate."

  • Re:Disgusting (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @12:29PM (#26250239)

    "I'm told researchers like to come and dig through my files, to see if anything interesting turns up," Mr. Cheney said. "I want to wish them luck, but the files are pretty thin. I learned early on that if you don't want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don't write any."

    This really says it all, doesn't it? I mean, wasn't this essentially Nixon's view on things?

    It's also Obama's view on things. Obama is giving up email for the same reason when he takes office.

    So much for "change", "yes we can", and all the other bullshit. Obama is just another POS, albeit more left-wing then most.

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:17PM (#26252009) Journal
    Those firms usually want to get paid.
    An ounce of prevention...
  • Re:100TB (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Monday December 29, 2008 @12:59AM (#26255215)

    "If there's anything we haven't classified or destroyed, let's make it impossible to locate."

    No problem.. send the media to Google. I'm 100% sure they can figure it out (unless the archive contents are encrypted).

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