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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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  • Not much of a threat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DrMrLordX (559371) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @03:58AM (#26247805)

    While the National Archives obviously must catalog and make available all the data in some form or another (honestly I do not know their rules & regs for that sort of thing, and it seems a good bit is missing), the mere act of storing 100 terabytes hardly seems all that daunting. NewEgg has 1TB Samsung Spinpoint harddrives available for $100 with free shipping. You can't tell me the folks over at the National Archives couldn't afford 100 of those plus some additional hardware to oversee the transfer of all applicable data to the drives for storage, at least until a better solution could be found. Hell, have the Bush/Cheney crew do it for them and stick the drives in a closet somewhere until they can sort through all that mess. It doesn't take a $144 million computer system to handle 100 TB of data.

  • It's just unreal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @03:59AM (#26247809)

    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.'

    Thereby making what he was doing immune to FOIA requests. Nice.

    It's just unreal how unabashedly criminal Cheney is. Nobody ever calls him on it. Anyone in a position to do anything about him (other than Dennis Kucinich anyways) strangely...doesn't.

    Of course, he's also the same guy who shot a hunting buddy in the face. And had the victim apologize. [cnn.com]

    Far more dangerous than W. Will not be sorry to see him go. Good riddance. Go retire on your inflated Halliburton stock and please leave my country alone.

  • by billsf (34378) <billsf&cuba,calyx,nl> on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:06AM (#26247829) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps within all that data is a DVDrom or two of real juicy material. More importantly, there may (should) be enough info in there to
    convict the former Bush administration's true criminals. Destroying that would be "destroying evidence": Supposed to to a 'serious crime' in the US. If most of it is Windows word/email, that thankfully compresses over 1000:1 to 'human readable' text. Programs such as 'antiword' would be my first line of attack if I was in-charge of this mess. Thankfully I'm not.

    BillSF

     

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:07AM (#26247835) Homepage Journal
    I think google have a free service where they lend you a Network Attached Storage box. You load it up with whatever then send it back to them. You still have online access to the data and google indexes it for you.
  • Re:It's just unreal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:22AM (#26247891) Homepage
    Remember, this is the republican party. If they get back in any time before he dies off, he will be there in the background, pulling the strings of whatever new puppet president they choose. McCain would probably have stood up to him, but I suspect now the republicans blame him for their loss, it could well be back to the "Bush Box" to find their next candidate. Scary thought.
  • Re:It's just unreal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @04:26AM (#26247913)
    If particular records are classified as private, does that mean what's on them can be used in court to convict him of private crimes? (not that anybody would have the guts to try it)
  • Re:It's just unreal (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @05:35AM (#26248093)

    What's unreal is the bias being shown here - slashKos at it's finest! Even if you ignore the obvious slant of the summary (kinda hard to miss - who wrote that, the DNC?), the truly ironic thing is that if this story was titled "Bush Administration Doesn't Archive Everything", the crazed partisan outcry here would be screaming "What are they hiding???!!!???"
     
    Sheesh.
     
    Nope, I did not vote for Bush or McCain. I just do hate to see 'politics' and 'partisanship' presented as "the news". Not that the NYT doesn't ever do the same. Wise up, sheeple - they are all liars, up there, and addicted to the power of spending *your* money and rights...

  • by acedotcom (998378) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @06:47AM (#26248279)
    100TB seems like a lot, but can you imagine how much data the Obama administration might leave? Considering that they seem more 'connected' then most other politicians.

    there is always talk of obsolete formats here on /. but can you imagine the baggage left by some of these administrations?
  • Re:It's just unreal (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @07:44AM (#26248565)

    If they get back in any time before he dies off, he will be there in the background, pulling the strings of whatever new puppet president they choose.

    And Obama isn't a third Clinton administration? :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @08:39AM (#26248815)

    If you RTFA (I know, I know) you'd see that the information is principally in email systems and in a records management system storing all the textual material (e.g. documents, but also spreadsheets, pictures, audio, videa and everything else people like to plonk in those systems).

    By focussing on volume of data, the article is a bit misleading. It's 100Tb of stuff in several different email and records management systems, with no easy or obvious way to suck all the data out of them and preserve it and the context it was found in.

    So some bespoke coding will almost certainly be required to interface with all this (largely unknown) data and data formats, and reconstruct it all in a generic preservation system. You also need to preserve a lot of the contextual metadata you discover. It's a big job.

  • Re:Disgusting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbIII (701233) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @09:34AM (#26249083)

    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?

    Looking from overseas I find it sadly funny that people who call themselves "Republicans" really want to act like absolute monarchs instead. Hopefully future administrations will act a little bit more like the government George Washington and others wanted instead of like some 18th century German principality.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @09:53AM (#26249191)
    Maybe we can find out how someone can have the goodwill of nearly every nation on earth (even Libya offered to help!), a tame congress, wartime expediency in letting anything you like get through, signing statements to change anything you don't like, a booming economy, a military grudgingly ready even to abandon the Geneva convention if ordered and access to experts on every subject yet STILL muck it up so badly.
  • by kenh (9056) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @11:52AM (#26249943) Homepage Journal

    I agree, they are evil for witholding information, they are evil for dumping too much information - either pick a side OR admit your hatred of the Bush Administration isn't based on the free-flow (or lack ther-of) of information from this white house.

    In a recent article about Obama, they mentioned that George Bush decided to stop sending emails to his daughters while in office because he didn't want those private note part of a public record at some point. Link to the article [politico.com]. The collection of records knows no real limits (IMHO), and that will only lead to increased data retention for the national archives as time goes on.

    If the president actively browses the internet from the oval office, do the american people have a right to his browser history, dump of temporary internet files, etc.? I certain the answer is "Yes", but I'm not quite sure how that will help historians understand a presidential term...

  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @01:15PM (#26250647) Homepage

    They have to store it without losing any of it. That means redundant storage distributed geographically. The cost of doing this is pretty significant.

    The cost for 100 TB of data storage from Newegg is currently $9322 [newegg.com]. So the cost for 100 backup systems, distributed geographically, would probably be less than a million dollars, after government bulk purchase rates are figured in. When we are giving 7,000 times that amount to the banks, etc., and hoping that they will be able to survive and pay the loans back, I don't think the cost is too much to worry about, when the figure calculated is an obscene amount of redundancy.

  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Sunday December 28, 2008 @07:06PM (#26253259) Homepage

    Government employees aren't supposed to be using government computers for non-government purposes. I can't complain if Cheney has a few shopping lists and personal emails lying around, but truly personal files should be few and small. If he claims that any substantial portion of his files are personal, he's either lying or he has been misusing government property.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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