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Hard Drive With Clinton-Era Data Missing From Nat'l Archives 180

Posted by timothy
from the vince-foster's-recipe-collection dept.
CWmike writes "An external hard drive that's believed to contain nearly 1TB of data from the Clinton Administration is missing from the US National Archives and Recording Administration (NARA). The drive includes more than 100,000 Social Security numbers and home addresses of people who visited or worked at the White House. Among those whose information is on the list is one of then-Vice President Al Gore's three daughters. The drive also contained details on the security procedures used by the Secret Service at the White House, as well as event logs, social gathering logs, political records and other information from the Clinton administration. Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) said the Archives was in the process of converting information from the drive to a digital records system when it apparently disappeared. The hard drive was apparently removed from a secure storage area to a workplace where at least 100 'badge-holders' had access to it, Issa noted."
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Hard Drive With Clinton-Era Data Missing From Nat'l Archives

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  • What? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:26PM (#28032525)
    There was a 1TB HDD in the Clinton administration? I knew it, he was a Terminator!
  • But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maugle (1369813) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:27PM (#28032529)
    But it's OK, because the data was encrypted, right? RIGHT?
    • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pablodiazgutierrez (756813) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:53PM (#28032893) Homepage

      It'd be nicer if the real world would learn from the cryptography field. Meaning no White House security procedure would be considered really safe if it hasn't been publicly reviewed. Everything else is security through obscurity, and it's bound to be leaked as shown. Just speculating.

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:10PM (#28033099)

        It'd be nicer if the real world would learn from the cryptography field. Meaning no White House security procedure would be considered really safe if it hasn't been publicly reviewed. Everything else is security through obscurity, and it's bound to be leaked as shown. Just speculating.

        Ah, no public review is necessary when it clearly falls under the guise of Common Fucking Sense. When grasping for words to describe the incompetency here, I believe in the ramblings of of the Bull Durham Coach. This is a simple game. You get the data. You save the data. You encrypt the data. YOU GOT IT?!?

    • Somewhat irrelevant at this point, as most encryption methods in use in 2000 have either been broken, or advances in computer power have rendered them easily crackable.
      There are exceptions, of course, but it would be pure dumb luck that one of these exceptions was used to encrypt, rather than a broken one.

      The real question is, will the current crop of retards realize "Hey....since this info was lost from previous administrations, maybe stuff can be lost for us, too! Maybe these electronic health records fo

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        will the current crop of retards realize

        By current crop of retards, do you mean the administration? The people who put them in office, both, or government in general? I'm wondering because some of them can't bother to be consistently outraged by important things like those required by the PRA to be retained coming up missing when someone attempts to archive them into the digital records system.

        I mean we should be hearing shouts of incompetence and dirty dealings with some conspiracy connected to Hillary

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cbiltcliffe (186293)

          will the current crop of retards realize

          By current crop of retards, do you mean the administration? The people who put them in office, both, or government in general?

          Yes.

      • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

        by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @10:26PM (#28035013) Homepage

        Wait what? What major encryption algorithms have been cracked in the last 15 years or been computationally overpowered?

        MD5 has had a few weaknesses found, but nothing has broken it completely.
        Stuff like RSA have been around for 35 years and are still uncracked.

        • If they used RSA, yes. It would still be unbreakable, that we know of.

          But when we're talking about government information here, I'm sure there are certain other governments around the world that would throw a significant amount of computing power at breaking whatever encryption was used.

          If it was something involving MD5, you can be pretty sure it would be broken into fairly quickly.

          And this is the US government we're talking about. If they encrypted this stuff in 2000, it wouldn't surprise me at all to fi

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cheater512 (783349)

            The Government has the NSA advising it, so no weak encryption would be used.

            But it wasnt encrypted in the first place which shows that they were lazy, but not *completely* incompetent.

    • by Phroggy (441)

      But it's OK, because the data was encrypted, right? RIGHT?

      Except that the purpose of putting this data on this hard drive was so that the National Archives would have free access to it, so that they could convert it into another format, encrypting as necessary. Yes, they could have encrypted it first, and given the National Archives the password along with the drive, but I'd be willing to bet they didn't.

    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @11:50PM (#28035589)

      If this harddrive was from the Bush administration, would we be worried about the encryption or screaming of another cover up?

  • Hmm. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me, or is "Clinton-era data" slang for "jizz"?

  • A "secure" area (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:28PM (#28032547) Homepage

    The hard drive was apparently removed from a secure storage area...

    Obviously not secure enough.

  • Data missing again (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:28PM (#28032549)

    Any finance-sensitive and/or war crime reports on that disk I wonder...

  • QUICK!!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:28PM (#28032555)

    Somebody check Sandy Berger's underwear!!!

  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:30PM (#28032587) Homepage Journal

    Besides having data from back in that time frame. It's interesting that the summary doesn't point out that it was lost in the latter part of the Bush administration, and the story mentions the timeframe without being as balatant about who was in power.

    I sense partisanship.

    • Since the summary said the disk "is" missing, i was going to chime in (humourously) with "Whether it really IS missing depends on what the meaning of IS IS..."

    • by kingbyu (682024) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:15PM (#28033135) Homepage Journal

      According to the article, "the loss is believed to have occurred between October 2008 and March 2009." Thus, the hard drive could have been lost during the Obama presidency.

    • by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108&bellsouth,net> on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @08:05PM (#28033693)

      Yeah, you sense partisanship, your own. The article didn't say or even imply the Clinton admin spirited away the data, fuck 1 tb drives didn't even exist in his administration. The article title is "Hard drive with Clinton-era data missing from National Archives". As in, a hard drive with Clinton era existed (ie they didnt destroy/lose the data before it was transferred to the archives) and now it is missing. The article clearly says "The drive was discovered missing in early April and the breach was immediately reported to senior officials at the NARA".

      Furthermore it is being reported on by ComputerWorld, a site about tech news that doesn't exactly seem to have some grand political agenda (unless that agenda is to point out exactly how incompetent the IT staff at the National Archives is).

      It's clear the partisan element here is you, and your thinking has become so clouded you are seeing conspiracies where there aren't any. We have a name for that, it is called paranoia. Paranoia seems to be behind a lot of the mistakes the Bush administration made, perhaps you should learn from their mistakes.

      Data archives should be encrypted where possible, and data archives stored on external drives should always be encrypted. Furthermore, Social Security numbers of Clinton era staffers should have been purged in the first place, as there is no historical reason to save them and plenty of reason to delete them. This is a fuck-up by the National Archives, and they should be held accountable for their fuck-up. There is no reason to complicate the matter with politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by INT_QRK (1043164)
      I'll call your BS. Quote from article: "the loss is believed to have occurred between October 2008 and March 2009." Seems the time of uncertainly lies equally in both administrations, which you spin to the left. Partisanship indeed.
    • That's because it was lost between the last few months of the Bush Administration (October 2008) and the first couple of months of the Obama Administration (March 2009). So this is actually an example of an unbiased article as there is, at this time, no way of knowing under which Administration it went missing.
      Personally, it seems likely to me that someone took it in order to get a free external hard drive and it has already been wiped (probably not securely).
  • Remember? (Score:2, Funny)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) *
    When 4 mg of ram was screamin?
  • Hmm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:36PM (#28032685)
    home addresses of people who visited or worked at the White House. Gee, I can't imagine who would be interested in this information. After all, it's not like anybody in the White House at that time was a well-known philanderer with a brilliant but opportunistic wife who might want to track down some of his late-night "visitors", is it? Maybe it's just our new Secretary of State working on her enemies list. I'm not sure 1 TByte is enough to record all of the bimbos, but at least it's a start.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      1 TB = Terra-Bimbo?

    • Actually the NSA did a warrentless search, and has as of yet to ask for a FISA warrant, as they were unable to find a link between the Clinton Administration and Al Quaeda before the Bush administration ended.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        What do you mean a link between Al Quaeda and Clinton? We know Clinton bailed on a couple of opportunities to assassinate Bin Laden, We know that Clinton and many democrats of the era constantly complained about how big of a threat Al Quaeda and Iraq was. I don't think anyone has ever looked for a link between them other then that nor have they stated one existed.

        Clinton and Al Quaeda were not operating together in any way.

  • Who ever stole it reformatted and is using it for bit torrent porn downloads now.

  • Hey... (Score:3, Funny)

    by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:41PM (#28032757) Homepage
    They should check the London Underground train system. I hear a lot of missing secret government data ends up there.
  • Was it stolen by being stuffed down someone's pants? National Archives' Security is pants.
  • Identity Theft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theArtificial (613980) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:09PM (#28033075)
    Maybe identity theft will become more of a concern when it happens to a somebody.
    • by barzok (26681)

      Maybe identity theft will become more of a concern when it happens to a somebody.

      Worked for slamming the door on "The Auto Warranty Company".

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:16PM (#28033145)

    Audio of interview with Monica Lewinski.
    WJ 'Sax' Clinton: Step a little closer and speak into the mike...

  • eBay (Score:5, Funny)

    by cstdenis (1118589) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:33PM (#28033347)

    Check eBay.

    • by EdIII (1114411) *

      Actually considering this was from the Clinton Administration, check the Adult Section at Craigslist.

  • No car analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thethibs (882667) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:35PM (#28033363) Homepage

    How do we put this in terms this gang can understand?

    How often has an IT admin, just doing his job, backed up sensitive HR files to an unsecured backup medium stored in an unsecured area? What? Encrypt the backup just for a few HR files? The files are scattered all over the SAN. Too much trouble. Besides, they're safe here. There's just eighteen admins with access to the area. Yah--the same eighteen people who know the one password we use for all the databases.

    In an Archive, the preservationists are the "techies". They keep the archive available. These are the guys who keep building indexes and copying stuff from old media to new media so it's always readable. They are the "backup people", and like most IT admins, they don't let anything get in the way of doing what they believe is their mission.

    What most likely happened was that, instead of taking their equipment into the high security zone to process the sensitive information in there, they brought the sensitive information out to their equipment in the low security zone. It was the expedient thing to do. I think also illegal.

    No conspiracy here, just laziness and a lack of security awareness.

    • Re:No car analogy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by twostix (1277166) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:45AM (#28036197)

      You have absolutely *no* basis for any of what you just said.

      You've fabricated a complete fantasy and presented it as fact, you are the person you rail against - a conspiracy theorist of a slightly different stripe.

      There's a million explanations of what could have happened. The only rational thing to do is wait for some ort of investigation to produce results. To present a fantasy of your own making then state that it's case closed is the hieght of stupidity.

      The fact that you are modded to +5 insightful glaringly shows the extreme need for the people in this tiny little group to believe that everything in life is peachy squeaky clean and just an innocent accident. Thank god none of you are cops, nobody would ever be arrested!

      "See officer what happened is the person was just cleaning my gun and it accidently shot and then the wind blew their money into my pocket. As you know there's no such thing as malice!"

  • File Sharing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Swimsc (1297393) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:40PM (#28033429)
    I bet it turns up, through file sharing, on a PC in Iran.
  • by MacColossus (932054) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @08:28PM (#28033933) Journal
    Sandy Berger borrowed it. I'm sure he will return it soon with no revisions made. :-) http://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/02/nation/na-berger2 [latimes.com]
  • by Neanderthal Ninny (1153369) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @09:02PM (#28034247)

    Also wag that finger on that dais.

  • ...the thief was interested in the SS numbers of White House visitors. ("Score! The social security numbers of all the NCAA and World Series champions of the '90s!") Much more likely is that someone saw the drive on the shelf and said to themselves: "Whoa! A terabyte?! That'll hold all of my pr0n collection with some room left over for more."

  • by sendro (1548069) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:14AM (#28035729)
    I have seen first hand the decommissioning processes for IT equipment. If companies and the general public had any ideas what happens to "your secure data" you would just be shocked and amazed. Your valuable data is put in a container and shipped over seas to various countries which basically pay per the KG. Your network may be secure, but once decommissioned your data is basically available to anyone.
  • They were My Book portable hard drives. Basically, the Archives were using USB drives for backups (today) vs and that there were 1TB drives back in 2000 is incorrect.

    Still, this plainly says: dysfunctional gov't.

    And in the end, the gov't doesn't care about your private information: it's to expensive to maintain and they would be held accountable. They rather sell it to the highest bidder or sell the maintenance to the lowest bidder.

  • It was a last minute attempt to avoid being caught with his pants down by his wife, he told the SS
    to erase or remove any trace of Monica's address so his wife could not find out....too bad he couldn't burn the dress.

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