back to article Missing: 1TB of Clinton White House data

A hard drive containing more than 1 terabyte of sensitive data from the Clinton administration, including the personal information of White House staff and visitors, is missing from the US National Archives. One of the social security numbers lost in the breach belonged to a daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, according …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Yeah, "investigation"

    Is the investigation being done by the same FBI that has, as matter of routine, laptops and guns (including machine guns) "missing" from their inventory at the rate of just under 1 each week? No matter, I'm sure this has nothing to do with making sure certain information never sees the light of day. Sure some unfortunate slob will be caught with some of the stolen bank records but the important thing is that the incriminating evidence is gone for good. Blackmailers will "commit suicide."

  2. Antony Evans

    Can I be the first to say...

    I did not have sex with THAT hard drive!!!

    Mine's the one with the stain on the front.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    say it ain't so?

    Wait, was this actual "archive data" or was it porn and pictures of lewdinski?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    or was it....

    ...someone who wants to flog the expence data to the torygraph?

  5. Steve Evans


    They had a terabyte drive during the Clinton years? Oh how the other half live!

    I assume this (amazingly advanced for it's time) removable drive was encrypted of course?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Roll on WikiLeaks carrying this data. lawl

  7. Allan Rutland
    Thumb Down

    Got to love the security...

    "About 100 badge-holders had access to the area, which was also available to janitors, visitors, and employees passing through to access the bathroom."

    So, its a lovely secure area but for the 100 people working there...and we also leave the doors wide open for even the public to go through for a piddle. Call of nature beats White House security...anyone would think they worked for the British Gov with this level of incompetance.

  8. Pete Silver badge

    It'll turn up

    A terabyte of "sensitive" Clinton data lost?

    No need to worry, I'm sure it'll get posted to a porno group on Usenet soon.

  9. Ferry Boat

    Those long winter months

    I don't want to appear fussy but isn't a hard drive already digitised? The information on the drive is digital even if the actual storage mechanism isn't quite. Oh, and that word, "egregious". Well that's been spoilt for me by that TV program where the woman with the funny voice says it lots.

  10. John Macintyre

    between October and March

    they took how long to notice? Couldn't have been that important then. You'd hope even if they area was unsecured (well, who cares about national security eh?) that the drive itself has sufficient encryption to make it harder to access.... but i bet it doesn't

  11. Jason Togneri

    @ Errr

    "They had a terabyte drive during the Clinton years? ... I assume this (amazingly advanced for it's time) removable drive ..."

    First comment was predictably brain-dead. The staff there were busy DIGITISING Clinton-era data, so presumably they bought their own hard drives to put all these terabytes of freshly-digitised information onto - and since the information wasn't already digitised, we can presume it wasn't resident on any hard drive during the Clinton era. Sheesh. Try actually reading the article.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @Ferry & Steve

    The article doesn't suggest that this was material waiting to be processed rather than the end result. Given the size of the drive in question it seems more likely that this was material produced by the archives from the original paper records.

  13. mdubh


    Why bother offering a reward for its return? Why not bid for it on ebay like everyone else?

  14. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Stinking Phish Barrels.

    "Missing: 1TB of Clinton White House data" ..... The US Clone Model of the TB Expenses Shredding Cover-Up Action but there's always a Sinking Trail Easily Followed, Left Behind and Carried Forward into Present Operations to Confirm Suspicions and Scuttle Presumptions .

  15. David Stever

    ...I know where to look for it

    If they're looking for it, I'd check with Karl Rove or 'Dick' Cheney.

  16. Stephen


    Someone should check Sandy Berger's pants. It's probably there.

  17. 4irw4y
    IT Angle

    Can't Get A Man - Can't Get A Job

    Wasn't there a CCTV up on the ceiling of the passage?

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I think

    The information was being copied to the hard disk, not the other way round, so no a 1 TByte hard disk was not being used by the White House in the late 90s.

    The process is called electronic document management. You have all these pieces of paper taking up masses amounts of storage space. So the answer is to keep all the pieces of paper and scan them into an intelligent electronic document management system that's too complicated for your average person to figure out how to use. What that does is (with masses of human-input) is create databases of information with document readers for each type of file being stored.. and absolutely nothing that solves the storage problem all that paper caused.

    Queries then retrieve the data and the relevant reader will be used to view it automatically. The system we use at our Dept of Transportation cost about $30K, has mirror sites around the state (connected via fiber) and keeps track of all documentation related to projects dating back to the 60s.

    Nowadays that includes email and word processor documents associated with projects (usually converted to pdfs but there are other possible formats) as well as your regular dwgs.

    Older projects have had the letters and legal paper work scanned and converted to pdfs, and paper drawings scanned and converted into dwgs.

    Naturally we use network appliances to store the data, usually made up of multiple 1/2 or 1 TByte disks, with built in redundancy and repair.

    So there you have it. The most likely scenario is that this unsecured hard disk was the end product of electronic document management and as such should have had encryption built in.

    None of the data we store is unencrypted even though we don't keep anything that you'd normally associate with requiring security. I mean the huge fucking road or bridge we built is a bit of a giveaway, not usually something you can pretend didn't happen. Of course the number of government systems with default usernames and passwords left unchanged are another story. But I'm sure admin / admin won't work.. well pretty sure... well I'm hopeful.. shit it's going to work isn't it?

  19. Matthew
    Thumb Down


    firstly that they had 1tb drives in the clinton years. and 2ndly that they still don't have cctv or encryption to catch whoever did it. *sigh* I don't think ANY government anywhere in the world has caught up with the basics of security in the modern age.

  20. Inachu


    Hey lets make sure trace of JOHN DOE or JANE DOE go missing by placing data near the bathroom so that data can be lost on purpose and claim that the National Archives had no other place to store the data.

    This is so stupid that the boss/manager who placed the data/hard drive out in the open with ZERO protection there is complicit in the data theft.

    Not just FBI but CIA needs to investigate and find out who has what memberships to whatever groups that have purpose against certain data at the archival site.

    To who ever did it and is reading this: Shame on you. You are:


    A theif

    Someone who can't be trusted

    A spy.

  21. skeptical i

    "Oops" as an absolute defense?

    Why attribute to malice what can be explained away by incompetence?

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