During an interview on ABC News This Week, Rep. Trey Gowdy offered a very incisive comment and I’m ashamed to confess that I hadn’t thought about it before.
If all that remained on Hillary’s secret personal server were over 30,000 innocuous emails related to Chelsea’s wedding and yoga exercises, why would it have been necessary to “wipe” it clean? Why wouldn’t an ordinary file delete function be sufficient?
Gowdy suggested that the level of erasure to which her server had been subjected would be directly related to the importance of the data being erased.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist for the Center for Democracy and Technology, said some ways of deleting information from a server are more thorough than others. A quick deletion may erase data from the table of contents in a server, but the data itself could remain deep in the system.
Experts typically use a more thorough but time-consuming way to erase the data, using software to write over the files with gibberish. The Department of Defense and the NSA recommend writing over data multiple times to ensure it is fully obscured.
Whether any files remain on Clinton’s server “depends on the level of technical competence of the people doing the damage control,” Hall said.
Thus, classified emails that could document evidence of Hillary’s possible criminal activities would require DOD/NSA military-level wiping of the data to assure that it couldn’t be recovered – even by the FBI using extraordinary forensic measures.
While seemingly unimportant emails about weddings, funerals, and yoga exercises wouldn’t require any more than a simple “delete,” after all, who would care about Hillary’s personal documents? Gowdy has even stated before that he wasn’t interested in her personal emails, only her work related ones. Would you be interested? I sure wouldn’t.
Gowdy’s statement is a very astute observation and it makes logical sense. I’ll be interested to follow the progress of the FBI’s forensic process to recover data from the supposedly “clean” server. The more difficult the job is, the more damning the “deleted” emails were likely to be.