Mail server

Tech company: There’s no indication that Clinton’s email server was ‘erased’

The company that ran Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email server said it had “no knowledge of the server being wiped”, the best indication yet of tens of thousands of emails that Clinton said were deleted could be recovered.

Clinton and her advisers have said for months that she deleted her personal correspondence from her time as secretary of state, making 31,000 emails appear to be gone forever.

There is a distinction between deleting emails and clearing a server. If emails are deleted or moved from a server, they appear to no longer exist on the device. But experts say that depending on the state of the server, the underlying data may remain on the device and emails can often be restored.

For information to disappear permanently, a server must be wiped – a process that includes overwriting the underlying data with gibberish, possibly multiple times.

That process, according to Platte River Networks, the Denver-based company that’s run the system since 2013, apparently didn’t happen.

During an interview with ABC News, Hillary Clinton apologized for using a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Here are past statements where the presidential hopeful neglected to take personal responsibility for the controversy. (The Washington Post)

“Platte River has no knowledge that the server has been wiped,” company spokesman Andy Boian told The Washington Post. “All information we have indicates that the server has not been wiped.”

Clinton and her team avoided responding directly if the server had already been wiped.

In a memorable exchange at a campaign event in Las Vegas last month, Clinton dismissed whether the waiter had been wiped down with a joke: “Like what, with a rag?” she said, adding, “I have no idea how it works digitally.”

Campaign spokesman Brian Fallon gave a similar response this month, telling CNN, “I don’t know what ‘erased’ means. Literally, the emails were deleted from the server, that’s true.

The server Clinton used as Secretary of State was stored at her home in Chappaqua, NY, and was shared with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and his team. The device was operated during this time by a State Department staffer who was paid personally by the Clintons for his work on their private system.

All of Clinton’s State Department emails were on the server when the device was taken over in June 2013 by Platte River Networks, four months after Clinton left.

Catching up with controversy and reading emails

A lawyer for the company said all of Clinton’s emails were then migrated to a new server.

The emails were deleted from the second server in 2014, with Clinton attorneys storing those they deemed work-related on a USB drive and deleting those they deemed entirely personal. Copies of 30,000 business emails were turned over to the State Department in December and are being made public in batches under a court order.

The original server remained under Platte River’s control in a secure New Jersey data center until the company turned it over to the FBI last month. A lawyer for the company said the device was “pristine” when handed over to investigators, but did not specifically say it had been wiped.

The FBI examines the security of Clinton’s email setup. Officials said she was not a target. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the status of the investigation.

A Clinton campaign spokesperson declined to comment for this article.

Even if the emails could be restored, it’s unclear if anyone would have the power to do so.

Conservative groups have already lobbied in court for access to those emails, if they exist.

Saturday, the senses. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairmen of the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees respectively, said they would push for the deleted emails to be reviewed if they can be recovered.

Politically, even the possibility that the emails could be retrieved is likely to further escalate a problem that has already plagued the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign. Clinton tried to sidestep the issue for months and said Tuesday she was “sorry” for not using separate email accounts for public and private business.

In terms of data recovery, the difference between a server whose data was simply deleted or deleted, versus a server that was wiped is “night and day,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the Center’s chief technologist. for Democracy and Technology. , a non-partisan group advocating for internet privacy.

“The wiping is designed to make the material that was underneath unrecoverable. That’s the whole point,” he said. “The likelihood of recovering material is very, very high if you don’t have it. not wiped.”

Experts generally recommend wiping or overwriting a server multiple times to ensure it’s fully wiped.

Still, Hall said, other considerations could affect whether deleted data can be retrieved from a server, even if it hasn’t been erased. For example, data traces left on a server that has been left without power can degrade over time, he said.

The conservative group Judicial Watch on September 4 asked a federal judge to order the State Department to take steps to determine if those personal emails still exist. The group said Clinton’s emails were essentially government property that she should not have been allowed to take after she left the State Department.

Justice Department attorneys, on behalf of the State Department, opposed the request, arguing that the personal emails are not federal records and the court has no jurisdiction to require their preservation. On Wednesday, government lawyers offered a strong defense of Clinton’s email practices in a court filing, arguing that federal employees, including Clinton, are allowed to delete personal emails provided they preserve those that deal with public affairs.

“There is no doubt that former Secretary Clinton had the authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision – she could have done so appropriately even though she was working on a government server,” wrote the lawyers.

The State Department determined that 1,250 of the emails she submitted were entirely personal, and the agency resent them. Clinton said this indicated she had erred in handing over more than necessary.

But Republican lawmakers have questioned the credibility of Clinton’s process for dividing her public and personal email correspondence.

Lawmakers repeatedly noted that some or all of the 15 emails to Clinton from longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal that appeared to be work-related were missing from the State Department’s official email file. Blumenthal had provided these emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

That panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (RS.C.), said at the time that Blumenthal’s missing emails confirmed “doubts about the completeness of Clinton’s self-selected public record and raise questions about his decision to delete it”. personal server . . . before it can be analyzed by an independent and neutral third party.

On Saturday, Grassley called on “independent authorities” to review any deleted emails that could be recovered. Johnson, in his statement Saturday, said his committee was concerned about whether Clinton’s email system compromised national security and that any message “that the FBI is able to retrieve would obviously be important to the work of the committee”.

The revelation that Clinton never ordered the server wipe could bolster her claims that her actions were honest, suggesting she didn’t take active steps to hide her emails.

Still, the new information could highlight the carefully worded answers Clinton and her advisers have provided on the matter.

At a press conference in March shortly after her email practices were disclosed, Clinton described her decision not to keep emails dealing with the kind of private issues that no one would want to reveal in public.

“I have chosen not to keep my personal emails private – emails about Chelsea’s wedding planning or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, vacations with family, the other stuff you usually find in inboxes,” she mentioned. “Nobody wants their personal emails made public, and I think most people understand that and respect that privacy.”

In a letter that month, Clinton attorney David Kendall told a House inquiry that no emails from Clinton’s time as secretary “reside on the server. or on any backup system associated with the server”.

In her Sept. 4 interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Clinton said the personal emails were deleted after the careful process of disposing of work-related correspondence that had been sent to the State Department.

“I was asked, ‘Do you need to keep your personal emails?’ said Clinton. “And I said, ‘No, I don’t. You can delete them.’ And they were.