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The IRS Had a Contract With an Email Backup Company

The IRS had a contract with email backup service vendor Sonasoft starting in 2005

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said it can't provide emails sent between 2009 and 2011 that were requested by congressional investigators because of hard drive crashes.

The agency said that emails stored on dead drives were lost forever because its email backup tapes were recycled every six months, and employees were responsible for keeping their own long-term archives. 

The IRS had a contract with email backup service vendor Sonasoft starting in 2005, according to FedSpending.org, which lists the contract as being for "automatic data processing services." Sonasoft's motto is "email archiving done right," and the company lists the IRS as a customer.

In 2009, Sonasoft even sent out a Tweet advertising its work for the IRS. 

The extent and exact details of the service that Sonasoft provided to the IRS aren't clear. But the company advertises its email archiving solution as "ideal for small and medium businesses, government agencies, school districts, nonprofit organizations using Microsoft’s Exchange Server." And a document posted on its website describing its services says that its system "archives all email content and so reduces the risk of non-compliance with legal, regulatory and other obligations to preserve critical business content." 

Sonasoft connection and IRS contract details first noted on Morgenr's Twitter account

Update: Sonasoft's contracts with Treasury were pretty modest: about $5,556 in 2005, $24,706 in 2008, and $13,983 in both 2009 and 2010. And the company itself is not very large (it has a market cap of $4.4 million). So it's quite possible that the extent of its services were pretty limited. 

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  • anonymous20001||

    TIRNO-10-Z-00009 541519 Email Archiving Software and Maintenance SB YES $4,900,000.00 8/16/2013 VALERIE A. ROBINSON MICROLINK LLC

  • Beautiful Bean Footage||

    Damnit, that's what I came here to post!

  • anonymous20001||

    Microlink was bought by Autonomy which was bought by HP. Interwoven also shows up on IRS purchases and that software also has archiving capability. Interwoven is also an Autonomy/HP purchase. The entire product line is heavy with archiving options.

  • WTF||

    'Tony' created a black hole of derp on the other thread so dense that it sucked half of the site into it. It is derp so dense that no reason can escape.

  • Restoras||

    Well Tony does suck the Cock of Government Power over all Underlings (except himself and fellow progtard travellers, of course) so I can only imagine he was just getting started on a derpularity just so intense. I'm sure he has another waiting in the wings.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    What'd he say, something about how majorities of voters should be able to organize their communities how they see fit, restricting the voluntary exchanges of other adults in the community?

    Was it something like that?

  • paranoid android||

    It was a heroic defense of the poor beleaguered IRS executives who are obviously the target of a Republican witch hunt because there's no evidence of their wrongdoing that Tony considers valid and no reason to disbelieve them when they claim to just have criminally deficient IT management practices, so why doesn't everyone just shut the hell up and stop asking them questions about it.

  • Restoras||

    Clearly something everyone here knows I am in favor of. I'll have to apologize to Tony when he shows up here.

  • Tony||

    You're not on higher moral ground when you demand that I avoid trespassing on your property because God said so.

  • Restoras||

    Avoid, only? As in, under certain circumstances it is ok? What kind of ambiguity is that coming from a God?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Everyone is on higher moral ground than you.

  • Brandon||

    Burn that straw man, Tony.

  • DesigNate||

    Since you think it's okay to line up your political enemies and murder them, I'd say just about everyone save Rick Santorum is on higher moral ground.

  • Brian||

    You're not on higher moral ground when you demand that I avoid trespassing on your property because God said so.

    You sound so whiny and shrill when you talk like that.

  • John Galt||

    Further proof that the derpituity of the 'Tony' is limitless.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's what reason gets for renting website drive space from the IRS.

  • ||

    No, no. They used Amazon Cloud Services. Big mistake.

  • Restoras||

    Holy crap. What the hell happened?

  • WTF||

    The Jacket's hard drive crashed. No, really, that's totally how these things happen!

  • PapayaSF||

    And then, as per standard procedure, it was immediately shredded and recycled into monocle frames.

  • db||

    Now *this* is how irony fucking works!

  • db||

    God that would be horrible to witness. People don't just break when they hit, they rupture.

  • db||

    Wow, wrong thread. What a surprise.

  • sarcasmic||

    like a bag of wet cement?

  • ||

    It seems the squirrels have gotten too big to feed on comments, and now devour entire articles.

  • Andrew S.||

    That's what happened to the IRS e-mails. The squirrels were fat and hungry from feasting on Reason comments, and went foraging for more tasty treats, which they found on the IRS e-mail server.

  • trshmnster the terrible||

  • SQRLSY One||

    Just STOP all of this blaming of the Squirrels, now, WILL YA, fer Chriss-sakes!?!? It hurts my baby feelings, for one thing. For another… It was all actually the fault of the NSA… Whenever my hard drive crashes on my home PC, I just get the NSA to restore it for me, since they constantly track my every move every day, anyway. If the NSA can do this for me, then why not for the IRS also? The NSA let us all down, what else can we say?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    So did anyone bother to ask the email backup company if they have the emails? Seems like that would be a necessary component of this article.

  • WTF||

    I bet that has already been 'taken care of' on behalf of the IRS. I doubt even a government agency would be so stupid as to leave that loose thread out there while they were destroying evidence.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Good point.

  • Rich||

    Then fucking subpoena *that* aspect!

  • PapayaSF||

    As well as everybody Lerner and co. emailed, including the Democratic senators who were urging persecution of Tea Party groups.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    Anybody check the missing persons reports? Accidental deportation of American citizens? Folks arrested on traffic violations lost in central booking?

  • Martel732||

    Given that Obamacare was given to a heavy affirmative action company and their results it is quite possible it was an affirmative action backup company. Never blame malice when government incompetence and affirmative action workers are involved.

  • Paul.||

    It's possible they don't. To continue yesterday's discussion, the IRS is tiptoeing around my 'alternate scenario' where Important People(tm) may have been reaching a policy limit on mailbox size, and decided to archive emails on a local PST file. As I said before, this is where the IT people get 10 minutes with baseball bats in an alley with Ms. Lerner to re-explain to her why that's not a good idea.

  • Ivan Pike||

    Paul, since your link in SF'd, why no archive emails on a local PST file? Does you opinion change if the PST file is backed up? I ask because I have YEARS of emails in archive.PST files that are in my "personal" folder that is backed up.

  • Ted S.||

    Damn you for beating me to the punch! :-)

    (I tried to post this comment before, and preview showed a comment, but when I hit submit, it only went to reason.com/comments/post or something like that. And then I got a 502 gateway error.)

  • Paul.||

    Proper link: http://www.techrepublic.com/bl.....pst-files/

    The first thing to look at is what is the ACTUAL location of your PST file. If the PST file is physically stored locally on your hardrive, there's a 99% chance it's not backed up.

    In our enterprise's case, when we used to 'allow' PST files, those PST files could be stored on a user's folder located on the SAN which was backed up. However:

    3. PST files are prone to corruption
    One of the big problems with PST files is that they are prone to corruption. The original PST file format had a 2 GB size limit, and corruption would occur if the file grew beyond its limit. Modern PST files are less prone to corruption, but can still be problematic. This is especially true for PST files that are stored in locations where they might be accessed by more than one user at a time.

    Oh if Uncle Paul. had a nickel for every time...

    Bottom line is, don't use them. Either get your IT person to increase your storage cap, or get a third party archiving solution.

    I can't speak to third party archiving solutions because our enterprise doesn't use them. Our policy comes down to:

    If your mailbox fills up and you're a regular schmuch, Paul will teach you how to clean up your email and how to stop using your inbox as a document management system.

  • Ted S.||

    Just store all of them as separate .txt files. [/sarcasm]

  • Miguelitosd||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maildir

    Actually has a lot of advantages over database files or even the old school mbox/mbox formats that can get corrupted losing many messages.

    Plus you can use command line tools to look through your mail, move things around, etc if desired. I use this format for my own email and find it a lot nicer to deal with than the steaming pile that is exchange.

  • Ivan Pike||

    One more time. Thanks for the reply. I use PST because we switched to gmail a couple years ago. The files are backed up (we back up everything - Dept. of Interior) and I need to be able to access emails from 10+ years ago. Any suggestion on how to make sure they stay safe as they are on a gov server.

  • Paul.||

    One more time. Thanks for the reply. I use PST because we switched to gmail a couple years ago.

    I guess I'm not understanding your setup here. You switched to gmail, so you keep your older email in a PST file linked with a local install of Outlook, but retrieve current or new emails through the gmail web interface?

    It sounds like the PST file is purely an archive solution, ie, you're not adding it or changing it? If that's the case, I'd say you're ok, as long as that PST file is physically located in a place that's part of a general backup solution. Don't look at where those emails are visually stored in your Outlook folder structure. Get the physical disk location of the PST file and make sure it's in a backed up locale.

    (so the dept of the interior uses Gmail as its official email solution?)

  • Ivan Pike||

    so you keep your older email in a PST file linked with a local install of Outlook, but retrieve current or new emails through the gmail web interface?

    Correct.

    It sounds like the PST file is purely an archive solution, ie, you're not adding it or changing it?

    Correct again. And it is most definitely being backed up. I work with Indian issues and those records NEVER get destroyed, ever.

    (so the dept of the interior uses Gmail as its official email solution?)

    And also correct.

  • Paul.||

    (so the dept of the interior uses Gmail as its official email solution?)

    And also correct.

    I take back everything I said. Lois Lerner's emails are gone, never to be seen again.

  • Ivan Pike||

    She works for the IRS.

  • Paul.||

    She works for the IRS.

    I know that. If the Department of the Interior can use Gmail as its official email solution, what's stopping Lois Lerner from doing the same?

  • Cyto||

    On the PST issue:

    If you are talking about an archive for your personal use, the PST is a good thing, because you have personal control over it. You can even drop it on a thumb drive and lock it in your safe at home.

    But as a corporate backup or archiving solution they are terrible. First, making sure they are backed up is extremely difficult. But just as important from a corporate view, how are you supposed to ensure that policies are followed? "Don't delete your old email!" doesn't work so well if Mary decides that this only means "important emails". And how is the legal department supposed to comply with a discovery request like "give us all emails pertaining to X" when they have to go around and find 15,000 PST files and sort through each one of them?

    An archiving solution solves all of these problems. Every email is saved to a database as it arrives at the server. They provide tools for security, searching, organizing searches, etc. They can also provide this capability to the end user - to search through their own email using advanced search functions.

  • Cyto||

    As to the mailbox size - most solutions have a way to allow you to replace all old emails on the server with a stub file - basically a hyperlink to the email on the archive server. This allows the company to forego the mailbox size quota as all email is swept away after a set period.

    In my personal experience this piece of the archiving solution saved a creaking exchange server that was loaded down by the ever-increasing size of email attachments. (in our case customers were sending in 100 page scanned documents). As soon as the archiving server install was completed 90% of the email on the exchange server was cleaned out.

  • Cyto||

    The bottom line on archiving: If you can't afford an archiving solution you should probably be outsourcing your email services. Just the cost of compliance with a single lawsuit can justify an archiving solution.

    Also - document retention policies can be set at the top level and are guaranteed to be followed. This works two ways: First, you won't face the IRS "we lost it" situation. Second, if you set a company policy that everything is deleted after a year... everything more than a year old will be gone. This can also come in handy. No fishing expeditions into the last 13 years of email. If this is handled at the desktop level you have no idea if the old emails are really gone, or if someone has monthly backup PST files zipped up on a thumb drive somewhere.

  • Overt||

    Generally speaking organizations set rules for email retention with the express purpose of making sure emails don't exist after a certain period (set by laws and an analysis of business need). This is specifically to avoid years old emails showing up in discovery for the odd lawsuit.

    Some companies do set data retention/destruction policies that not only affect server storage, but also local (on the users' computers) storage as well.

  • Ted S.||

    That's an interesting link.

  • db||

    There was some sort of time discontinuity, with comments appearing to be from the future. Just after I observed this and posted about.it, the wavefunction must have collapsed, and the Skwerlularity occurred.

  • Raston Bot||

    skwerl separatists got their hands on some malicious tech.

  • Restoras||

    It's a skwerelz Tet offensive.

  • ||

  • Raston Bot||

    Skwerlz are advanced enough to utilize a subversive Jain node. Who knew!

  • db||

    Alert Ray Kurzweil. It is the Skwerlularity.

  • Paul.||

    *golf clap*

  • Restoras||

    Wow, the skwerlpocolypse is upon us. Everything via Chrome is getting devoured.

  • Brandon||

    This is through Chrome.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Insert witty comment here about time travel and Sarah Connors. The skwerrlz ate it once and I'm too lazy to type it again.

  • ||

    Listen, and understand. That squirrel is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

  • JWatts||

    Unless you give it a nut. Other than that, it won't stop until you are dead.

  • mplspolitics||

    Why is the IRS article about Paul Ryan 404'd?

  • db||

    Dude, what *isn't* 404'ed?

  • Restoras||

    I've been getting 502 gateway errors too - never seen that beofre. What does it mean?

  • db||

    I think it means the basic connections between content servers on different subnets have been severed, in this context. Someone like Epi probably could explain better.

  • Rich||

    It's 404s all the way down!

  • Restoras||

    Suderman didn't get Megan's approval first

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I posted the meaning of life on that thread. Now I can't remember what I wrote. Oh, well.

  • Lord Humungus||

    26

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    42?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    See?

    /IRS

  • GILMORE||

    After having recovered from my trip through the time-portal,

    ...I noted that the above contract with IRS was not for any 'service' by an outside data-processing company, but an apparent 'software update' for their product. It doesn't necessarily mean that they had fully implemented or were using the software.

    This video describes what the software does

    It does, however, prove that people in IRS *were* actively involved in ways to capture "mid-stream" archiving of Exchange server data - i.e. that there was server level storage activity going on; and that said activity was at least conscious of their necessary role in meeting compliance requirements for document recovery. The software specifically markets itself as being a way to aid in rapid 'discovery' (searches) within archives which are not as easy with traditional Exchange backups

    in short - it makes the IRS claims of having 'lost' emails via some 'crashed' hard drive even less plausible.

  • Paul.||

    It still all presumes that Lois Lerner wasn't subverting her own agencies policies on retention and email use.

    If we could crystal-ball this and we were to find out that the emails were really lost, whoever the CIO is for the IRS should be fired, and Lois Lerner should be publicly excoriated for violating (if not fired) the most basic no-nos of email use.

    It's 2014. I gave people a pass up through the late 90s for "not really understanding this computer thing". No more. If you don't have an inkling about the use of an email program, quit your job and start a knitting circle.

  • Overt||

    If we could crystal-ball this and we were to find out that the emails were really lost, whoever the CIO is for the IRS should be fired, and Lois Lerner should be publicly excoriated for violating (if not fired) the most basic no-nos of email use.

    I don't understand why people keep saying the IRS "lost" these emails.

    They were destroyed as a matter of normal policy. This isn't a conspiracy, it's just how organizations work. Not only does their archival system guarantee that emails for a certain time frame will be preserved, they ALSO ensure that emails AFTER a period of time will be destroyed.

    That leaves three questions that must be answered.
    1) Did the policy violate any statutes on retention (by purging archives too early)
    2) Even if the policy did NOT violate statutes, was there a Hold Order issued by congress PRIOR to the date that emails would have been purged that they failed to implement?
    3) What happened to the local copies of emails. According to testimony, SEVEN different people involved in the inquiry (including Lerner) had hard-drive crashes during this time period, leading to data loss.

    I would be shocked to see #1 answer as Yes. I think #2 is unlikely. But number 3 is absurd. The idea that 7 separate drives all crashed among very senior VIPs strains credibility beyond blackhole tolerances.

  • Paul.||

    I don't understand why people keep saying the IRS "lost" these emails.

    They were destroyed as a matter of normal policy.

    Because Lois Lerner claims those emails were lost. Lois Lerner has not said, "those emails were destroyed as a normal policy" she said "those emails were lost because my hard drive crashed".

    This isn't a conspiracy, it's just how organizations work.

    No they don't. Some may work that way by policy some may not. Those that work that way by policy may not follow their own policy (88% of the time).

    Serious question, you sound like you work in an area with or for people that set policy.

    I work for one of the largest healthcare organizations in the world.

    Guess how stark the contrast is between the policy and what's actually going on in the field?

  • Overt||

    Lois Lerner has not said, "those emails were destroyed as a normal policy" she said "those emails were lost because my hard drive crashed".

    But that isn't what is being said. They said:
    1) There are no centrally held copies of the email because those "tapes" are "recycled" every six months. That is data-destruction as a policy.
    2) The local copies were "lost" in several HD crashes that took out seven different hard drives.

  • Overt||

    you sound like you work in an area with or for people that set policy.

    I work at one of the largest service providers in the world. In 15 years of this I have performed various roles including executing the policies for data retention, setting the policies of data retention and auditing the adherence to those policies.

    I understand that in big IT organizations, centralized, large-scale "failures" tend not to occur out of the acts of individuals (or conspiracies). Policy and organizational inertia tend to explain that sort of stuff. That is why I believe the following:

    1) They are not lying when they say that their IT practice does not preserve data longer than 6 months. Whether that policy has been vetted to adhere with statute has not been determined.
    2) It's more likely that the CENTRALIZED data was routinely destroyed prior to Hold Orders (Remember that the "fake apology" occurred in 2013, years after this happened) than there was some conspiracy where IT peons destroyed backups in clear violation of the law. Indeed, it is not clear if or when any hold orders were issued.
    3) The real place where crime likely occurred was 7 people destroying their laptop HDs to destroy local copies. That is a cover up that could have occurred with only a couple people who were already complicit (not too hard to format your own HD).

  • Cyto||

    Overt: You missed something else. The backup tapes were not the document retention plan, at least not according to the public statements. The retention plan was that they told their employees to save the emails in a PST file.

    That is the part that is hard to believe. If they had just come right out and said "our policy is to destroy all email after 6 months" the reaction would have been different.

    The 6 months of backup tapes does not seem to be a part of the official document retention policy. 6 months of backups does seem extremely short if you didn't intend to destroy email old than 6 months though. How hard is it to throw a monthly full in a drawer as an annual backup?

    My take is that the publicly stated policy is not the actual policy. Absent an archiving solution, destroying all backups after 6 months is inexplicable from an operations point of view, so it must be a legal directive. This means it violates document retention laws for the government.

  • Cyto||

    I don't believe for a second that the IT department is that incompetent. This is a huge organization. The problems with their document retention policy as implemented seem to originate from the top level, with the people who set the policy.

    There is no way a bunch of IT guys said "sure, we'd love to go searching through 89,000 computers to find emails in PST files as a part of every discovery request. That would be great!

    This setup is the kind of thing that top level people put together to provide plausible deniability when they can't produce required documents.

    I have been in the room when these policies are set. You always have a General Counsel telling you to delete everything the second the law allows and you have an operations manager telling you that you have to keep everything until the end of time so that they can go back and find that powerpoint presentation they were working on 18 months ago.

  • Paul.||

    The idea that 7 separate drives all crashed among very senior VIPs strains credibility beyond blackhole tolerances.

    Yes, it does, but if congressional staffers aren't asking the right questions, or are just sitting there reading the policy instead of finding out what was actually going on on the ground, we may never get to the bottom of this

  • Cyto||

    Interesting that you mention "asking the right questions". Apparently they had to ask "did anyone else suffer a hard drive failure" to find out about the additional 6 crashes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Every backup done is money taken from someone's pocket that could have been spent on IRS employee compensation.

    (Of course, it's money already taken out of MY pocket that could have been better spent on the actual economy. But every dollar of mine I get to keep is like stealing food from the mouths of IRS employees.)

  • Restoras||

    in short - it makes the IRS claims of having 'lost' emails via some 'crashed' hard drive even less plausible

    We're never going to see those emails. Even if they do exist, which I suspect they do, no one in the government is going to go after thier own. At this point they are all watching out for each other against everyone else.

  • Raston Bot||

    Apparently it's a huge scandal that the Wisconsin governor's aids talked to advocacy groups during his recall in 2011. For this to make sense you have to presuppose criminalizing speech.

  • 110 Lean||

    The left in Wisconsin suffer from Walker-derangement syndrome.

  • Restoras||

    For this to make sense you have to presuppose criminalizing speech

    For progtards in quest of power, it makes absolute sense.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Progtards in quest of power...is redundant.

  • GILMORE||

    More ways you can build your entire company business-model on Addressing Horrible Flaws in Microsoft Enterprise Software!

    "Organizations faced with litigation are often asked to produce emails and related information that were sent or received both within and outside the organization. SonaVault provides the mechanism to automatically retain this information and retrieve it quickly without the need to spend otherwise costly time and resource.

    Single Instance Store

    Reduce Storage Size - All incoming, outgoing and internal emails will be captured and stored in archive databases as a Single Instance Store (SIS) record. Since every email and attachment will be archived only once this will reduce the amount of physical disk space required by eliminating duplication. .

    Effective PST Management
    Easier Email Administration

    SonaVault tools enable the elimination of old PST file proliferation by simply migrating them into the archive. This eases MS Exchange release migration and reduces risks that can arise from PST overgrowth. Otherwise allowing PST’s to get “out of hand” can allow the information to become vulnerable over time. Such problems may disturb the ability to retain information, and even damage mail storage integrity. "

  • Paul.||

    See Ivan Pike's and my conversation above.

    For all we know, Lois Lerner was using Gmail as her official email solution.

  • GILMORE||

    I've seen your conversations.

    I still haven't seen any case why her traffic wasn't being captured at server level *regardless* of what she was doing with her own personal 'archiving' options.

    The software noted above is used to aid in precisely this sort of Exchange-server maintenance. It should (in theory) make any individual user's activity redundant and unnecessary.

    Or am i reading that wrong?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The administration doesn't really care much about their explanation for this, they lost their mojo on the Obamacare roll out. On everything else they are counting on scandal fatigue (and to some extent they can count on conservatives to help out there) and just want to give the base something plausible to combine with 'the conservatives are just out to get Obama over anything' to throw back at any missteps.

  • Tony||

    Do you really think Darrel Issa deserves to have any credibility on these things?

  • PapayaSF||

    Of course. He's been proven correct and Obama lackeys (*COUGH*) have been proven wrong.

  • JWatts||

    I don't think being "proven correct" means anything to Tony.

    Darrel Issa is Not Team Tony, so he's BAD. That's all that matters to him. Everything else is just sophistry to rationalize the above.

  • Ted S.||

    On the bright side, England are out of the World Cup.

  • Restoras||

    None of these things happened on any of the GoT threads earlier this week.

    Coincidence?

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    It didn't go over so well at the local (UK) playground when I mentioned that America was doing better than England in the World Cup.

    Stony Silence.

  • ||

    This is hilarious, for #6 alone.

    Stockman bill would allow taxpayers to use the same lame excuses as the IRS

    Under Stockman’s bill, “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act,” taxpayers who do not provide documents requested by the IRS can claim one of the following reasons:

    1. The dog ate my tax receipts
    2. Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction
    3. Traded documents for five terrorists
    4. Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon
    5. Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room
    6. Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car
    7. Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords
    8. Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar
    9. Was short on toilet paper while camping
    10. At this point, what difference does it make?

    http://stockman.house.gov/medi.....ses-as-irs

  • Restoras||

    What a disgrace, subjecting government to mockery by one of their own!

  • db||

    Sweet.

  • Andrew S.||

    Spectacular.

  • All-Seeing Monocle||

    Holy fuck, that is hilarious.

    I followed the link just to figure out where I'd have to move to vote for this guy. I shoulda figured it'd be Texas.

  • american socialist||

  • MasterDarque||

    Next time just use Lotus Notes sheesh

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Lois Lerner's Hard Drive "Crashed" Ten Days After House Ways & Means Chairman David Camp Made His First Inquiry About Targeting Conservatives
    ...As to Ms. Lerner's behavior, consider that House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp first sent a letter asking if the IRS was engaged in targeting in June, 2011. Ms. Lerner denied it. She engineered a plant in an audience at a tax conference in May 2013 to drop the bombshell news about targeting (maybe hoping nobody would notice?). She has subsequently asserted a Fifth Amendment right to silence in front of the only people actually investigating the affair, Congress. Now we learn that her hard drive supposedly defied modernity and suffered total annihilation about 10 days after the Camp letter arrived....

  • anonymous20001||

    The emails they have published would be much more useful with the headers and corresponding log files. The idea that you can ask the IRS to "Show you this email" and they provide some kind of output of nothing but the body of the email is a joke.

  • jdgalt||

    Why don't the prosecutors just go to the NSA? I'm sure it has copies.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Didn't some congressman send in a request to the NSA for those email?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Didn't some congressman send in a request to the NSA for those email?

  • peter@dukemedia.com||

    Hmmm this service seems to have stopped in 2010... does that mean they stopped backing their email up in 2010 (pretty convenient) or switched to someone else (more likely)...

    Federal Contracts to SONASOFT CORP., FY 2000-2012, summary http://buff.ly/1lJ00zZ

  • jamesrk||

    Reason should be scared, it could make it into the limelight with this discovery.

  • american socialist||

    I say it's better for us if the emails remain lost. If those emails are found and the greatest wrong discovered is that Lois Lerner once sent a really good recipe for Boeuf bourguignon, what will happen to our right wing sense of paranoia and victimization? She's probably had something to do with the death of Vincent foster.

  • Anon E. Mouse||

    Yea, because those women just can't stay away from kitchen-related tasks, right?

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|6.22.14 @ 8:20AM|#
    "I say it's better for us if the emails remain lost."

    Socialists love ignorance, and pretty much require it to succeed.

  • american socialist||

    In rereading the article I come to the conclusion that there isn 't much difference in the competency of private and public sector IT work.

  • New Normal||

    The difference is the private sector is faced with fines and jail time when this kind of stuff is pulled.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|6.22.14 @ 3:55PM|#
    "In rereading the article I come to the conclusion that there isn 't much difference in the competency of private and public sector IT work."

    So we can assume you're truly an imbecile?
    If you can't see the difference, that's the most complimentary assumption I can make. You could be just a lying, brain-dead, lefty asshole.

  • american socialist||

    ...or the competency of the people who administer this website. There just aren't enough dagny taggarts in the world. Maybe you guys should turn the job of making sure something happens when you press the "comment" button over to Nikita Khrushchev. At least he could get something accomplished...

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki.....viet_Union

  • Brian||

    american socialist:

    At least he could get something accomplished...

    If you consider helping to accelerate the flushing of the Soviet Union down the toilet of history, then, yes, he did get something accomplished.

  • american socialist||

    Not starting a nuclear war, Vostok 1, not invading two sovereign countries like saint JFK did. Did you also consider he defended Stalingrad from hitler. Yeah, his record pails to Ronnie raygun.

    I maintain Oswald was barking up the right tree when he tried to kill a fascist in Texas and, with more success this time, the playboy-in-chief who just didn't have enough time to consider the body bags starting to come home from Vietnam.

    USA good. Commies bad.

  • Brian||

    LOL!

    He's awesome because of:

    1. Space!
    2. The horrible things he didn't do!

    Well, outside of my own personal space program, I didn't start a nuclear war or invade a sovereign nation, either. Am I fucking derptastically awesome, too?

    Hey! I bet you didn't, either! You're awesome, too!

    We're all as awesome as Nikita!

    Oh wait.. we're not crazy communists. Nevermind.

  • american socialist||

    Well, you don't have the power, as he did, to kill one or two billion people so there's that. But I know your awesomeness in working for Koch industries and twhispering sweet nothings into the ears of bored octogenarians pales in comparison to the not-awesomeness of the nuclear test ban treaty.

    Btw, I haven't been seeing those tributes to Charles and David around here lately. Have you guys broken up or something? I'm concerned.

    I was just saying that in comparison to the dreadful "best and brightest" Khrushchev doesn't look so bad.

  • Brian||

    Well, you don't have the power, as he did, to kill one or two billion people so there's that. But I know your awesomeness in working for Koch industries and twhispering sweet nothings into the ears of bored octogenarians pales in comparison to the not-awesomeness of the nuclear test ban treaty.

    OK, so your criteria for the awesomeness of Nikita equally applies to every president since Truman, and every foreign executive leader of a nation that has any space program and nuclear arsenal whatsoever.

    Wow. Nikita. Truly amazing. "Better than Truman!" How proud they all must be, those super Trumanites.

    In regards to the rest: when you say something interesting, I'll bother replying.

  • Sevo||

    ..."Maybe you guys should turn the job of making sure something happens when you press the "comment" button over to Nikita Khrushchev. At least he could get something accomplished..."

    Yeah, pretty much ruining the ag sector of what passed for the USSR "ecomony".
    Your stupidity is ever-expanding.

  • Michael Price||

    Where does it say anything like that? The private sector firm wasn't blamed, either by the article or the IRS, for the stuffup. So either it did nothing wrong or the IRS continues to work with, and conceal the faults of, a negligent company. Either way the public sector is to blame.

  • ||

    [sarcasm]The most transparent administration in history.[/sarcasm]

  • Frozen Costume||

    hat's why both Bush & Cheney kept all their communications on a Republican National Committee data server, and not on the White House.

  • cyrus765||

    its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. www.Fox81.com

  • Casca||

    It's time for the fairtax.org

  • bedfordfailed||

    ": Sonasoft's contracts with Treasury were pretty modest: about $5,556 in 2005, $24,706 in 2008, and $13,983 in both 2009 and 2010."

    The cost of archival is fairly inexpensive.

    An LTO 6 tape drive can store 6.5TB of data per tape. The IRS has 106,000 employees. The average worker creates and receives 120 emails per day. The average email is 75kb in size. So the entire IRS generates roughly 1TB of emails per day.... and that's estimating on the high side. Therefor 1 LTO6 tape can archive all IRS emails for a week. An LTO 6 tape costs $50.

    To comply with the US records act 2 copies would need to be maintained. So the maximum retail material costs to archive all IRS emails for is $5200 a year.

  • bedfordfailed||

    I stand corrected. sonasoft appears to not archive email but instead store a mirror on its servers with deleting protection.

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