Officials Freak After Archives Data Is Lost

A terabyte can't be that big, can it?

A few pieces of important data from the Clinton administration are missing after the National Archives apparently lost a computer hard drive.

What's missing?

Oh, just some Secret Service and White House operating procedures.

And some Social Security numbers and addresses -- including the SSN of one of former VP Al Gore's three daughters.

And some logs of White House events, social gatherings and political records.

In all, that little missing hard drive contains about one terabyte of data -- the equivalent amount of information that can be found in millions of books, according to the Washington Post.


The Post reported that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the missing data. It vanished from the Archives facility in College Park between October and March, according to the Post.

[An] aide, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said the hard drive was left on a shelf and unused for an uncertain period of time. Later, the drive was found to be missing.

Committee staff members were told that there is a backup copy of all the information but that Archives officials have only just begun to learn what was on the drive.

[Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.),] said he would have the FBI and inspector general brief committee members so they can "begin to understand the magnitude of the security breach and all of the steps being taken to recover the lost information."

You know things are bad when one official calls the breach in security both "outrageous" and "egregious" in back-to-back sentences in the Post.

So who has the hard drive? About 100 "badge-holders" had access to the area where it was last seen. Janitors, visitors, interns and others also pass through the area. Oh, and it's also a place where Archives workers pass through on their way to the bathroom, according to the Post.

So, you know, pretty much anyone.

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