White House e-mail preservation system ‘primitive.’

Today, House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) held a hearing on the White House’s electronic data preservation. In light of the White House’s notorious e-mail destruction, Steven McDevitt, a computer expert who worked in the administration, called its system “primitive,” creating a “high” risk that data would be lost. He noted:

— The White House had no complete inventory of e-mail files.

— There was no automatic system to ensure that e-mails were archived and preserved.

— Until mid-2005 the e-mail system had serious security flaws, in which “everyone” on the White House computer network had access to e-mail. McDevitt wrote that the “potential impact” of the security flaw was that there was no way to verify that retained data had not been modified.

In a report presented at the hearing, Waxman’s staff “said difficulties arose in recovering e-mails for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in the CIA leak probe,” the AP writes.