House Passes 1/6 Commission

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Pens1566

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2005
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Individual agencies are allowed to define policies but they all must be approved by the national archives. While the devices are wiped and re-imaged I'm sure, every one is still subject to federal records policy and if they weren't being checked for those records that's a violation of federal law as far as I can see.

Regardless, the idea that none of the communications of the secret service or senior officials in or around 1/6 were federal records beggars belief and I'm not aware of any policy that would permit them to be destroyed so quickly.
Oh I think we're saying the same thing, and no one is suggesting that none of the comms from USSS on the devices in question were records. They're just using whatever they can to muddy the waters.

I 100% believe there is some cover up going on with this.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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So the claim is that the agencies properly evaluated the devices in question, determined no texts or other messages on them were federal records, and then wiped them in accordance with policy?

If so, why hasn't any agency made that claim?
More likely nobody evaluated, because it wasn't anyone's job to evaluate it. Never was in any of the DoD units I was with anyhow.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,065
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More likely nobody evaluated, because it wasn't anyone's job to evaluate it. Never was in any of the DoD units I was with anyhow.
I find it unlikely that no one is tasked with evaluating the Secretary of Homeland Security’s government devices for potential federal records. If that is the case then DHS would need to explain how this policy of not even bothering to check is in compliance with the Federal Records Act and associated regulations, which it most certainly is not.

While my time at DoD is pretty dated now whenever you turned in a device to my ship’s IT guys they ALWAYS ensured it was synced before it was wiped. Text messaging wasn’t much of a thing back then and so I don’t know if it changed but they were always very careful to preserve the data on a device. I don’t think this was for records act purposes though, just because losing unsent emails or whatever would be bad.
 

Pens1566

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 2005
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More likely nobody evaluated, because it wasn't anyone's job to evaluate it. Never was in any of the DoD units I was with anyhow.
Yeah, I suspect this is largely the case across all of the various agencies/depts. I guarantee no one went through any of the 3(?) blackberrys I would have returned. No time to check all of those devices, and even if there was, the schmuck doing it wouldn't know what is/isn't valid anyway. It's such a nebulous decision that it can't really be automated in any meaningful way and still be "correct". Would have to be human in the loop.
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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I find it unlikely that no one is tasked with evaluating the Secretary of Homeland Security’s government devices for potential federal records. If that is the case then DHS would need to explain how this policy of not even bothering to check is in compliance with the Federal Records Act and associated regulations, which it most certainly is not.

While my time at DoD is pretty dated now whenever you turned in a device to my ship’s IT guys they ALWAYS ensured it was synced before it was wiped. Text messaging wasn’t much of a thing back then and so I don’t know if it changed but they were always very careful to preserve the data on a device. I don’t think this was for records act purposes though, just because losing unsent emails or whatever would be bad.
Texting was definitely a thing when I was managing that garbage fire, but we didn't bother with preserving anything like that. Might be different for DHS vs DoD, but I know those numbnuts I worked with used texting for shit they weren't supposed to. Still had no policy covering it, and I'm betting others are the same. Remember, never ascribe to maliciousness that which can be explained with incompetence.
Yeah, I suspect this is largely the case across all of the various agencies/depts. I guarantee no one went through any of the 3(?) blackberrys I would have returned. No time to check all of those devices, and even if there was, the schmuck doing it wouldn't know what is/isn't valid anyway. It's such a nebulous decision that it can't really be automated in any meaningful way and still be "correct". Would have to be human in the loop.
A clever person would have come up with a centrally synced texting system like teams that would be the required default on govt devices, probably wouldn't get past the people that don't want their shit tracked though.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,065
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Texting was definitely a thing when I was managing that garbage fire, but we didn't bother with preserving anything like that. Might be different for DHS vs DoD, but I know those numbnuts I worked with used texting for shit they weren't supposed to. Still had no policy covering it, and I'm betting others are the same. Remember, never ascribe to maliciousness that which can be explained with incompetence.

A clever person would have come up with a centrally synced texting system like teams that would be the required default on govt devices, probably wouldn't get past the people that don't want their shit tracked though.
I get your overall point but our experience is for average joes. For a CABINET SECRETARY?
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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I get your overall point but our experience is for average joes. For a CABINET SECRETARY?
I dunno, is it for SOF knuckledraggers? Or intel officers? Or generals? Where's the delineation for 'who's important enough to preserve communications'? Hint: it isn't based on rank.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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I dunno, is it for SOF knuckledraggers? Or intel officers? Or generals? Where's the delineation for 'who's important enough to preserve communications'? Hint: it isn't based on rank.
I am extremely confident it is based on rank and I would bet a large sum of money there are explicitly delineated procedures to presence communications of cabinet level officials.
 

NWRMidnight

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
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The phones being wiped may not be an issue if there is a backend retention system in place thru the carrier, and those records are not discarded until approved to do so. Lets take Verizon for instance, they have, or use to have, a 10 day retention of all texts their account holders send/receive (civilian). It would be hard to believe the government wouldn't have some type of retention system in place. However, that doesn't mean that Trump didn't have people in his administration delete any recorders under such a retention system if it exists. We have heard stories of devices being wiped in cases in the civilian world, and weeks, months later, the texts and such magically appear. It seems that the media never talks about such retention practices of carriers, they always just push the phones being wiped, civil or government. Granted, most carriers have short retention policies for civilian accounts, where non government are concerned. But we are talking about government records here.. not the non government smucks (us civilians). Of course the media is only going to report what causes chaos and high ratings.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
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If they were using non sanctioned government apps to communicate and because it wasn’t government sanctioned apps they weren’t archived, wouldn’t that mean that there could be external back ups such the ones from the carriers or the app creators?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
77,065
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I just want to verify what people are saying here.

Is the argument that cabinet secretaries are ignoring federal law and nobody has noticed for decades and everyone has ignored it?

I’m not saying this is impossible, just saying that’s the position.
 
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[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
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I'm so tired of people saying this. This attitude is how you get taken advantage of and how people get away with trying to pull a coup.
Well, fine then, but expect to find witches everywhere if you start witch hunting.
If they were using non sanctioned government apps to communicate and because it wasn’t government sanctioned apps they weren’t archived, wouldn’t that mean that there could be external back ups such the ones from the carriers or the app creators?
Was probably just MMS garbage via a built in app. Carrier might have it but that stuff traditionally isn't considered important enough to preserve.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
108,324
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More likely nobody evaluated, because it wasn't anyone's job to evaluate it. Never was in any of the DoD units I was with anyhow.
again, the important part is that there are certain government offices/individuals that are considered "top tier" instant record generators. From the annual training I did, again a few weeks ago, this is basically 1% or less of government employees that meet the highest standard of "unquestioned record retention," let's call it that.

Say, the Director of the institute where I work; maybe investigators on high level, DoD funded projects with various teams and generally classified projects.

And like, I don't know...probably fucking POTUS and all communication directly related to POTUS.

Point is, you and I among tens of millions of employees aren't normally going to encounter this level of record attention at any moment when doing our jobs...probably forever.


Also, posts to social media are considered part of records, depending on the posts. It doesn't matter how or where the record is generated, it can be determined a record. And their are very few positions in government that are bound by law to have every piece of communication generated from their office and through their work, preserved for records.
 
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SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
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Right, so, if they weren't supposed to be conducting official business over text, it's not exactly a crisis that the texts were wiped when the person left, as it's SOP. Unless it's not, then someone fucked the coconut.
NARA has determined that if it is a government issued phone then any use of it is to be considered federal business and therefore generates a federal record until proven otherwise. If you use the McDonalds app to order a egg McMuffin on your government issued phones it is supposed to be considered a record and archived for (in my case) 30 years. (that is kind of a joke example, but is technically true, and one I use when training new hires.)
This is why we tell our people not to do anything at all on their phone that is not official business, because it will be considered a federal record and (at least in my position and those that work under me) eligible for FOIA requests.
In practice most of the things generated on a phone does not meet the definition of a federal record, but because one of the tasks given to NARA by Congress is to control the costs of maintaining federal records they decided that for phones it is cheaper to just archive everything than to spend the time to sort it all out. Maybe that will change as phones get more storage and the images get larger, but for right now we just save it all.

I guarantee no one went through any of the 3(?) blackberrys I would have returned.
No one had to go though it. They created an image of the entire phone and sent it to archives. If it ever becomes important they will go through it then.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
11,249
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NARA has determined that if it is a government issued phone then any use of it is to be considered federal business and therefore generates a federal record until proven otherwise. If you use the McDonalds app to order a egg McMuffin on your government issued phones it is supposed to be considered a record and archived for (in my case) 30 years. (that is kind of a joke example, but is technically true, and one I use when training new hires.)
This is why we tell our people not to do anything at all on their phone that is not official business, because it will be considered a federal record and (at least in my position and those that work under me) eligible for FOIA requests.
In practice most of the things generated on a phone does not meet the definition of a federal record, but because one of the tasks given to NARA by Congress is to control the costs of maintaining federal records they decided that for phones it is cheaper to just archive everything than to spend the time to sort it all out. Maybe that will change as phones get more storage and the images get larger, but for right now we just save it all.
Apparently no unit I ever worked for complied with govt regulations regarding data capture, then. Not saying you're wrong, just that something isn't aligned somewhere.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
11,253
467
126
Apparently no unit I ever worked for complied with govt regulations regarding data capture, then. Not saying you're wrong, just that something isn't aligned somewhere.
It might be due to the position you held. I would imagine people in managmeent and dealing with contracts fallen under it as opposed to the peons. Everyone in the WH should but I can see how most of the SS wouldn't.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
11,249
8,498
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It might be due to the position you held. I would imagine people in managmeent and dealing with contracts fallen under it as opposed to the peons. Everyone in the WH should but I can see how most of the SS wouldn't.
I mean, I managed the phones, the phone system, the email system, the backup system, file server systems...
 

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