Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Washington Post Loses Snowden Docs When Hard Drive Crashes

WASHINGTON — (TYDN) The Washington Post was reeling Wednesday after discovering the only hard drive storing its leaked documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden had crashed, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

There were no backup tapes of the top-secret data that had already netted the organization a Pulitzer Prize, the Post said. Forensics reconstruction had failed.
Washington Post computer that lost Snowden docs. Photo: Steve Petrucelli

"Christ, we were working on our best scoop ever, and now it's all gone," Post reporter Garton Bellman said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "I kept asking the IT guys to make sure we had made copies, and they just kept saying to reboot and turn the machine on and off."

The consequences were the worst from a computer mishap following last year's hard drive crash of Snowden's computer, and the 2011 debacle at Apple Records, where the sole computer storing two unreleased Beatles albums failed.

The Washington Post development means that its July 5 story, "In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are," will be its last in connection to the Snowden leaks.

In response, Patrick Pexton, the Washington Post ombudsman, said the news agency was considering replacing its Commodore 64 computers to reflect today's data-intensive environment.

"We've been looking at some top-of-the-line machines running Windows XP," Pexton said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "We lost enough Snowden material that would have brought in 50 Pulitzers. We don't want that to happen ever again."

The NSA declined comment.

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