Politics

IT Experts: FBI Text Messages May Not Be Lost

House investigators are increasingly in doubt that mere coincidence is sufficient to explain away the disappearance of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page just after the election and leading up to the appointment of Robert Mueller.

One House member called it ‘literally unbelievable’.

But several IT experts are pointing out that those allegedly lost text messages could be recovered in a number of places including on the phones themselves or on backup devices and cloud servers.

Now the onus is on House investigators to subpoena those cloud services — like Apple or Google — for the release of backup data.

What could be more interesting is whether the FBI will be able to produce those phones when Congress demands to see them.

Prediction: they’ll be mysteriously lost also.

Here’s more from Washington Examiner…

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Computer forensics experts are questioning the supposed loss of five months of text messages between two FBI officials who privately disparaged President Trump before helping investigate his campaign’s possible links to Russia.

Some experts say the messages, sent during a turbulent period between Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017, may not be gone forever.

The missing messages between Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official, and alleged mistress Lisa Page immediately precede special counsel Robert Mueller’s May 17 appointment to investigate Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Strzok was taken off Mueller’s team in August after discovery of his messages with Page, who previously left Mueller’s team.

“The loss of these text messages is an unbelievable coincidence – literally,” a House Intelligence Committee source told the Washington Examiner.

Don Vilfer, a former supervisory special agent at the FBI who leads the computer forensics division at VAND Group LLC, said “we often find the messages in other locations such as on a local computer drive as a backup or on cloud storage.”

“If the users were using the Google cloud as a backup, messages could be found there. If the phone had been synced with the FBI desktop computer, or even a home computer, the messages could also be located on those devices. If the old phones are available, forensic exams of those phones could also recover the messages,” Vilfer said. “The particular FBI employees of interest in this case had texted that they would be using an alternative messaging system, iMessage. This is on the Apple platform and would come with similar sources of possible backups—iCloud, their personal iPhone or Macs etc. I suspect that is where some real meat might be as it relates to their discussions.”

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