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What Can We Expect to Find?

In case I needed to paint a bolder and more colorful picture of what one can find on captured media . . . from crypto/privacy guru Bruce Schneier in Wired:

 

Some years ago, I left my laptop computer on a train from Washington to New York. Replacing the computer was expensive, but at the time I was more worried about the data.

 

Of course I had good backups, but now a copy of all my e-mail, client files, personal writings and book manuscripts were … well, somewhere. Probably the drive would be erased by the computer’s new owner, but maybe my personal and professional life would end up in places I didn’t want them to be. […]

 

My laptop is my primary computer. It could easily contain every e-mail I’ve sent and received over the past 12 years, an enormous amount of work-related documents, and my personal everything. […]

 

And in case you thought that intel-related headaches in this area were not going to get worse:

 

The point is that it’s now amazingly easy to lose an enormous amount of information. Twenty years ago, someone could break into my office and copy every customer file, every piece of correspondence, everything about my professional life. Today, all he has to do is steal my computer. Or my portable backup drive. Or my small stack of DVD backups. Furthermore, he could sneak into my office and copy all this data, and I’d never know it.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.