It is fairly safe to assume, in our world, that everyone understands email and what it is; I will be making that assumption here. When you write an email, you are typically doing it in one of two things; your web browser or an application like Outlook.
The process you go through is to compose your email and hit send, that’s pretty much it for you. The process you follow to read your email is to open your application and scan through a list of emails in your email boxes, to click on them and to interact with them.
When you do both of these things, your computer is simply providing you a means to compose and read email. It does not and (unless you’re a geek) CANNOT actually “Send” an email. Likewise, it is not your email storage or receiving system. Every time you use your email application, you are connecting to an Email Server. This is why your email is always synchronized whether you are using your computer, your tablet, your phone or something else to access your email. Each of these devices is interacting with your Email Server. Each of them can DIE and not affect your ability to continue emailing using a different device.
The process of routing and delivering email is actually quite complex – as is the process of receiving email for thousands of people and delivering it to the right inbox. The first requirement of these processes is that you MUST be online at all times in order to route or receive email.
Lois Lerner’s computer that failed was NOT her email server. It is technically and physically impossible for her computer to actually send (modern) email, she MUST connect to a Mail Server to do that.
The emails on her computer are NOT the only copy. In fact, they are not the originals, they are copies being stored on her computer. All of her actual email is and was stored on the server.
There is only one other possibility where her hard drive failure could have resulted in actual loss of her emails – and that is for her to have put all of the email for those two years into an archive file, deleted them from the server and stored the one and only copy of the archive file physically on the hard drive on her computer.
This is a real possibility – and it is one that has criminal implications. One glaring issue with it is that it requires her to have specifically put the archive file ON her hard drive and NOT on a Network Store (the hard drive on a server on the network). Network Stores can be and typically are backed up on a regular basis, which would make that file recoverable if it was deleted off the Network Store. Furthermore, the emails that she had to have removed from the Mail Server into the archive file were previously on the Mail Server – which by law has to have been backed up and stored for several years.
So now it comes down to criminal negligence on the part of the IRS IT Dept. for not backing up and maintaining backups of electronic communication systems, and criminal destruction of data (by intentionally deleting email from the server) on Lous Lerner’s part. We’ll dig into this more deeply shortly.