The Mueller Report: A Technical Flop

Page from the Mueller Report
By William Vogeler, Esq. on April 18, 2019 12:27 PM

Waiting for Robert Mueller's report was like standing in line for the release of the next iPhone. And like some Apple products, to some it was disappointing. We're not talking about how the report was not an full-on indictment of President Trump. That's politics, and Congress can deal with that.

No, the un-sung problem was that the Mueller report was not searchable. In a data-driven world, that's just wrong.

Not Searchable

Twitter definitely did not like it. Cool media guy Rick Wilson called it a "d*** move"; others said it was an ADA violation.

Fortunately, the tech world knows how to work around such problems. Scribd published a searchable version in like 30 seconds. It takes about 30 minutes to download, but nothing's perfect -- especially the tech in the Mueller report.

On page 18 of the "official" version, the prosecutor's office says: "Further, the Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated-including some associated with the Trump Campaign---deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records," it reads.

No Long-Term Retention

Well, encryption is usually a good thing. It's a good idea to clear your cache after browsing for "government conspiracy," too. But the technical problem with the Mueller report is that it is technically not complete. Here's what it said about the encryption issue:

In such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts.

Oh, and there's the matter of redacted information. The technoverse couldn't find a way around that. So there you have it -- the not complete Mueller report.

It might have been nice if the report were not first delivered on CD Rom, too. Perhaps there will be a version 2.0. It worked for Apple.

Editor's Note: 1:47 p.m., April 18, 2019: We have updated this post to add the reference to the report first being delivered to congress on CD Rom. It was too good to pass up.  

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