This week in Pakistan, as the President and his staff watched on in Washington, U.S. Seals carried out a dramatic seizure of electronically stored information. The ESI collection team also imposed immediate terminating sanctions on the most evil ESI custodian in history.
The size and speed of the Seals’ forensic collection of Bin Laden’s ESI was impressive and near flawless. It was supposedly carried out by the legendary and highly secretive Seal Team 6, a senior, very elite group in the Seals who are specially trained in the detection and seizure of information. There is no better, nor more dangerous, e-discovery collection team in the world.
According to CNN, Seal Team Six helicoptered in, collected 10 hard drives, five computers, and more than 100 storage devices. In all 2.7 Terabytes of data were collected. They completed the whole project in just thirty-eight minutes. Among the storage devices they collected were disks, DVDs, and thumb drives. They lost one helicopter in the process, but, as Judge Scheindlin said in Pension Committee, no e-discovery project is perfect.
According to IT World, the data is being sifted through at a secret site in Afghanistan. Another online news publication, Politico, claims that an anonymous government source told them that “hundreds of people are going through it now. It’s going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable. They cleaned it out. Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?” It is “the motherlode of intelligence.”
Note that the Seals did not helicopter out with Bin Laden’s paper filing cabinet. They took his computers, his hard drives, his DVDs, his thumb drives. They took his life, his body. It was a good day for the United States. It was a good day for e-discovery.