Some of the agreed facts from the hacking trial put another complexion on the 3 million missing emails mentioned in the Guardian coverage of Kingston trial.
If you read the last paragraph of the agreed facts from the phone hacking trial earlier this year, the number is more like 13 million missing emails.
156, In excess of 90 million email messages emanating from the NI email systems have been retrieved in order to be searched for the purpose of this prosecution. They represent available or potentially available messages from across the organization and are not limited to persons of interest to the police investigation and include duplicates of messages and also messages recovered for the years up to 2011.
157 This does not represent all email messages ever sent or received by current and historic employees of NOTW and The Sun. Not every email message ever sent or received within NI still exists. This is for a number of reasons.
158. Before January 2005, NI had no email archive system. Email data was stored locally by each user. Each user decided what of his or her email records to retain, and what to delete. Any email message deleted by an individual user before archiving was introduced will no longer exist.
159. Under the original archiving system introduced in 2005, NI’s emails were set to archive after 14 days. An email message deleted by an individual within 14 days would not have been archived and will no longer exist.
160, Under the original archiving system introduced in 2005, any user was permitted to opt-out of archiving and manage their email retention locally instead. Of the 11,833 users who were within the archive system by 2011, 7,437 were disabled. (This includes disabled accounts of former employees.)
161, Between 11/12/2007 and 16/05/2010, a total of 9,244,111 emails were “purged” from the archive. These “purge” events were linked to scheduled maintenance tasks that occurred routinely.
162. In August 2010, a “purge” task was carried out within NI’s email archive, which resulted in the deletion of 1,119,478 emails. This purge was necessitated by a disk failure, which had corrupted data.
163. Any email message deleted or lost for any of the above reasons cannot be retrieved and is no longer available to the parties. This is because the above events pre-date the earliest available back-up tape of NI’s email archive system.
164. In addition to the above losses of data, in September 2010, NI instructed an IT firm, Capax, (contracted in January 2010 to support NI in managing its email archive system) to purge e-mails which were dated before 2005. As a result, on 30 September 2010 4,480,902 emails were deleted from NI’s email archive system. A system back-up dating from August 2010 was identified by NI in September 2011. Therefore: (a) between December 2007 and August 2010, a total of 10,363,589 messages were purged or deleted and are irrecoverable; and (b) in September 2010, a further 4,480,902 messages were purged or deleted of which records suggest that 1.49 million have been recovered.