33,196. That is the number of emails Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server, calling them “personal” in nature and not willing to disclose their contents or the contacts they were sent to. A group of renowned international computer geniuses known as The Spud Collective gathered for a yearly conference in Venice this week decided to change all of that.
On the back of the conference itinerary was an enticing offer: “Recover Hillary Clinton’s Deleted Emails And Win $1 Million”. Some conference-goers who had already begun digging into Clinton decided to forego the rest of the panels and events and holed themselves up with as much tech as possible and some help. One of the conference rooms provided tables and Google fiber trunk lines.
Within hours a team from Australia had located a cached image from Hillary’s address on a Chinese spy satellite. That image had never been downloaded or decrypted, according to the satellite’s records, because it didn’t recognize the contents as relevant.
“That’s because of the encryption,” said James Stachiowski Jr, an “Agent of Malaise” from the United States, “Hillary’s emails were so easy to keep hidden in plain sight because she was smart enough to have them routed through her neighborhood’s cable system and not a direct satellite feed. To anyone looking, they look like some mom’s recipe book.”
That doesn’t mean they WERE secure, as this little test proved.
The winners of the contest took their million dollar prize back to Australia, but they won’t be bringing the files. “Those belong to the collective now. We have a trio of appointed leaders who will either use the information to improve the world if it’s useful or sell it to the highest bidder.”
The collective says the emails were mostly personal and irrelevant but that there were 1100 or so that fell into the category “further review” and several were marked classified or top secret.
It looks like the newly re-structured FBI will be able to try to do its job again.