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Deleting a text may not mean it’s gone forever

Mashable: “When you delete a text message, is it truly gone forever? Given America’s willingness to spy on its citizens, simple common sense would suggest that no they’re not gone forever, and law enforcement agencies can use inexpensive consumer-grade software to recover at least some of your deleted text messages if they can get into your phone. But deleted text messages between two Secret Service agents have become the focal point of the House committee’s investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because, for the moment, those messages are gone without a trace, and may or may not be able to be recovered. Messages between the agents in question on Jan 5 and 6 are nowhere to be found as the House committee examines whether or not those missing messages can be reconstructed, The Guardian reports. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, the watchdog of the Secret Service, told Congress this past Thursday that those records were deleted after his office had requested them. According to The Guardian, the Secret Service asserts that the messages “were lost during a pre-planned, agency-wide cellphone upgrade scheme in January 2021 because some agents apparently had not backed up messages as required.” The House committee is currently looking at ways to forensically reconstruct the deleted communications — communications from a government agency with “secret” right there in its name — as they believe they may provide “greater clarity on how security plans developed” in the days before and during the capitol insurrection, The Guardian reports. Multiple sources have reported on the role the Secret Service played in keeping then-President Donald Trump from returning to the Capitol after his speech at the Ellipse on Jan. 6…”

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