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Charges Dropped in Data Storage Debacle

Being in the editorial department of a web and social media archiving company, I naturally come across a large variety of articles about technology, legal cases, and modern-day financial institution compliance challenges.

Consequently, I wrote this post. It’s inspired by a recent article in the Huffington Post, where writer Ryan J. Foley reports of charges being dropped against “fugitive doctor” Armando Angulo. Apparently, the two terabytes of electronic evidence relating to his nefarious online activity was taking up a huge portion of space on federal servers.

In Angulo’s case, as further outlined in Foley’s article, the specific charges against the doctor for illegally selling prescription drugs online were “dismissed with prejudice” by a U.S. District judge. Because of this, Angulo can’t be tried again for these crimes. Though the he can’t return to the U.S., because he’s still wanted on other charges, it most likely isn’t effecting Angulo. He’s reported to be living well in his native Panama, far away from his proposed victims.

Crimes such as Angulo’s cost Medicare untold millions, not to mention the health and well-being of his “patients.” Many would contend, though, that the DEA has many options for larger data storage. But, as computer scientist Douglas Jones states in Foley’s article, “Two-terabyte memory drives are widely available for $100, but the DEA’s data server must be relatively small and may need replacement, a costly and risky proposition for an agency that must maintain the integrity of documents… A responsible organization doesn’t upgrade every time new technology is available. That’s all they would be doing,” Jones said. “But the result is you end up in situations like this where the capacity they have is not quite up to the incredible volume of data involved.”

If what Douglas Jones explains is indeed the challenge faced by the DEA, this a bit troubling, don’t you think?

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