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Computer Specialist Who Deleted Clinton Emails May Have Asked Reddit For Tips (usnews.com) 612

An anonymous reader quotes a report from U.S. News and World Report: An army of reddit users believes it has found evidence that former Hillary Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited free advice regarding Clinton's private email server from users of the popular web forum. A collaborative investigation showed a reddit user with the username stonetear requested help in relation to retaining and purging email messages after 60 days, and requested advice on how to remove a "VERY VIP" individual's email address from archived content. The requests match neatly with publicly known dates related to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. Stonetear has deleted the posts, but before doing so, the pages were archived by other individuals. "ARCHIVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN!!!!" a person wrote on a popular thread on the Donald Trump-supporting subreddit r/The_Donald, as the entries disappeared. There are several reasons to believe the reddit user is indeed Combetta, who was granted immunity by the Justice Department during its investigation of Clinton's private server after he deleted a large number of emails. The evidence connecting Combetta to the account is circumstantial, but also voluminous. The inactive website combetta.com is registered to the email address stonetear@gmail.com, a search of domain registration information using the service whois.com indicates. An account for a person named Paul Combetta on the web bazaar Etsy also has the username stonetear. And, perhaps most damningly, there are the dates. Stonetear posted to reddit on July 24, 2014: "Hello all- I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP's (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don't want the VIP's email address exposed to anyone, and want to be able to either strip out or replace the email address in the to/from fields in all of the emails we want to send out..." U.S. News and World Reports adds: "On July 23, 2014, the House Select Committee on Benghazi had reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of records, according to an FBI report released earlier this month on the bureau's probe of her email use." Stonetear submitted an additional post to reddit on Dec. 10, 2014 that reads: "Hello- I have a client who wants to push out a 60 day email retention policy for certain users. However, they also want these users to have a 'Save Folder' in their Exchange folder list where the users can drop items that they want to hang onto longer than the 60 day window. All email in any other folder in the mailbox should purge anything older than 60 days (should not apply to calendar or contact items of course). How would I go about this? Some combination of retention and managed folder policy?"

UPDATE 9/19/2016: Slashdot reader NotInHere points out that there is a Slashdot user named "StoneTear" as well.
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Computer Specialist Who Deleted Clinton Emails May Have Asked Reddit For Tips

Comments Filter:
  • by isotope23 ( 210590 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:54PM (#52920159) Homepage Journal

    Whoop There it is!

  • VIP (Score:5, Funny)

    by jvanber ( 170198 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:59PM (#52920197)

    Very VIP, and I mean, Very, Very, Very VIP.

  • Of course, pointing out that email archival and retention guidelines apply to everyone regardless of so called "VIP" status is clearly not going to be well received. The VIPs never get treated like normal users. Cause of the specialness of their nature, being magical and all.

    So, obviously they need more protection, so they can evade the purpose of the archival copies for legal proceedings. This is not destruction or tampering with evidence, this is all about the danger of libel, and the need for anonymity

    • Now then, using a regex to replace Hillary@clinton.org to XXXXXXX@XXXXXXX.XXX (which is the exact same number of characters, and thus won't break a binary if it is sensible) inside a .PST is pretty straight forward, and something a high level admin should be able to accomplish in a few minutes.

      You don't even need a regex because you're looking for a fixed string. All it takes is to rename the file and use one line of sed, outputting a file with the original name. Trivial, especially if you have it run
  • Reminds me of a joke in the early 90s after Bill Clinton got elected and Hilary was suspected of being the real power running things:

    What is the Bill Clinton's email address?
    president@whitehouse.gov

    What is Al Gore's email address?
    vicepresident@whitehouse.gov

    What is Hilary Clinton's email address?
    root@whitehouse.gov

  • The Clinton smokescreen is at it again. Just wait for the new parade of excuses.

    "Secretary Clinton never directly instructed Mr. Combetta to delete her emails."
    "Secretary Clinton had no knowledge about the day-to-day management of her IT systems"
    "Secretary Clinton never even read her own emails"
    "Secretary Clinton was too busy dodging bullets in Kosovo to be deleting her emails"
    "Secretary Clinton relied on Secretary Powell's judgement in drafting her team's procedures on use and retention of email"
    "I'd rath
    • Fucking pathetic. To anyone who still doesn't realize that Trump and Hillary have the exact same MO down to the micron, explain this.

      I think in terms of their lying there's a difference in degree. Clinton has said what she said. Trump would claim that he had never used email. Or that email doesn't actually exist. And no one would actually call him on it.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:24PM (#52920385)

    I would love if this will be the thing that stops Hillary, but she's as slippery as a greased weasel. She's already got the FBI and the Attorney General in her pocket so there's really no one left to prosecute her.

    If this story gets any traction at all, watch how quickly she will throw this guy and anyone else standing near him under the bus without a second thought.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      She's already got the FBI and the Attorney General in her pocket

      Get some evidence in your pocket, dear MindReader.

      What the fuck happened to innocent-until-proven-guilty? Personal speculation is free and plentiful on the Webtubes; we have enough of that already.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:26PM (#52920401) Journal

    An army of reddit users

    Oh, OK. It might as well be an "army of Anonymous Cowards from Slashdot". For a second, I thought this was real.

  • Oh that's not all (Score:5, Informative)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:28PM (#52920423)

    Once they tracked down his username they found out a few other things about him

    Apparently email isn't the only thing he has trouble deleting https://archive.is/gIDN2 [archive.is]

    Taste In Porn is interesting https://archive.is/Ct3eY [archive.is] https://archive.is/m78jo [archive.is]
    I could see how working with Hillary could induce Bondage fantasies

    Here's the rest of his stuff on Reddit

    http://archive.is/KYaF0 [archive.is] http://archive.is/TCbPU [archive.is] http://archive.is/OoSMr [archive.is] http://archive.is/OoSMr [archive.is] http://archive.is/MjyK3 [archive.is] http://archive.is/lDzk0 [archive.is] http://archive.is/o4hrr [archive.is] http://archive.is/o4hrr [archive.is] http://archive.is/cfCeL [archive.is] http://archive.is/mYXp3 [archive.is] http://archive.is/kTDoF [archive.is] http://archive.is/iOjnh [archive.is] http://archive.is/TaYXV [archive.is] http://archive.is/EgZJR [archive.is] http://archive.is/MU0TL [archive.is] http://archive.is/WBG4m [archive.is] http://archive.is/HHHQi [archive.is] http://archive.is/Sq21A [archive.is] http://archive.is/zmpKK [archive.is]

  • by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:31PM (#52920443)

    Seems there is a slashdot user named stonetear as well.

    https://slashdot.org/~stonetea... [slashdot.org]

    His comments:

    https://slashdot.org/comments.... [slashdot.org]

    on Tuesday April 16, 2002 [slashdot.org], (archived link) [archive.fo]

    The IIS patches aren't on liveupdate, you have to go get them

    on Thursday January 24, 2002 [slashdot.org], (archived link) [archive.fo]

    I'm contracted to a state government, and let me tell you, everyone here saves EVERYthing for cover-your-ass purposes.. it's really sad to see every little memo back to 1997 in someone's inbox taking up PHAT amounts of disk space on the GroupWise server ... sigh

    Thursday July 19, 2001 [slashdot.org], (archived link) [archive.fo]

    Gasbag Joe Liberman ... LOL right on! I just moved from Michigan, and he's one quack I'm not sorry to see gone. Well everyone knows that the liberal agenda includes removing any personal responsibility or blame for your actions from you, and putting them in the lap of big scary corporations and 'the internet' and such. Blah. ;) ST

    Note: I do think clinton should win, but I'm still doing this, and if its just for transparency purposes.

  • Why do I think (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:50PM (#52920569)
    That if HRC doesn't win in November, she'll be in jail a year from November?

    Get a DOJ not paired with the dems, and HRC's defenses fall apart. She's done too much, she either pardons herself or goes to jail.
    • That if HRC doesn't win in November, she'll be in jail a year from November?

      No point wasting scandal-time on those without power.

    • That if HRC doesn't win in November, she'll be in jail a year from November?

      You're assuming she'll survive her Parkinson's or whatever it is she's got.

  • At first I would have said no way, as there are approximately 3 non-conservatives on slashdot - and I'm one of them - today. Then I clicked the link and realized that the StoneTear here hasn't posted in over 13 years. This puts that user as having passed around the exodus of "liberals" from slashdot, so there is a remote chance that it could be the same person that is suspected of being a Clinton staffer.
  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Tuesday September 20, 2016 @04:13AM (#52922247)

    The thing that caught my eye here was the mention of Reddit - is that a good forum to discuss techie things? Maybe I'll have to go and check it out - I always just dismissed it as yet another social media thing.

    Oh, Clinton and Trump, yeah right, what's the fuss? Clinton is without doubt the most evil, criminal mastermind in history (based on hearsay on the gossip channels), and Trump is the spoiled son of a family that made it's fortune from brothels and gambling, apparently (if one can believe this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... [www.cbc.ca]). To be honest, I don't think it is only the political classes in the US that are sick - from the noises, it sounds like the whole nation is in the grip of severe, mental illness. I hope I'm wrong - I think any sane person would dismiss the more obviously stupid noises and look up fact for themselves, like what are the track records of the two candidates, what have they achieved that is relevant to the job they are applying for and so on. I mean, those things are in fact quite important, since the President holds real power, unlike some other heads of state. Has anybody of you guys with the loud voices even thought about what qualifications are desirable in a president? Or does it just boil down to "whatever seems to fit the description of our candidate"?

    The world is going through a very difficult time, and it is going to get worse before it gets better. Globalisation means that things like nations and capitalism are beginning to lose their relevance, and climate change means that we are going to see major conflics over mass migration, among other things. Terrorism is only a small symptom of what is likely to come, if we don't get some things sorted out rather urgently, so I would suggest that people take the issue of who governs the most powerful nation on the planet a little more seriously; this isn't a cheap "reality show".

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

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