writes "I'm sure everyone has seen the headlines the past few days about the White House "accidentally" deleting quite a few e-mails (rumored at nearly 5 million), many regarding the 8 attorneys fired by AG Gonzalez. More details seem to be uncovered everyday, including the excuse that they "lost" their e-mails when upgrading from Outlook 2002 to 2003. These "accidental" deletions and the incredible amount of time the White House is taking to recover them has led many to speculate, including Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who went so far as to say "I've got a teenage kid in my neighborhood that can go get 'em for them". I'm not an IT guy, so I was wondering if the /. community could help me understand how difficult it really is to uncover deleted e-mails? It seems as though government agencies usually have no problem getting deleted material off of people's computer when they want, so what is taking so long?"