Update: Logikcull's cloud-based Legal Intelligence platform was featured on the November 7 edition of the NBC Nightly News in a segment on how the FBI reviewed a new trove of Clinton emails before Election Day. Scroll to the 12-minute mark for the full story.
Posted November 6, 2016
In short: they didn’t review them all. Because they didn’t have to review them all.
Reading every single email and the corresponding attachments would take one person over 20,000 hours to complete or 833 days or 2.3 years. To complete the review in 8 days would require a team of 121 people reviewing 1,000 documents per day for 8 days straight (the average person can read ~50 docs/hour). At Logikcull, we know that the average email database contains 1.5 attachments for every email. Which means that the 650,000 emails is really closer to 975,000 emails AND attachments.
Mock the government for their inefficiencies all you want (looking at you, California DMV =). But the government and the FBI aren’t >>this<< backwards when taking on the job of sifting through 650,000 emails and attachments. They did not hire 121 people to review 1,000 documents/day for 8 days straight. It’s not like the FBI’s a giant law firm from the 1990’s using document search & review software built in the 1980’s with the goal of reviewing every, single, document for relevance not once, but twice =)
No, this review was likely done by just a few people. Maybe just one person, at least initially.
As an example, here’s a quick video showing how one person using Logikcull can sift through 25,000 emails from the DNC email dump within just a few seconds.
This video serves as a simple example. But the same workflow and, um, logik, applies to 25,000 emails or 650,000 emails or 6,500,000 emails. The way to “review” a large amount of digital information quickly is to first extract the digital content’s metadata (i.e. the Email From address is a piece of metadata, so is the Email Subject line, etc.) and then to organize it into…wait for it…logikcull categories.
So why did it take 8 days? Since it’s likely that the FBI completed the project within a day, then the remaining time was likely due to quality control checks to vet the results. Conspiracy theories abound of course as to why it took so long, but it’s just math and modern approaches to handling digital information.
If you have the need or just the curiosity to sift through digital information quickly, please signup for a demo of Logikcull. We promise it won't take 8 days to try it =)