posted on Jul, 5 2014 @ 04:19 PM
i posted something to this effect as a comment on another site but i figure it would be interesting for those of you here who are following the irs
the claims made by the irs is that the 7 hard drives belonging to those being investigated happened to fail abruptly and irrecoverably, in a short
period of time after becoming evidence. they go on to say that it is not an indication of a cover up as the drives were very old, as they were unable
to purchase reliable hardware due to budgetary constraints. because they were unable to recover any data from them they were sent off for recycling,
and their current state and whereabouts are simply impossible to determine.
logically you would expect some of the 82 hard drives that were recovered to have failed in the interim or during testing, but that wasnt the case. in
fact given the 100% failure rate of those directly involved over a period of 6 months you should expect that all of them would have failed over a
period of time several times longer.
anyway the actual probability that something like that would happen would be: the average rate of failure of similar drives in similar conditions,
raised to the power of 7 (the number of drives that disappeared).
the best estimate i could find on the failure rate of drives such as these was about 30% per year. this number is generous as hard drives generally
begin showing signs of failure, bad sectors, corrupted files, crashes, operating system warnings etc. but the missing hard drives all failed in a
peculiar way, suddenly and irrecoverably.
anyway, with this data we can calculate the probability as .15^7 which equals 0.00000170859375, in other words it should be the expected outcome
0.000170859375% of the time.
another way to look at it would be in terms of odds, the odds of this happening based on the above would be 1 in 585276.
even if all the drives were doomed to die in a year, which they obviously werent, the chances of all 7 failing spectacularly would still be very low.
100% fail per year, 50% per 6 months, so .5^7 =0.0078125 or .7%. another way to read this would be the odds that the drives were destroyed as
incriminating evidence, even with these generous numbers the odds of that being true is: (1/0.0078125) -1 to 1, or 127 to 1.
again, the actual probabilities are likely to be much much greater than that, more likely in the millions or billions to 1. to accurately estimate it
you would need much better data than what the hard drive manufacturers or large enterprise companies provide. they generally only keep their drives in
use for a few years, when higher density drives are available. microsoft or apple's error reports would probably be the closest approximation to
these drives that were allegedly very old and poorly maintained. you could then break down the rates of all possible modes of failure including
irrecoverable failure without warning, and get something much closer to reality.
the big takeaway from all that though is that this particular outcome is virtually impossible. therefore its just as surely true that the irs did in
fact destroy key evidence.