This is why you don’t use private server farms to store sensitive government data.

A Connecticut company, which backed up Hillary Clinton‘s emails at the request of a Colorado firm, apparently surprised her aides by storing the emails on a “cloud” storage system designed to optimize data recovery.

The firm, Datto Inc., said Wednesday that it turned over the contents of its storage to the FBI on Tuesday.

In press reports about the FBI’s investigation, it was unclear how much of the data they’d been able to recover from the original server. If there was anything they failed to get, though, they have it now. More about why maybe it was a better idea for Clinton not to hire a bunch of hacks to handle her data:

Datto and Platte River seemed at odds, however, over how Clinton’s emails wound up on Datto’s cloud storage, which may have resulted from a misunderstanding.

Platte River spokesman Andy Boian said the firm bought a device from Datto that constantly snaps images of a server’s contents and connected it to the Clinton server at a New Jersey data storage facility. Platte River never asked Datto to beam the images to an off-site cloud storage node and never was billed for that service, he said. Company officials were bewildered when they learned of the cloud storage, he said.

“We said, ‘You have a cloud? You were told not to have a cloud.’ We never received an invoice for any cloud for the Clintons.’”

The source familiar with Datto’s account, however, said Platte River was billed for “private cloud” storage, which requires a cloud storage node. Because Platte River lacks one, the source said, the data bounced to Datto’s off-site cloud storage. The source said that senior Platte River officials may not have realized it, but company technicians “were managing the off-site storage throughout.”

McClatchy also reports that Clinton tried to get Platte River to, as they put it, “reduce the amount of emails it was backing up.” Personally I’d call that destroying evidence myself, and someone at Platte agreed:

In laying out facts gathered by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs, Wisconsin Sen. Johnson offered the first public confirmation that Clinton or her representatives had arranged for a backup of her email server after she left office in early 2013.

His letter also cited internal emails recounting requests in late 2014 and early 2015 from Clinton representatives for Platte River Networks to direct Datto to reduce the amount of her emails it was backing up. These communications led a Platte River employee to air suspicions that “this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy (sic) shit,” according to an excerpt of an email cited by Johnson.

Platte River’s spokesman disputed this:

Boian said, however, that Platte River was asked to limit email retention to 30 days as soon as it was hired — a directive that never changed.

However, this is belied by Platte River’s private correspondence:

Despite Boian’s statement that Platte River set up a 30-day revolving retention policy for Clinton’s emails, Johnson’s letter noted that Platte River employees were directed to reduce the amount of email data being stored with each backup. Late this summer, Johnson wrote, a Platte River employee took note of this change and inquired whether the company could search its archives for an email from Clinton Executive Service Corp. directing such a reduction in October or November 2014 and then again around February, advising Platte River to save only emails sent during the most recent 30 days.

Those reductions would have occurred after the State Department requested that Clinton turn over her emails.

It was here that a Platte River employee voiced suspicions about a cover-up and sought to protect the company. “If we have it in writing that they told us to cut the backups,” the employee wrote, “and that we can go public with our statement saying we have had backups since day one, then we were told to trim to 30 days, it would make us look a WHOLE LOT better,” according to the email cited by Johnson.

Platte River, it seems, decided not to go with the CYA and decided to CCA instead.

To sum up:
-All 60,000 of Clinton’s emails were out there in the Cloud, and almost certainly ended up in the hands of hackers, and probably foreign governments.
-Clinton’s camp tried to destroy all the external copies of her emails that they could after the State Department contacted them requesting records. They didn’t know the emails had already left Platte, however.
-Despite all the crowing that McCarthy’s gaffe had ended this scandal, the media is still reporting on it and still finding new bombshells.