Ten data disasters in 2013 that turned out happily — and two that didn’t

It’s the time of the year when reporters and vendors look back at the last 12 months and figure out how good – or bad – a year it’s been.

When it comes to data loss for the U.S. and Canadian governments, it’s been a terrible year:  South of the border IT security contractor Edward Snowden downloaded an estimated 200,000 documents from the National Security Agency databanks, which have been slowly making their way into the press.

The private sector, governments around the world and ordinary citizens will for the foreseeable future suspect their online communications are being intercepted.

Meanwhile on this side of the border Royal Canadian Navy Sub-lieutenant Jeffery Delisle was sentenced to 20 years in prison for selling military secrets to the Russians for almost five years passing documents he downloaded to a USB drive and then uploaded via email.

By comparison the data recovery service operated by Kroll OnTrack had a delightful year, at least according to its account of successes in recovering bytes from submerged, shattered or seemingly inoperative hard drives.

At least these 10 stories assembled by our colleagues at Computer Dealer News give hope that if you think data is lost, it might not be. Spoiler alert: If you have a fear of spiders, avoid slide three.

Click here to see the slide show.


Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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