According to the AP, soon-to-be-heroic technicians have uncovered 22 million email messages from the George W. Bush administration—far more than the Bush White House said they'd lost in the first place.
That's a lot of emails—but not as much data as you might first think. Berkeley estimated in 2003 the average email size to be around 18,500 bytes. That's about 379 gigabytes of lost email, give or take a few Powerpoints attachments with slides missing in the "Find a reason to invade Iraq" section.
Mother Jones had details of the recovery process:
Restoration of missing emails promises to be the trickiest part of the settlement agreement. The White House first ran into archiving problems in 2003, but didn't begin to address the problem until October 2005. Only in the final days of the Bush administration did the White House begin working with contractors-including software giant Microsoft-to find missing messages.
Don't expect to see these for a while. The National Archives have to sift through the emails before they'll be released to the public. But expect a thousand Freedom of Information Act requests to let fly towards Washington in the meantime. [Telegram/AP]