From high-profile litigation to lesser-known cases, the government is dealing with a growing and costly problem: data volumes are skyrocketing out of the stratosphere. Collecting the data is just the beginning — reviewing records for responsive information and storing the data also come at a steep cost.
For example, in the high-profile case against former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwaniwell, agents seized 16 devices with 21.4 terabytes of data from a Theranos consulting firm’s office. Only 0.8 terabyte was responsive to their search warrant date range, sparing prosecutors from reviewing roughly 130 million pages of remaining data.
According to Bloomberg Law, U.S. attorney’s offices are now storing about 10 times the amount of electronic data they had in 2016. That volume — more than 4 petabytes of information — is projected to double again in 2023.
Even in “smaller” cases, such as the United States v. Milton, DOJ prosecutors handed a whopping 4 million pages of evidence to the defense.
The True Cost of Poor Data Management
Cases with exorbitant quantities of Electronically Stored Evidence (ESI) are growing more common, forcing litigators to sort through more files than ever before. This makes it exponentially more difficult for them to effectively search and review all of the relevant information.
When government agencies such as the DOJ get backed up with data, it doesn’t just cost them time and money — it renders them far less effective and hinders their ability to carry out the very function they were created to serve. In other words, when buried in a data avalanche, the Department of Justice can’t effectively administer, well, justice — at least not at the scale it needs to.
In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, DOJ Prosecutors have discussed charging fewer cases, unless the office can better manage data-related issues.
“Practically speaking, the single biggest constraint on effective white-collar prosecution is the deficiencies in DOJ data infrastructure,” Ilan Graff, a former federal prosecutor and now a partner at law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, told The Journal. “If you are investigating a target and get terabytes of data — internal communications, Bloomberg chats, preserved messaging — the time it takes to get it uploaded and the search-related delays can be paralyzing.”
Beyond sifting through this mountain of evidence to build their cases, prosecutors are required during pretrial discovery to turn over everything in their possession that could be favorable to the defendant. Failure to comply, or do so in a timely fashion, could lead to costly sanctions or the dismissal of their cases.
Why Does This Matter?
The stakes are similarly high for other government agencies. When they can’t effectively manage high data volumes and complex data types, they can’t fulfill all of the duties of their respective agency; thus allowing potentially important tasks to fall through the cracks.
This inability to corral ESI can lead to reputational damage and ultimately an erosion of trust among citizens in their government institutions. After all, when government agencies fail to handle taxpayer dollars in a responsible fashion, the faith with which they’ve been entrusted begins to wither away.
In order for government agencies to avoid the kind of logjam facing the DOJ, it’s critical to standardize on an eDiscovery solution built to handle massive data volumes, and, when necessary, help them migrate over legacy data.
It’s something other federal agencies have navigated in recent years. One institution, in particular, realized it needed a secure eDiscovery solution to address its growing litigation, investigatory, and compliance needs, so it started its search for a trusted partner.
This agency sought help migrating about 450 terabytes of legacy data while simultaneously supporting new incoming data volumes of up to 10 terabytes a month. Without the proper data management solution, this would’ve proven virtually impossible.
The Importance of a Trusted eDiscovery Partner
Thankfully, this agency found such a partner in Casepoint. Utilizing Caspoint’s powerful eDiscovery solution with advanced analytics and visualization capabilities allowed the agency to achieve the aforementioned objectives and effectively produce data for its cases going forward.
Others are investing in better data management infrastructure too. Top government agencies — including the Department of Defense, Department of Veteran Affairs, U.S. Courts, and the National Credit Union Administration, to name a few — all trust Casepoint to process and manage their ballooning data volumes.
Why? Casepoint’s Government Solution was built specifically to address the grueling data demands on government agencies. Casepoint is contracted to host up to 1.5 petabytes of data. It was also the first eDiscovery cloud solution to process over 300 terabytes of data for any single government Agency.
Ultimately, Casepoint’s powerful data processing and data management capabilities free government agencies up to carry out more of their critical, taxpayer-funded work. That’s why having a trusted partner to navigate the ever-expanding data universe is no longer a luxury — it’s a must-have.