Business continuity, MSP

Hillary Clinton Emails: Datto Confirms Work with FBI

Datto didn't mention Hillary Clinton by name. But in a statement to ChannelE2E, Datto essentially confirmed that it's working with the FBI as the federal government seeks to track down emails associated with the former secretary of state.

At the same time, Datto is striving to communicate that it continues to maintain privacy policies that protect MSPs (managed services providers), channel partners and their end customers.

> Related: Datto Recommended Encryption Services for Clinton Email Server

Late this afternoon, published reports suggested that Clinton's private server emails may have been backed up in Datto's cloud. ChannelE2E pursued an official comment from Datto, and received this reply at 10:06 p.m. ET today:

“With the consent of our client and their end user, Datto is working with the FBI to provide data in conjunction with their investigation and consistent with our policies regarding data privacy," wrote Michael Fass, general counsel, Datto. "We received a letter from the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee just last night and we are in the process of responding to it. Datto is a data protection and business continuity company that provides backup data storage to thousands of Managed Service Providers, including Platte River Networks. Datto has no role in monitoring the content or source of data stored by MSP clients such as Platte River.”

Read the statement more closely and the following situation appears to be unfolding:

  • Clinton's personal email server was managed by Platte River Networks, a managed services provider.
  • So in Fass's statement, I believe the "client" is Platte River, and Platte River's "end user" is Clinton.

Datto and Cloud Customer Privacy

Fass's statement doesn't describe Datto's data privacy policies. But based on the overall wording, it sounds like Datto checked in with Platte River Networks and Clinton as part of the process to provide data to the FBI. On a side note, I don't know if or how the data is encrypted. Datto launched an encryption service in 2013, I believe. As part of that service, I believe end users -- rather than Datto -- can control the keys.

Datto is a fast-growing, privately held data protection and business continuity company. It's doubtful that Datto was directly involved in Clinton's backup and data protection decisions. Instead of working directly with end-customers, Datto works closely with MSPs -- an ecosystem of partners that remotely monitor and manage small business networks for customers.

Clinton has faced numerous questions about her decision to purchase, deploy and use a personal email server in her house while serving as secretary of state.

Disclosure: Datto is an Inaugural Sponsor for ChannelE2E, which launched Sept. 15, 2015.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.