Certain politicians are endowed with sufficient power to capriciously destroy the product of decades of rigorous monitoring. Our perceived right of ownership of a verifiable truth may be just a privilege that we have been taking for granted. Failure to preserve data and ensure its provenance and future accessibility is to submit to some version of the dystopian society predicted by George Orwell in the novel 1984. In 2016 it may now be harder than Orwell imagined for an authoritarian government to shape people’s memories in order to control their thoughts. Let’s hope this demonstration of the futility of destroying data will discourage any politically motivated action of willful data destruction.