Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I Had A Hammer



We've been cleaning out a room. I found an ancient external hard drive, which I intended to take to an electronics recycling center. Having no idea what was on the drive, my level of expertise in wiping it led me to the decision: I pounded it with a sledge hammer, and dropped it off.

Hillary's people, as required by law, destroyed devices before recycling them, too:
... If Clinton had in fact used a federally-issued Blackberry like President Obama does, it might well have been destroyed after she used it, too. In accordance with a 2012 General Services Administration bulletin, all agencies must either recycle or donate used electronics for reuse. The State Department abides by that policy, too; if Clinton had been using State-issued devices, they would have gone through a similar, if more standardized, process of data deletion. A State Department official explained in a statement to WIRED that “department security policies mandate that all electronic devices are cleared of sensitive or classified information prior to reuse or disposal.” Some devices are wiped and reused, in other words, while others are destroyed as part of the recycling process...
So here's my question: am I as tech-savvy as Hillary Clinton's people, or is it the other way around? Like other relevant questions, i.e., when the press might get around to reporting the facts instead of the headlines, it'll remain unanswered.

2 comments:

Dr Strangelove said...

Yes.

I followed the GSA link and links for two relevant Executive Orders. I could find no reference to the destruction or removal of data. I even searched for the words "data" and "destroy" and found nothing. They seemed to be focused on frugality and environmentalism.

For future use, with drives that are functional and capable of being accessed by your PC, get a copy of the application DBAN. It's freeware and it will wipe a drive completely clean. It also has options for more thorough wiping for those feeling paranoid.

I've also used the hammer technique. Lately, for older drives that I don't want to bother hooking up, I open them up and scratch up the disks. Then I apply a liberal coating of some very tough 3M epoxy. What, me paranoid? Nah. Just careful.

Sidney Schwab said...

Yeah, I started with the idea of taking it apart and removing and maiming the disc, but I decided it was too much work. So I just smashed the shit out of it, which felt good.

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