Your managers are protecting _your_ interests by not letting you use that drive. Show a little goddamn respect.
How about the management show the employee a little respect and let him order whatever bits of sundry equipment he needs to do his job?
I think the sort or critical thinking that bosses don't want is the sort that asks "how many hours of my time do I need to save to justify the cost of a $100 hard drive?" or "if it really costs the company $500 and takes 3 weeks to procure something that Amazon could have on my desk in 24 hours for $100, maybe its not me that should be under pressure to make efficiency savings?" or even "If its all because of legal compliance issues, why doesn't big business club together, rent a few senators and get the legislation quietly fixed in a rider to the next fisheries bill?"