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Submission + - Government sale of used storage tapes not a risk? ( 1

coondoggie writes: "There is little risk of the government exposing personal data or state secrets by reselling its used magnetic storage tapes, the General Accounting Office reported today. The Federal Government is the largest user of magnetic tape in the world snapping up one million reels annually, experts say and a large secondary market that buys and resells thee tapes has grown up around it. Critics say federal agencies are selling used magnetic tapes containing sensitive government data to companies which then resell them to the general public. Congress too has been concerned that magnetic tapes containing sensitive government data have become available to the public. The GAO report says there is no general legal requirement that the government erase all data on all magnetic tapes before disposing of them."
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Government sale of used storage tapes not a risk?

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  • That sure sounds risky if they aren't erasing the tapes. Actually, it could be a little risky even if they are erasing them since someone can occasionally recover data from residual charges in an "erased" tape.

    Unless the tapes are proven to be truly erased to the point that data recovery is impossible (not just "unlikely") they should be destroyed instead of sold.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982