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Comment Re: How does... (Score 2) 186

... for sensitive data, more passes is standard.

Somebody needs to question that standard. There's no credible evidence that data can be recovered after writing a single pass of random data.

Even if there was any evidence (and let's be clear, there isn't...), if anybody wants to spend that much money trying to recover data from machines bought randomly on eBay they should be encouraged to do so. The sooner they go bankrupt, the better.

Comment Re:How does... (Score 2) 186

How hard can it be for a government to make a CD stick which you insert in a PC which boots up and wipes the hard drive?

They could insert one in every PC before they remove it from the person's desk. It would take about ten minutes. If they're doing a roomful of PCs (as they mostly do) then by the time you got around to putting the CD in the last machine, the first one would be finished.

Comment Re:Fines.. (Score 1) 186

If you read TFA you'll see there's no contract. The word "contractor" implies it but really they were just handed to a guy who crossed his heart and promised to do it before putting them on eBay.

OTOH, you're right that the NHS shouldn't be fined. The person who handed over the computers (presumably to a friend of his) needs jailing.

Comment Re:It costs the government NOTHING. (Score 1, Troll) 174

Bzzt! You lose. For your "theory", lets say the government buys a $1000 widget. It didn't produce that widget, it spent the money to buy that widget. It didn't spend $1000 for that widget, it spent $1200 because the government has its overhead.

Bzzt! You lose. The government pays at least 400% markup on anything it buys.

Comment Re:Eh? (Score 1) 193

I grok this to mean that a backdoor exists for customer service, which can be activated by a customer (by two factors: permission and network access), and that without action on the part of the customer, said backdoor is closed.

"Permission" isn't much of a safeguard against criminals. They tend to do stuff without it.

(Isn't that the very definition of "criminal", i.e. doing stuff they don't have permission to do?)

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