[ISN] Pentagon Reverses Order to Destroy Old Hard Drives

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 09:44:35 PDT

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    Friday June 8 10:31 AM ET 
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Defense Department no longer has to destroy
    hard drives of all old unclassified computers going to the public, in
    a reversal of a six-month-old policy installed during a heightened
    focus on security, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
    Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz rescinded the January policy
    with the goal of making more computers available for schools and other
    non-profit organizations.
    The Pentagon will have to overwrite the hard drives of computers being
    donated or going to the public, which it had done for years before the
    January edict.
    Overwriting a hard drive makes it more difficult to reconstruct the
    information than just erasing it, a Pentagon spokesman said.
    Computer hard drives with classified information still must be
    destroyed, the Pentagon said.
    In fiscal 2000, the Defense Department donated more than 74,000 pieces
    of computer equipment to schools, it said.
    The short-lived policy of destroying hard drives on unclassified
    computers came during a time of sharp focus on security after several
    high-profile cases.
    In one case former CIA Director John Deutch, who was also a former
    deputy defense secretary, was found to have put classified information
    on unclassified home computers.
    Deutch apologized for his actions and former President Bill Clinton
    pardoned him of any wrongdoing in computer lapses before leaving
    Government investigations have found no evidence that any of the
    classified information on Deutch's computers was compromised.
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