Contrary to the practice espoused by James Durie of the FBI in a recent PBS-TV “Frontline World” exposé on electronic waste, smashing a hard drive with a hammer will not destroy data from a discarded computer. Digitally encoded data resides deep within the drive on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces; cybercriminals can take just a small piece of that platter and use algorithms to dissect valuable personal, professional, and financial information.
Says Kenny Gravitt, Managing Principal of GES, “The only sure way to get rid of the data on a hard drive is to sanitize it with software that makes multiple passes, or to completely grind it up. Taking a hammer to the hard drive or shooting it with a nail gun will not, in fact, keep data out of the hands of cybercriminals or terrorist cells.”
Watch a video from GES on how to do it correctly: http://www.youtube.com/
Consumers, businesses and governments must be vigilant in questioning how their electronic waste is recycled, advises Gravitt. As exposed by CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” last fall and in the recent “Frontline World” program, a number of companies are illegally shipping waste to massive, toxic dumping grounds in developing countries—under the guise of environmentally sustainable recycling practices.
Additionally, through Federal Prison Industries (commonly referred to as FPI or by its trade name UNICOR), the U.S. federal government supports using prison labor for data destruction. The practice has been condemned by recycling industry activists such as the Electronics Takeback Coalition, yet continues—to the consternation of responsible e-recyclers as well as prisoner’s rights organizations concerned about the harmful effects on the health of prisoners who are forced to disassemble toxic products.
“The double threat to the environment and to our data security is a serious issue that has not received nearly enough attention here in the U.S.,” says Gravitt. “At GES, we often get calls from people who will not agree to a thorough background check, and I’m going to make an educated guess that these are blacklisted companies who can’t buy retail and are turning to e-recyclers.”
“This industry is an outlet for older gear that may not be brand new but will get the job—whatever that is—done,” cautions Gravitt. “There are people in this industry who just don’t know the implications of these sales but are desperate to make a profit. Combine not knowing who you’re dealing with and not being 100% secure in your moral decisions and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.”
At GES, an environmentally conscious staff and state of the art technology support an ironclad commitment towards environmentally sustainable e-recycling and transparency in all its operations. Its mission is to reuse resources and redirect existing products using the highest use principle—everything the company processes is reused, in whole or part, or goes back into the manufacturing stream for reuse.
GES’ new 70,000 square foot facility in Kentucky is among the best e-recycling centers in the world, and its staff has a long history of experience in recycling, information technology, demanufacturing, waste management, logistics, and business operations. The company’s strategic partners have deep expertise in environmental management, materials processing, and resource recovery.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Kenny Gravitt, Managing Principal, or Sharon Andrews, Director of Business Development at GES, please contact Theresa Pantazopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org;
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About Global Environmental Services:
Founded in 2008, GES has been vetted by Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), the most prestigious environmental auditors in the world, and is currently awaiting certification as an “e-Steward”