DOD amends donations policy

The Pentagon announced June 7 it will reverse a recent policy that calls for destroying the hard drives on nonclassified computers before donating them to schools or other organizations.

The new policy calls for simply overwriting or demagnetizing the hard drives of computers that have held nonclassified information, said Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of Defense. The policy still mandates that hard drives be destroyed on computers that have contained classified information, and it provides for the option of destroying hard drives on computers with information considered particularly sensitive.

Overwriting and demagnetizing (also known as degaussing) are both methods for rendering stored data unreadable.

Linton Wells II, acting Pentagon chief information officer, signed the new policy June 4. It reverses a policy implemented early last year that calls for destroying hard drives on all computers before they are donated. The policy was intended to ensure that no sensitive information would be given away along with the computers.

But destroying hard drives that had contained nonclassified information was seen in some quarters as excessive.

The Defense Department donated more than 74,000 pieces of computer equipment to schools in 2000. This equipment had an original acquisition value of $97 million. The new disposal guidance will make more computers available for schools and other organizations, according to a Pentagon announcement.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.