I am very familiar with how hard drives are handled by the federal government, at least by DOD. "Crashed" or not, they is a protocol, with requisite reports to validate their destruction. You do not just throw away a hard drive. A crashed hard drive may have a power supply issue, a mechanical issue, or a bad sectors issue or all three. Neither prevents a forensic analysis using utilities developed by firms such as Kroll/OnTrack, which will provide a very detailed sector by sector report of the hard drive condition and what is recoverable and what is not. Not guessing .... I have used Kroll/OnTrack within the past 30 days for just that purpose. Successfully. It took all of three days to mail out and receive the detailed report via a web link. In other words, anyone testifying about government disposal of hard drives, under subpoena, had better have those forensic reports for the" crashed" devices and a final disposition report of how disposal was accomplished. For working hard drives it can be between 3 overwrites and 7 overwrites using software designed for the purpose (several are out there that any one can purchase), or a witnessed statement of the physical destruction by drilling or other means. My office used our O & M shop's sheet metal brake to shear them in half .... then two witnesses to the destruction signed a formal statement attesting to the fact of what drives from where had been destroyed. THEN you can just toss in the scrap. This nonsense that the IRS is putting out defies the basic knowledge every federal IT person knows. EVen the contracted IT outfits know this..and they are even more paranoid about following the letter of the requirements regarding hard drive disposal. The IS says its forensic experts examined the hard drives...great! Let's see the report and software print outs.
Couldn't agree more.And the IRS will have backups. Maybe on optical disk, tape, redundant server, but they're somewhere.
I had to stop Anonymous comments due to spam. But I welcome all legitimate comments. Thanks.