We recently learned to our horror that all digital copy machines contain hard drives that remember everything they copy. A 5-minute CBS documentary on Google, entitled “Copy Machines, a Security Risk,” shows news investigators buying second-hand copiers from a warehouse for $300 each, easily opening up the hard drives, and turning up quantities of confidential police files, medical records, lists of names with social security numbers and the like.
We hastened to spread the word to our colleagues. Inexplicably paranoia-deficient, they gave us the Chicken Little treatment. All right, just wait til you get cleaned out by somebody in Belarus who has better proof of being you than you have.
So we decided to conduct our own experiment. We didn’t even have to go to a second-hand copier warehouse, having plenty of defunct copiers right here in the office. Using our handy Captain Kirk polycrypto-laser alpha sensor, we easily accessed the hard drive and uncovered a wealth of confidential information:
— Incredibly damaging, incriminating materials about our clients disclosed to us by the DA after being furnished to Homeland Security, the FBI, Immigration, the NYPD, the Internet Sex Offender Registry, the Gun Offender Registry, the Parking Ticket Offender Registry, the Late With Your Rent Offender Registry and their mothers.
— Lists of persons who contributed to the Food Stamp Advocacy Division’s annual non-alcoholic Christmas party, participated in the mailroom’s World Series pool, or ordered Girl Scout cookies from Stella in accounting.
— Lists of persons who did not order Girl Scout cookies from Stella in accounting (cc’d to Homeland Security).
— Multiple signs reading: YOUR MOTHER DOES NOT WORK HERE. KEEP THIS AREA NEAT AND CLEAN.
— Miscellaneous staff attorney income tax returns, credit card bills, rap sheets and blackmail notes, duly copied before the originals were put into the shredder.
— Signs reading: JUVENILE DELINQUENCY TRAINING IN ROOM 5059.
— Manuscripts of unfinished semi-autobiographical novels about life as a public defender.
The last alone should be a wakeup call to action.