SEM Optical Media Destroyer

Destroyer shreds optical media to NSA's satisfaction

Agencies can spend almost as much time wondering how to destroy data as they do to protect it, because at the end of a storage device’s useful life, total destruction is the best protection. The government uses many methods to accomplish this task, including brute force, electronic wiping and magnetic bombardment.

While the most advanced of the new magnetic degaussing hardware can often work their erasing magic on optical media, the best method with CDs and DVDs is often pure destruction, just to be on the safe side. That is where the Model 0202 OMD Optical Media Destroyer from Security Engineered Machinery comes into play.

The new Media Destroyer has been evaluated by the National Security Agency and tested for its ability to destroy up to 2,400 CDs or DVDs per hour. The Destroyer turns all optical media into tiny 2 millimeter by 3.9 millimeter shards, which can't have their data snooped by any known means. That exceeds the NSA/CSS 04-02 standards for destroyed output size. When dumped into a pile with other optical refuse, it would be practically impossible to even know which shards came from which disks, though the NSA recommends that any markings be removed prior to destruction.

The Model 0202 has dual voltage capability and two power cords to operate on either 110-120V/60Hz or 220-230V/50Hz power, so it can work with either U.S. or overseas power grids.

The unit sits 32-inches high and is 20-inches wide, no bigger than most paper shredders. The Destroyer is mounted on two heavy-duty casters that allow it to be easily moved. Discs can be inserted quickly into the special slot at the top of the unit without any risk of cuts or getting fingers caught in the machinery. There is a touch screen control panel that gives status updates, and the system will automatically shut down if the waste receptacle needs to be emptied.

The start-up kit for the Model 0202 includes two power cords (for U.S. and European standard outlets), a waste collection box, two lubrication sheets and five anti-static waste bags. It's listed on the GSA Schedule and available through the SEM website for $3,895.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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