One of the ways identities are compromised is when computers are discarded without properly “washing” the hard-drive with specialized software, or destroying the hard-drive, itself.

I did a post in about this, here.

Bill Lambrecht of the St. Louis Post – Dispatch wrote an interesting article, where they purchased several old computers in Nigeria and were able to get a lot of information from them.

Interestingly enough, he quotes a prominent Nigerian, Oladele Osibanjo, who is a regional coordinator for the Basel Convention – a global treaty meant to protect people from the mishandling of hazardous materials as saying:

“The e-waste you are exporting is coming back to you in the form of cyber-crime. Maybe when Americans realize what is happening, they will be a little more careful.”

While Mr. Osibanjo is trying to warn us about identity theft, I’m certain his true concerns lie more with hazardous materials that are damaging people’s health in other countries. When I went to their site, the fact that this occurs, alarmed me.

St. Louis Post – Dispatch article, here.

Although the article is extremely informative – and there is ample proof of fraud coming from Nigeria – I continue to be amazed at the amount of press they receive about it.

With the recent ABC 20 20 story brought about by a certain former politician, who is behind bars and might be Chelsea Clinton’s father-in-law someday, Nigerian fraud is again making headlines.

Stealing and using information is a worldwide problem and there are criminals involved in the “trade” in a lot of places.

So far as Chelsea, it must be hard to be Bill and Hillary’s daughter, and she certainly doesn’t seem to get in as much trouble as some twins, who were in South America recently.

Saying that, the story calls attention to what I consider the potential of a huge problem. Companies and organizations are constantly upgrading their computers and a lot of them get discarded.

Besides identity theft, there is a huge potential that “sensitive information” could be sifted from these hard-drives that would compromise trade secrets, or even government information.

[Edited by Simon – Removed duplicate post]

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