Good, Better, Best: Hard Drive Destruction Solutions for State and Local Governments

May 11, 2020 at 9:33 am by SEM

There are many different options in the market place to destroy hard drives. Everything from erase software, to degaussers, to many different forms of physical destruction. So the question becomes “What is the best solution for me”?

When it comes to destroying hard drives for State and Local Governments, most experts agree the best and most secure method is to degauss the drive and then use some form of physical destruction. While this combination solution is the best method, there are others that are effective that only require one step. Here are some ideas:


Physical Destruction

For most State and Local Governments, this is an entry level destruction option. You can use either use a crushing method such as a SEM Model 0101 Hard Drive Crusher or for added security, shred the drives using the SEM Model 0300 HDD Shredder.

SEM 0101 Hard Drive Crusher

The SEM Model 0101 hard drive crusher destroys all hard drives regardless of their size, format or type (up to 1.85” thick), including drives found in laptops, desktops and server systems. The Model 0101 has been tested by the NSA and is listed by the NSA as the highest performing HDD punching device making It suitable as a physical destruction solution of the DoD mandated Degauss and Destroy process. Check out a video of the 0101 here.

SEM Model 0101

 SEM 0300 Hard Drive Shredder

When it comes to the fast, safe, easy destruction of hard drives, nothing outperforms the SEM hard drive shredder line, including the SEM Model 0300. This slow speed, high torque shredder uses specially designed saw tooth hook cutters to chew up about 8 hard drives in a minute that produce a 1.5” wide particle size. That’s just 7.5 seconds per drive. The unit is designed for an office environment and plugs conveniently into standard wall outlets. Check out a video about the 0300 here.

SEM Model 0300


Degauss and Destroy

For a higher level of security, State and Local Governments may want to consider the two step process of erasing data with a degausser and destroying the media with a crusher. This would give you peace of mind that the drive has been degaussed, which renders the drive completely useless. Once the drive has been sanitized, additionally physically destroying the media makes it inoperable to 100% ensure no information can ever be accessed again. Below is our most popular option.

SEM EMP1000-HS and SEM Model 0101 Crusher

The SEM EMP1000-HS is a compact, portable, and powerful electromagnetic degausser that erases the highest coercivity magnetic media available today without the use of any adapters for onsite erasure and declassification. The Model EMP1000-HS degausser has been evaluated by the NSA and is listed on the NSA EPL for Magnetic Degaussers erasing data on 5,000 Oe longitudinal and perpendicular recorded disk drives and 3,000 Oe for tape media (includes LTO8 tape). Learn more by watching a video here.

Pair this with the SEM Model 0101 shown above and you have a good destruction solution.

SEM Model EMP1000-HS Degausser


Combine the EMP1000-HS NSA listed degausser with the Model 0101 NSA listed crusher and the iWitness end-of-life documentation tool for a Degauss, Destroy and Document Bundle to completely eliminate high security data from magnetic media in accordance with NSA and DoD guidelines.

The added iWitness will allow for documentation of the destruction process, pairing with the EMP1000-HS that has a built in verification system that works out of the box with the iWitness.


If you need to destroy hard drives, laptops, phones or any other type of electronic media, SEM has a solution to meet a wide variety of budgets. For more information on contact us today!

All About TAA Compliance

March 26, 2020 at 6:34 pm by Flora Knolton

compliance puzzleTAA stands for Trade Agreements Act, which enables fair and honest international trade and thus requires the U.S. government to only acquire end products from designated countries.  This means specifically that the General Services Administration (GSA) must only acquire U.S.–made and/or TAA compliant products. Not everyone on the globe is TAA compliant, which makes it especially hard to source equipment from countries such as China, Russia, India, and Malaysia, and companies who sell products to the U.S. government from these countries are subject to liability. In contrast, a number of European countries, Caribbean Basin countries, Japan, Canada, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia are designated countries that are TAA compliant. Many contractors think they can acquire these goods from third-party vendors, or companies located in these countries, without realizing that just because these goods are sold at the local Target does not mean the government can acquire them from the contractor. TAA requirements are built into contracts such as GSA and most Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. In fact, all products offered for sale to government entities under GSA schedule contracts must be TAA compliant, regardless of cost.

Clearly, the government has made TAA compliance implementation a priority. With that being said, TAA auditing has led to many businesses being suspended from federal contracting altogether due to non-compliance. TAA auditing, in a sense, is also what competitors are doing to each other. A whistleblower lawsuit filed by one competitor resulted in four office-supply companies paying $27 million in penalties for TAA violations. Regardless of how the violation is exposed, lying to the federal government about TAA compliance status can have serious consequences, from hefty fines to a ban from federal contracting to potential business closure from negative publicity and loss of revenue.

Without a General Services Administration (GSA) schedule contract, it becomes more difficult to sell to contractors. Ensuring TAA compliance is simple enough: choose to work with a reputable manufacturer who can certify their compliance status and back it up with documentation. GSA will also work with schedule contractors to ensure TAA compliance by conducting audits and scheduling periodic product checks. A company who is not a product’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) should  verify with countries of origin quarterly or with catalog updates from suppliers. If a manufacturing source changes within the span of a contract, products will then fall out of compliance and must immediately be removed from the GSA schedule.

TAA compliance requires that companies who sell to the Federal Government only sell products manufactured or “substantially transformed” in the United States or that are made in TAA designated countries, including nations that currently have free trade agreements with the United States. To put it in easily understandable terms, substantially transformed simply means that at least 50% of the product’s overall manufacture cost must originate from the US or TAA designated countries. Many companies have situations where their products are assembled in several countries; however, as long as a minimum of fifty percent of the production is completed in a TAA compliant country, the end product is considered to be TAA compliant. When importing materials from outside the U.S., it’s crucial to know what is TAA compliant. Being aware of these key points will help businesses stay in compliance:

  • Always retain all documents and agreements from your supplier.
  • Always have the proper documentation of the country origin, whether that be their origin code or marking.
  • Stay up to date on U.S Customs border patrol protection information.
  • Seek professional help from a lawyer if you’ve had many sales in a country that is not TAA compliant

Understanding TAA compliance standards can be difficult. For over 50 years, SEM has been meeting all appropriate regulatory requirements for destroying classified and sensitive information, including TAA compliance. We strive to educate our clients to successfully stay compliant navigating through these complex TAA requirements. From paper to hard drives to various mixed media, SEM provides TAA compliant data destruction devices to meet any volume or security regulation.


State and Local Government – The Importance of Destroying of License Plates

June 4, 2017 at 11:41 am by SEM

State and local governments all know the importance of personal information security. Items such as paper, computers, and phones all have varying degrees of sensitive information that need to be destroyed. But what about license plates?

Think of what a license plate actually does. According to Wikipedia…… “The purpose of a license plate, also known as vehicle registration plates or tags, is to identify the car and its owner as well as to show that the car is registered with the government and has been through specific tests to ensure the car is safe to drive”. Because of potential security risks associated with license plates when they become damaged or unable to be read, DMV’s typically require that they be returned the state before a replacement is issued. But once returned, what happens to them?

What Happens to Old License Plates?

The unfortunate truth is that many are simply uncertain on what to do with them. They typically end up stockpiling in basements or storage warehouses. As the saying goes, “out of site / out of mind”? So the million dollar question is “How can licenses plates be disposed of in an efficient and effective manner?

License Plate Destruction Solutions:

A very popular solution for state and local governments is to shred them. Security Engineered Machinery (SEM) offers a variety of effective shredding solutions. The SEM Models 0300, 0304, and 0305 are capable of shredding license plates. These low speed, high torque shredders use specially designed saw tooth hook cutters to chew up plates down to a 1.5 inch wide particle size, with smaller sizes of 1” or .75” are also available. These units range from 1.0 HP to 20 HP and can shred between 300-3,000 plates per hour. They are easy to use, quiet and can discharge the shredded material into a variety of waste collection containers.

If you are a state or local DMV and need to destroy anything from licenses, parking stickers or even license plates, SEM has a solution to meet your volume and price requirements. Contact us today to discuss your needs.