Updated: Tuesday, 20 Apr 2010, 5:33 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 20 Apr 2010, 5:33 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's a brewing scandal rocking Buffalo City Hall. Confidential police information was discovered on a discarded copier. So who's to blame?
John Johnson of Digital Copier Security said, "We got some documents here in the glass. This machine came from Buffalo Police Sex Crimes Division."
CBS News Investigators set out to prove how easy it is to find confidential information in old digital copiers. They bought four of them in this New Jersey warehouse. Two of them turned out to be old Buffalo Police copiers. One still had detailed domestic violence complaints and a list of wanted sex offenders in the hard drive. The other had a list of suspects from an Operation Impact drug raid three years ago. We tried to ask the Mayor about it.
Mayor's Spokesman Peter Cutler said, "It's in the hands of legal right now."
George Richert asked, "But I mean, Mayor, can you even say whether you're concerned about this at all? There's got to be more than two of these digital copiers that weren't fully scrubbed. Are you concerned at all that there's more out there?"
Mayor Brown said, "I think we're gonna wait for the information to get back."
Richert asked, "Do you know that there's more than two?"
Mayor Brown responded, "No, no clue."
Cutler added, "We're doing a whole review of that."
City Attorney Diane O'Gorman sent this letter to CBS News saying, "Our department was unaware that confidential information was being retained on hard drives of copiers that we had leased from Toshiba, which Toshiba then re-leased or sold." O'Gorman tells News 4 the agreement was between Toshiba and the city's purchasing department, but it's still unclear who was responsible for erasing the data. Richard Hermann services digital copiers and says it should be a wake up call for any company or government agency.
Richard Hermann of TC Technologies said, "My guess is today that at least 50 percent of all office machines, printers, and what not are put out to pasture without having their memory purged of even investigated."