In the wake of rampant whistle-blowing, the Government has formally rolled out Operation 'Bit Slap' across all government departments and any non-governmental bodies found to be irksome. The new emergency procedure for ceremonial destruction of IT replaces an earlier initiative 'Operation Stable Door'.
George Tuppence, GCHQ's self-styled Bitfinder Pursuivant, explained the process. "The first thing we do is break that little seal on the back of the computer that instantly voids the warranty. This shows them we mean business. We then 'advise' the client on the destruction of their media and IT systems, to be absolutely sure they will have to buy some new stuff."
He explained how the recent Guardian incident showcases the new strategy of 'ceremonial destruction of unclean IT' in response to any security breach or leak of undesirable information. "Secrets are only permitted on properly consecrated IT systems. Only then can they be accredited in a lengthly ritual, culminating in a chilly, moist handshake. Access is then limited to those who have no wish to act on the information."
GCHQ admitted to teething problems in the early days of Operation Bit Slap. "Some of our operatives have on occasion been a little enthusiastic in the desecration and removal of floppy drives. We had an unfortunate incident where we forced a client to listen to the Squidgygate tapes one last time while thwacking their pride and joy with a blunt instrument".
"We really used a sledgehammer to crack a nut there." he admitted, ruefully. "These days we get the owner of the IT to do the job themselves and we just watch, and film the best bits.
We do perform rigorous checks to ensure all of the data has been eradicated. For example, we found that one customer had included a 'readme' file in his suspect folder, that read "I am not there - I did not die", so we felt confident he hadn't tweeted his executables into the cloud. Or whatever."
George confided that if you have failed to back up your files prior to destruction, then it is likely that the government has already done it for you.