9. The government does enforce specific procedures governing incineration or shredding of classified waste. Regarding disposal of sensitive but unclassified waste, each government agency or private company sets its own regulations. These procedures depend upon the sensitivity of the information and the likelihood that a foreign group or domestic competitor may want to obtain that information. It will often be advisable to use a commercially available cross-cut shredder. A cross-cut shredder cuts the paper both vertically and horizontally.
Searching through dumpsters outside offices for sensitive documents is a common intelligence collection tactic. It is called "dumpster diving." Trash is also stolen after being placed out for collection in front of residences. Stealing trash is not illegal. The Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that once an item is left for trash pickup, there is no expectation of privacy or continued ownership.
Related Topics: Theft and Dumpster Diving, Handling Classified Information, Protecting Sensitive But Unclassified Information.