copiers and only 8 years
No, not quite....
As Canon UK's first ever systems support engineer/senior systems support engineer this has been going on for much longer.
I supported all departments, including over 100 engineers and thousands of customers from Sole traders to MOD sites and financial institutions.
As early as 1996 I had a senior officer call me up without announcing who he was and wanted to know everything the machine could do. After 45 minutes, he thanked me, informed exactly who he was and then said. Now I know what it can do, how do I stop it from doing so.
On early FIERY RIPS and GP controllers it was quite frequent to get requests from the MOD or simply MOD contractors stipulating they wanted to have the drives removable completely every day on a caddy, failing that which they couldn't have they insisted on the drives being handed over to them on the machine departing location and being ground to dust!
They were more than happy to pay over £1000 for a 500MB or less SCSI drive in some cases than to have any chance of the data obtained by an unauthorised source.
If defence contractors are not doing so nowadays it is because they are being less careful, in 1996 and earlier even on GP215 Mk1's with only battery backed up FAX board memory they were far more cautious. Even GP55F and GP30's with a hard drive for FAX inside the MDC were dismantled and the drives destroyed before they were ever allowed to leave site.
I never had a problem with requests for that to be done, one time even passing a hard drive that had to be used for test purposes over, even though they had stood and watched everything I had done. ------ Why should I they paid the bills for the replacement parts without question. and I could understand the precautions.------- If they don't do it now then someone needs a kick up the bum - extremely hard.
Especially as we started sourcing the parts from other than FIERY and the savings made on the costs of drives was passed directly to the customer, MOD or commercial!