As reported recently in Secrecy News, “The National Security Agency has issued new guidance to assist officials in redacting (censoring) documents in Microsoft Word format and producing unclassified Adobe Portable Document (PDF) files without inadvertently disclosing sensitive information.” (NSA: Redacting With Confidence by Steven Aftergood, SECRECY NEWS, Volume 2006, Issue No. 8 January 20, 2006.)
Now, one person who has examined the NSA document says that “it suggest redaction by complete rewriting.”
When redaction is done by creating a new document and pasting in old text, opportunities for misbehavior and errors abound. The NSA’s suggestions do address one such issue: figures appearing in the wrong place. But what’s to prevent a redacter from deciding to change a critical word while editing? If text is merely deleted, how are we to know where the redactions took place?
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