(c/o 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.

"MS Word is used throughout the DoD and the Intelligence Community (IC) for
preparing documents, reports, notes, and other formal and informal
materials. PDF is often used as the format for downgraded or sanitized

"There are a number of pitfalls for the person attempting to sanitize a Word
document for release."

For example, "As numerous people have learned to their chagrin, merely
converting an MS Word document to PDF does not remove all [sensitive]
metadata automatically."

"This paper describes the issue, and gives a step-by-step description of how
to do it with confidence that inappropriate material will not be released."

See "Redacting with Confidence: How to Safely Publish Sanitized Reports
Converted From Word to PDF," National Security Agency, December 13, 2005:

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