TSA learns redaction lesson the hard way…

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…and we will all pay for it. Today it has been made public that the TSA’s detailed airport security procedures manual has been posted to the Internet. The TSA was putting out some services to bid, and posted what they believed to be a redacted version of the document. Well it turns out that the redaction technique they chose was ineffective.

Now that everyone can see TSA’s airport screening procedures in detail, they will have to resort to more pat-downs, wand scans, and body scans. Procedures for identifying CIA, air marshalls, and law enforcement personnel may need to change as well.

Some of the details revealed in the procedures include:

  • The size of wires that can pass through magnetometers without setting alarms
  • Procedures used for screening liquids
  • Items that do not require extra screening such as wheelchairs and casts
  • Procedures for verifying the identity of CIA, NSA, air marshalls, and other law enforcement personnel

See my earlier posting on redaction here.

Proper redaction of sensitive data in electronic documents is more than just covering up sensitive words and images. Instead, sensitive information is actually removed and replaced with solid black, so that the redacted text or images are not merely “underneath” it. I suspect that the NSA merely “covered” sensitive items without actually removing them from documents.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=tsa&iid=3702199″ src=”c/9/9/e/New_Airport_Security_d307.jpg?adImageId=8254188&imageId=3702199″ width=”234″ height=”236″ /]News stories here:

CNN

Yahoo News

Washington Post

New York Times

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One thought on “TSA learns redaction lesson the hard way…

  1. RG

    Electronic removal seems the way to go. Using black ink is an option but then again, it appears that is what the TSA used.

    I have personally used a black Sharpie on hard copy documents but noticed that when the document was held up to the light, the original text could still be seen so I blacked it out on the backside of the document as well. That seemed to solve the problem.

    Reply

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