Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I'll Take Oxymorons for $100

In an effort to declassify documents for release under Freedom of Information, the boys in Military Intelligence used Adobe Acrobat to blackout the classified text. Because of the layered construction of a PDF, the text was still there, and could be viewed. The user could open the PDF, select the whole document with Ctrl-A, select Edit / Copy, then paste the information into another program. The graphic that overlaid the text was not copied, but the text was.

U.S. military security defeated by copy and paste | CNET

This is so stupid. For over thirty years, the policy was to photocopy the original (which was refiled), declassify the photocopy, make a photocopy of the photocopy (which was released), then destroy the declassified photocopy. This process was needed as the declassified photocopy could still be read, because the toner raised the letters a fraction of an inch above the paper. It was like rubbing a pencil against the second page of a notepad to read the impression of what was written on the previous page.

See, this is why I only is a quill pen and parchment.

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