Dennis Kennedy

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Will NSA’s Guide to Dealing with Word Metadata and PDFs Give You All the Help You Need?

As the report says, it should work. Ahem.
Lots of people are linking to the NSA’s Redacting with Confidence: How to Safely Publish Sanitized Reports Converted From Word to PDF. I especially like Ed Bott’s reaction to the guide, which points out a few concerns you might keep in mind if you plan to rely on the guide’s content.
Bott highlights the following quote from the guide:

The following steps were tested with MS Word 2000 and Acrobat 5.0 and 6.0. Other recent versions should work similarly.

The money quote from Bott:

“Should work similarly”? That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. If you’re going to go to the trouble of producing a definitive set of guidelines for such a crucial subject, why use only one seven-year-old version of Word? How long could it have taken to test these procedures with Word 2002 (from Office XP) and Word 2003 (from Office 2003)? And why not give it a run-through with Acrobat 7.0, the current version?

Caveat emptor. Take advantage of the good information, but be wary of relying only on this guide, especially if you routinely use current versions of software.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s half-day electronic discovery seminar – “Preparing for the New World of Electronic Discovery: Easing Your Transition from Paper to Electronic Discovery.” Contact Dennis today for more information and to schedule a seminar for your firm or legal department.
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One Response to “Will NSA’s Guide to Dealing with Word Metadata and PDFs Give You All the Help You Need?”

  1. semianonymous says:

    That sentence was an editing error– it’s been changed in the version now up on

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