TSA Lets Out Sensitive Data

Come fly the unsafe skies

By Chris Needham
|  Wednesday, Dec 9, 2009  |  Updated 10:01 AM EDT
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TSA Lets Out Sensitive Data

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The people who like to make all our lives just a little more difficult screwed up.  Big time.

The Transportation Security Administration posted a 93-page training manual online earlier this year that detailed all sorts of security procedures, says The Post.  They redacted the good stuff, but ... well, they didn't do it right, despite there being clear directions on how to properly redact documents on Adobe's PDF Web site.

Users were able to copy and paste the information on to a new document, free from redaction.  All the juicy bits?  Exposed!

Wondered what a Congressional credential looks like?  You know, the one that basically lets you waltz through security?  Wondered what documents you need to show if you're a federal official or pilot who wants to carry your gun through security?  It's all there.

Oops.

Perhaps the oddest thing in the document is the information on Diplomatic Pouches.  It's a pouch or container containing sensitive diplomatic information that a foreign agent can carry through security without screening.  The document detailed the markings and information required on both the pouch and on the courier. 

This isn't the first time the government has screwed up redaction, notes Wired.

"In 2003, the Justice Department botched the redaction of a controversial workplace diversity report, and in 2000 the New York Times inadvertently leaked the names of CIA collaborators when it published an improperly redacted CIA file on its website that documented American and British officials’ engineering of the 1953 Iranian coup."

So even though the document is emblazoned with "NO PART OF THIS RECORD MAY BE DISCLOSED TO PERSONS WITHOUT A ‘NEED TO KNOW,'" now, thanks to the incompetence of the TSA, anyone who thinks they need to know can.  And we're all a little bit less safer for it.

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