DocsCorp: A Veteran PDF Software Creator on Why the Redaction Blunder in the Paul Manafort Case Should Never Have Happened

The law firm representing Paul Manafort is the latest to make a case
for proper redaction software.

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Information accidentally revealed by lawyers working for former Trump
campaign chairman Paul Manafort is
said to be
“the clearest public evidence of coordination between the
campaign and Russians.” The error revealed
prosecutors “apparently believe that Manafort shared internal Trump
polling data with the suspected spy Konstantin Kilimnik during the

The controversial revelations were meant to have been redacted. Yet they
turned out to be fully searchable.

The Manafort redaction error could have been avoided.

Redaction of the document in the Manafort case appears to have been
attempted in Word or PDF by drawing a black box over the text or
highlighting it in black. When the document was converted to PDF and
distributed, the text layer was still there. Readers quickly discovered
they could highlight the ‘redacted’ text under the black boxes, copy and
paste it, and thereby reveal the contents.

Dean Sappey, the creator of PDF file editing and redaction tool pdfDocs
and CEO
and Co-Founder of DocsCorp
, explains why masking is not redacting:
“Masking text only adds another layer to the document. This layer can be
peeled back to reveal what is underneath. Proper redaction – widely
available in PDF file editors, including pdfDocs – completely removes
any trace of the text from the PDF.”

This incident is the latest in a string of high-profile disclosures. “We
have seen highly sensitive information leaked from massive organizations
like Facebook and PepsiCo simply because people weren’t educated about
proper redaction,” said Sappey. “Our responsibility in the PDF
technology industry is to continue to educate users that they must use a
proper redaction tool to keep information secure. We hope all law firms
will take this as further evidence that proper redaction tools should
always be used.”

About DocsCorp

designs easy-to-use software and services for document professionals who
use enterprise content management systems. We provide solutions for
metadata removal, document processing, PDF manipulation, and document
comparison. DocsCorp is a global brand with customers located in the
Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and beyond. Find out more at
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Kerry Carroll
Global Marketing Manager
+61 (0) 2 8270