IRS responds to records request with encrypted CD full of blacked-out documents

Originally published at:

1 Like

Some idiot at a former workplace signed a contract that committed us to keeping the original copy of some data gathered for an EPA contract forever.

I put the stack of IBM punch cards in multiple layers of plastic and foil, blew out all the air with nitrogen, sealed the foil, and put it in a cardboard box marked “keep forever” in a corner of the subbasement.


No Michigan J. Frog reference?

1 Like

My favorite thing about redacted electronic documents is how often people seem to fuck up the redaction


Why request? Government information is public information. How about “I am ordering you to act upon this within 30 days, or action will be taken against your organization”?

I couldn’t resist checking to see if they have left all the text in there but just changed the background color to black, or tried covering up the text with a black vector rectangle. But no, not this time.


The really careful civil servant prints out the document, wields his security highlighter with righteous purpose, and then scans each page of the result. Ideally at an odd angle to minimize inadvertent legibility.

(In truth, though, if you know that you aren’t enough geek to be sure of the job that probably is the most sensible approach to scrubbing the assorted metadata and embedded nobody-knows-what that various document and image formats can at least optionally contain, so I can’t laugh too hard at the idea.)

1 Like

Is it protected by a sign that says ‘Beware of the Leopard’?


There was stuff in that sub-basement that had been there since 1812 (not kidding) so Michigan is probably down there somewhere… if the radon hasn’t mutated him into a CHUD yet, that is.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.