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How to redact a letter
June 26, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 4 comments

Just wanted to paste it here for absolutely no reason Hello, I'm currently applying one of your jobs and would like to briefly introduce myself.

Rambit Human Ressources

Redaction of an example of a recommendation letter for a accounting assistant CV

Content of the recommendation letter

This example is very complete and has more details. Of course, your ex-employer would be please to get such a letter from you. This text can help you to start your recommendation letter for an accounting assistant positioning.

Montreal, September 2005
To whom it may concern,

Knowing Madam X for more then fiver years, I was one of her immediate superiors for the first three years she worked at Rambit.

Madam X started working in the summer of 1999 and was always efficient as an accounting assistant. Not needing much supervision, she can put a lot of energy in her work. When we implanted a new accounting module, Madame X learn quickly and easily. Along the years, she wrote a reference manual ADTRAQ about the internal procedure of the accounting in the company.

She was a member of the CAMO when the work was reorganised. A small group was formed and Madam X was always present at the meetings, brought her ideas and solutions to the suggested propositions.

She was the intermediate person between the trainer and RAMBIT when the training on Excel and Word was given. She also had advance training on Excel in order to be a power user for the company.

Other than her function as accounting assistant, she also assisted me on different human resources projects. She, as an example, made descriptive folders of every employee assignment, the assignment evaluation files, the employee manual and training documents. She made the interview questionnaire and the evaluation scale for the employment of new employees.

Very available and punctual, Madame X is worried of the quality of her work and do it with application. Having a good work ethic with her coworkers, she knows how to communicate with the ones she works with.

Very satisfied of her behaviour and knowledge, I recommend her to any employer who looks for an organised employee that knows how to deal with priorities and have good sense of initiatives. Yours truly,

Mister XYZ
Human resources vice-president

[ How to make a reference letter ]

Tricks and examples for your search for employment...
How to make resume

© Informatique Rambit Enr., novembre 1996.

Of course, your ex-employer would be please to get such a letter from you. This text can help you to start your recommendation letter for an accounting assistant.

Document Friday: Requester’s Own FOIA Request Letter Redacted

how to redact a letter

“After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead,” Mr. Trump said. “The collusion delusion is over.”

Mr. Trump said during a news conference on Friday in Florida that he had nothing to hide and that he had “great confidence” in Mr. Barr. “This was a hoax,” Mr. Trump said of the investigation.

Mr. Barr has weighed whether to assert the administration’s power to keep portions of the report secret from Congress, under the executive privilege that can protect internal information like the president’s private conversations. Some of those discussions were at the heart of the question of whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, complicating the issue.

Mr. Barr reiterated that Mr. Trump had publicly stated that he would defer to the Justice Department, “although the president would have the right to assert privilege over certain parts of the report,” the attorney general wrote.

“Accordingly, there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review,” Mr. Barr added.

However, it remains an open question whether Justice Department lawyers themselves will excise material they believe could be privileged before sending the report to Congress.

It is also not clear whether Mr. Barr or other politically appointed officials would be a part of such a redaction process. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on how the department would handle executive privilege issues.

House Democrats have already begun portraying the results of the Mueller investigation as a starting point for their scrutiny of Mr. Trump. They have opened investigations into Mr. Trump’s campaign and his business dealings before and after he took office, and other law enforcement investigations loom, including inquiries into Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee and his role in hush-money payments during the election to women who claimed extramarital affairs with him. Mr. Trump has denied the affairs, though he has insisted that the payments were private transactions that violated no laws.

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how to redact a letter

Attorney General William Barr expects a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report to be sent to Congress by mid-April, "if not sooner," he wrote in a new letter to Congress — which was quickly criticized as too little and possibly too late by the chairmen of the House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees.

"The Special Counsel's report is nearly 400 pages long," not including tables and appendices, Barr wrote in the letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary committees.

The report "sets forth the Special Counsel's findings, his analysis and the reasons for his conclusions," Barr wrote.

"We are preparing the report for release, making the redactions that are required," he wrote. "Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own."

Barr also offered to testify about the report to both Graham's and Nadler's committees on May 1 and 2.

But Nadler within an hour fired back at Barr, noting that he had told the attorney general earlier in the week that "Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2."

"That deadline still stands," Nadler said. "Congress must see the full report."

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, D-Calif., responded late Friday afternoon, "Congress has asked for the entire Mueller report, and underlying evidence, by April 2. That deadline stands."

"In the meantime, Barr should seek court approval (just like in Watergate) to allow the release of grand jury material," Schiff wrote on Twitter. "Redactions are unacceptable."

Schiff's and Nadler's rebuttals left open the question of whether Congress will subpoena the full, unredacted Mueller report — and possibly Mueller himself — if Barr insists on submitting a redacted version.

Barr in his letter said, "I do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or release it in serial or piecemeal fashion."

The attorney general also said "there are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review" to give President Donald Trump a chance to assert claims that certain portions of the report should be exempt from disclosure.

The attorney general noted that Trump, while having the right to assert privilege "over certain parts of the report," has "stated publicly that he intends to defer to me."

Trump, speaking to reporters in Florida, said of Barr's letter, "I have nothing to hide."

"I have great confidence in my attorney general. Great confidence," the president said.

"This is a hoax, this is a witch hunt," Trump said of Mueller's probe, which he said earlier this week completely exonerates him of any wrongdoing.

But, in fact, Barr said earlier this week that, according to Mueller's own words, "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Barr's letter came after days of calls by congressional Democrats, including Nadler and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to release Mueller's report, which the special counsel submitted to Barr on March 22.

The document details Mueller's two-year-long investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion by members of Trump's campaign, and possible obstruction of justice by the president himself.

Barr on Sunday sent Congress a four-page summary of Mueller's key findings. He wrote in that summary that Mueller had not found evidence of collusion by the Trump campaign.

The special counsel did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. But Barr in his summary said that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that the probe did not find sufficient evidence to establish that the president had obstructed justice.

The speed of Barr reaching that conclusion has concerned congressional Democrats, who say they need to see the full report to decide for themselves whether Barr's decision was justified.

Barr said that Mueller "is assisting us in this process" of redacting certain material from the report.

That material includes information about the grand jury proceedings, which by law cannot be made public, information about intelligence sources and methods, details of ongoing investigations, and information that would "unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties," Barr's letter said.

But Nadler on Friday noted that he had told Barr that "rather than expend valuable time and resources trying to keep certain portions of this report from Congress, he should work with us to request a court order to release any and all grand jury information to the House Judiciary Committee — as has occurred in every similar investigation in the past."

"There is ample precedent for the Department of Justice sharing all of the information that the Attorney General proposes to redact to the appropriate congressional committees," Nadler wrote. "Again, Congress must see the full report."

Nadler said he appreciated Barr's offer to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 2, and "we will take that date under advisement."

"However, we feel that it is critical for Attorney General Barr to come before Congress immediately to explain the rationale behind his letter, his rapid decision that the evidence developed was insufficient to establish an obstruction of justice offense, and his continued refusal to provide us with the full report."

Graham, in a tweet, said, "I look forward to hearing from Attorney General on May 1st."

— Additional reporting by Kevin Breuninger.

Read Attorney William Barr's new letter on the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report

“Everyone will soon be able to read it,” Mr. Barr wrote in a letter to the chairmen of the congressional judiciary committees. Prosecutors from the.

POLICY LETTER: January 7, 2002 to individual (personally identifiable information redacted)

how to redact a letter

Redacting Sensitive Information

Redacting means removing or hiding part of a message so it cannot be read: you are effectively removing part of a document from your site. Typically you do this to conceal sensitive (usually, that means personal) information on the public site. Alaveteli supports an automatic form of redaction using censor rules. These can be powerful, so must be used with caution.

This page describes redaction in Alaveteli. It explains how to add censor rules, and contains a detailed example of how we use this to prevent publication of citizens’ national ID numbers in the Nicaraguan installation of Alaveteli.

Redaction only affects what is shown on the site. It does not remove anything from the emails that Alaveteli sends out.

Automatic redaction can be complex. Before you use decide to use it, you should be familiar with other ways to hide information on your site. You can manually edit message text and annotations, and you can also hide whole request pages or individual messages. For an overview of the various methods available to you, see hiding or removing information.

Alaveteli’s redaction feature is useful because the site automatically publishes correspondence between a requester and the authority. The most common need for redaction is when one or more of the messages in that correspondence contain personal or sensitive information. Sometimes this is because the requester included personal information in the outgoing request. Often the authority, by automatically quoting the incoming email in their reply, then includes that information again in their response. This is one example; there are lots of other reasons why sensitive information might be included in messages — hence the need for redaction.

Overview of redaction

Alaveteli’s automatic redaction requires that you can predict the following. Together, these form a censor rule:

  • the specific pattern of text that you want to redact
    This might be a particular word, email address or number; or a particular pattern (described using a regular expression).
  • the replacement text
    The word or words that should be used instead of the redacted text.
  • the range of messages to which this redaction applies
    This could be all messages, or only messages relating to a specific user, or one particular request.

For example, your can tell Alaveteli to automatically replace the word with in any messages relating to a request created by user Groucho with email .

These are examples of replacement texts we’ve used on WhatDoTheyKnow:

A regular expression (regexp) is a method of pattern-matching often used by programmers, and can be used if the redaction you want is more complicated than simply matching exact text. But a regexp can be difficult to get right, especially for complex patterns. If you haven’t used them before, we recommend you learn about them first — there are a lot of resources online, including websites that let you test and experiment with your regexp before you add it to Alaveteli (for example, rubular.com). If you make a mistake in your regexp, either it won’t match when you think it should (redacting nothing), or it will match too much (redacting things that should have been left). Be careful; if you’re not sure, ask us for help first.

Alaveteli will attempt to apply redaction to attachments as well as to the text body of the message. For example, text may be redacted within PDFs or Word documents that are attached to a response to which censor rules apply.

Binary files (that is, formats such as PDF, Word, or Excel) can be difficult to redact. Some other formats, such as photos or JPEG files of scanned text, will not be redacted at all. If you are applying censor rules, you should always check they are working as expected on incoming attachments.

Redaction within binary files does not use the replacement text you have specified, because it needs to approximate the length of the text that has been redacted. Alaveteli automatically uses as the replacement text, with as many s as needed.

How to add a censor rule

To add a censor rule to a specific user, in the admin interface click on Users and click on their name. Scroll down to censor rules, and click New censor rule.

To add a censor rule to a specific request, click on the New censor rule button at the bottom of that request’s admin page.

To add a censor rule to a specific authority, click on the New censor rule button at the bottom of that authority’s admin page.

To add a censor rule to everything on the site, go to the Censor Rules page in the “Tools” section of the admin navigation (or go straight to ) and click “New global censor rule”.

If you want to redact any text that matches a particular pattern, you can use a regular expression (regexp). You need to tell Alaveteli that the text is describing such a pattern rather than the exact text you want to replace. Tick the checkbox labelled Is it a regular expression if you’re using a regexp instead of a simple, exact text match.

Basic text replacement is case sensitive — so will not redact the word . If you need case insensitive matching, use a regular expression.

Enter the replacement text that should be inserted in place of the redacted text. We recommend something like or to make it very clear that this is not the original text and, ideally, to give some indication of why something was redacted. Remember that the replacement text will look the same as the running text into which it is inserted, which is why you should use square brackets, or something like them.

Provide a comment explaining why this rule is needed. This will be seen only by other administrators on the site.

Click the create button when you are ready to add the censor rule.

Seeing unredacted text

Censor rules are applied when the site pages (which includes the admin) are displayed. If you want to see unredacted text, Alaveteli shows the original text when you edit the text of a message.

Redaction scope: requests, users, or more

The admin interface lets you easily add a censor rule to a specific request, or all requests made by a particular user.

But it’s also technically possible to add censor rules with a different scope by working directly within the source code. If you need to apply a censor rule across a broader scope, for example, for all requests on your site, ask us for help.

By way of an example, in the detailed example below, we add some code to apply a unique redaction rule to every user (for hiding their own citizen ID number).

A simple censor rule: hiding a name

The following example shows how occurrences of a specific name (“Alice”) can be hidden from messages associated with a particular request. You can also add censor rules to a user (rather than a request), so any requests they make will have the rules applied.

Add a censor rule to hide a name using an exact match

This example removes the name “Alice Alaveteli” from messages relating to a specific request.

  • click on Requests in the admin interface and search or find the one you want
  • click on the request’s title to go to its page in the admin
  • scroll to the bottom: Censor rules
  • click New censor rule and fill in the form:
    • leave is it a regexp replacement unchecked because this is an exact-match word (but see the next example too)
    • enter as the “text you want to remove”
    • enter as the “replacement”
    • add a comment which explains the reason for the redaction (this can be read by other admins, but isn’t shown publicly)
    • click on Create

The censor rule is created, and will be applied to any messages that are displayed in this request. If you look at the request’s page in the admin, you can see this rule (and any other censor rules associated with it) along with the button for creating more.

For example the text:


But, because this replacement is case-sensitive, the name won’t be redacted unless its case matches exactly (so matches but does not). For example, the name would not be redacted from these examples:

Changing a censor rule to hide a name using a regular expression

You can add more than one censor rule to the request. Alternatively, you can change one that you’ve already created. This example replaces “Alice” regardless of the case of the first letter, and even if it has double-l in the spelling.

We recommend you do not use regular expressions unless you really need them, because they can radically slow down the display of requests on your site.

  • click on Requests in the admin interface and search or find the one you want
  • click on the request’s title to go to its page in the admin interface
  • scroll to the bottom: Censor rules
  • find the censor rule that finds (from the previous example), click Edit and fill in the form:
    • tick the is it a regexp replacement checkbox because this time it is a regular expression
    • enter as the “text you want to remove”
      • in the regexp, the indicates any letters in the class listed, in this case, or
      • the signifies that the preceding item (in this case, the second letter ) is optional, and may occur “one or zero times”
      • means “one or more whitespace characters”
      • the arrangement of and a vertical bar here means “one or more whitepace characters or an underscore”
    • keep as the “replacement”
    • update the comment which explains the reason for the modification (the name is sometimes being spelt with a double L)
    • click on Create

This censor rule will match and replace the following examples:


(because the line break is considered as whitespace) and also

Note that if you can predict the specific text instead of using a regular expression, then you probably should. For example, if you expect the email to always be lower case, you could create a censor rule specifically to redact that in addition to one looking for an exact match on the capitalised name. This will probably always be more efficient than trying to capture many different things with a single regular expression.

Things to be careful about

It’s easy to make mistakes with regular expressions, so be cautious. Complex regular expressions are notoriously hard to decipher. But also remember that you are really guessing how the incoming text will appear. If anything causes the pattern not to match, then the redaction will not happen. For example:

  • a phrase might break over more than one line — this becomes more likely the longer the phrase you are searching for it
  • words may be hyphenated
  • some documents may break the text up with (for example) formatting or markup
  • writers may use alternative spellings, or mis-type words and names
  • as mentioned above, some binary formats can’t be reliably redacted — they need human intervention

A detailed example

In some countries, local requirements mean that Freedom of Information requests need to contain personal details such as the address or ID number of the person asking for information. Usually requesters do not want this information to be displayed to the general public.

The following example shows how Alaveteli can help deal with this problem by automatically redacting such information using censor rules.

Nicaragua’s “General Law” (providing personal details)

This example is based on the specific requirements of Derecho a Preguntar, the Alaveteli site running in Nicaragua. As usual, this site is running its own theme. The theme is available on github and is called .

The law in Nicaragua demands that, when a citizen makes a request, they must provide their national identity card number together with what’s known as “General Law”. Specifically, this means they must provide:

  • national identity card number (“ID number”)
  • date of birth
  • domicile
  • occupation
  • marital status

In this example, we’ll show how Alaveteli collects this information, and subsequently redacts from the request pages that show the correspondence between the citizen and the authorities.

If you're not interested in how the theme collects and includes the personal details (which requires changes to the source code), you can jump straight to how the redaction is done: ID number and personal details.

Capturing personal details at sign-up

The overrides the default sign-up form by collecting this information (because a user must sign up before their request will be sent):

Identity card number

We’ll start off by looking at the requester’s ID number. It’s a good example of something that is relatively easy to redact because it:

  • is unique for each user
  • has a specified format to match against

To send the ID number to the authority we override the initial request template (code snippet shortened):

When a request is made the user’s ID number is automatically included in the footer of the outgoing email:

When the authority replies (by email), it’s unlikely that they will remove the quoted section of the email, which contains the requester’s ID number. This is a typical circumstance for redaction — we want to prevent Alaveteli displaying this information on the request page where the response (and other messages) are published.

One way to do this is to use the admin interface to add a censor rule to the individual request, like this:

  • text:
  • replacement text:
  • scope: this request

…but this is an unsatisfactory solution, because that the administrators would need to add such a rule to every request as new requests are created.

Instead, because we know that every request will contain the user’s ID number, we can add some code to automatically create such a censor rule.

In this case, we patch the model with a callback that creates a censor rule as soon as the user is created (or updated):

Administrators can see the new censor rule in the admin interface:

So now the ID number gets redacted:

Because censor rules apply to the whole of every message, the ID number also gets redacted if the public body quote it anywhere in the main email body:

A censor rule added to a user gets applied to all correspondence on requests created by that user (that is, messages that are sent or received). But it does not get applied to annotations made by the user.

Redaction in this way requires the sensitive text to be in exactly the same format as the censor rule. If it differs even slightly, the redaction can fail.

For example, if the public body was to remove the hyphens from the ID number it would not be redacted (because the censor rule does include them):

Alaveteli also attempts to redact the text from any attachments. It can only do this if it can find the exact string, which is not always possible in binary formats such as PDF or Word.

Redaction in some binary formats such as PDF or Word cannot be 100% reliable — you should always check incoming documents to be sure.

Alaveteli can usually redact the sensitive information when converting a PDF or text based attachment to HTML:

In contrast, this PDF does not contain the string in the raw binary so the redaction is not applied when downloading the original PDF document:

Redacting the “General Law” (personal details)

The General Law information is much harder to automatically redact. It is not as well-structured, and the information is unlikely to be unique to the user (for example, Domicile: London).

We add the General Law information to the initial request template in the same way as we did for the ID number:

Note that the information is now contained in a specially formatted block of text.

This allows a censor rule to match the special formatting and remove anything contained within. This rule is global, so it will act on matches in all requests.

Because this is matching a pattern of text, rather than an exact string, this censor rule uses a regular expression.

The regular expression broadly describes this pattern:

  • two lines of sixty-seven equals signs (), with this in between:
  • between three and ten (inclusive) lines that:
    • start with a hash ()
    • have something (without any newlines) followed by a colon ()
    • followed by some data on the same line

The code, in the theme’s , looks like this:

Redacting unstructured information is a very fragile approach, as it relies on authorities always quoting the entire formatted block.

For example, here the authority has revealed the user’s date of birth and domicile:

Its really difficult to add a censor rule to remove this type of information, because it’s so general. One approach might be to remove all mentions of the user’s date of birth, but you would have to account for every type of date format. Likewise, you could redact all occurrences of the user’s domicile, but if they ask a question about their local area (which is very likely) the request would become unintelligible.

Here the redaction has been applied but there is no way of knowing the context that the use of the sensitive word is used.

Paul's Letters to the Colossians and to the Laodiceans: The Redaction of the Canonical Letter to the Colossians - Kindle edition by Darrel Kimble. Download it .

how to redact a letter
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