In today's usage, redaction usually indicates editing by deletion. When government documents are declassified, or made available to a wider audience, some critical information may have been redacted.

In America, the Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the right to request information on just about anything known to the government. It takes a couple years sometimes, and any still-classified information will be redacted. This is usually seen as large black blocks covering any sensitive text. Some documents have page after page of blackened, redacted information, letting only a few tantalizing words peek out.

Re*dact" (r?*d?kt"), v. t. [L. redactus, p. p. of redigere; pref. red-, re-, again, back + agere to put in motion, to drive.]

To reduce to form, as literary matter; to digest and put in shape (matter for publication); to edit.

 

© Webster 1913.

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