While the content of the revelations by Edward Snowden of NSA and CIA spying were disturbing, the poor quality of the internal memos and PowerPoint slides also brought the agencies some ridicule. It turns out that these agencies actually pay quite a bit of attention to style and have produced internal guides on how to write clearly and make good presentations and the style guides have now been released under Freedom of Information requests.
The CIA document is called the DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE: STYLE MANUAL &.WRITERS GUJIDE FOR INTELLIGENCE PUBLICATIONS (Eighth edition, 2011). The NSA document is called SIGINT Reporter’s Style and Usage Manual.
Now the challenge is to get the people in the organizations to actually follow the advice. If they are going to break the law and spy indiscriminately on people around the world, at least they should do it in style.
(Via Cory Doctorow.)