Blackout helps Leidos meet an impossible review deadline at a fraction of the cost.

Leidos has a long history of innovative problem-solving. Leidos brings a mix of technology and sector expertise to their customers, looking for solutions that not only transform businesses, but change the world. In August 2016, Leidos merged with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Services business, making Leidos the largest IT provider in the federal market.

The problems with manual redaction

Quality performance means two things at Leidos: satisfying customers by delivering the products and services they need, and continuously improving processes. Thanks to these values, Leidos holds numerous national security awards and a spot on the Top 100 Government Contractors list. To uphold their quality performance, Leidos is constantly on the lookout for innovative technology to create a more efficient process for their clients.

Anyone involved in ediscovery will agree that manual redaction is a major pain point in review. Not only is it a tedious, time-consuming process, but it also comes with great risk; leaking personally identifiable information (PII) could cause major financial and reputational issues for a business. Because Relativity’s built-in redaction workflow is entirely manual, the Leidos review team was running searches for regular expressions, then flagging PII, and then manually drawing boxes over sensitive information while they coded for responsiveness and privilege. Going page-by-page through what could be thousands of documents in a set was slow and expensive.

When Leidos had a particularly large case come up, the inefficiency of manual redaction became an even more urgent problem. In this case, PII needed to be redacted in a very short timeframe. Names, dates of birth, phone numbers, addresses, Social Security numbers, and email addresses all needed to be redacted across document sets. Additionally, all names had to be redacted with a unique identifier, so any instance of the name John Smith, for example, had to be redacted with the markup Person001 – and there were 500 unique identifiers. Of the names alone, Leidos identified over 4,000 that needed to be redacted. In order to uphold their standards for quality performance, Leidos sought a better solution.

Efficient redactions, faster review

Luckily, Division Director Nick Carter had heard of Blackout, an automated redaction tool for Relativity, and identified the perfect opportunity to see Blackout in action. Thanks to Blackout’s easy-to-use workflows and seamless integration with Relativity, a team of three – including a Project Supervisor with only one year of Relativity experience and two hours of Blackout training – was able to set up and deploy Blackout on this case.

“We were able to apply 800,000 redactions in just two days, accomplishing nearly a year and a half’s work in a few weeks.”
– Angela Green, MEGA 4 Deputy Director

Rather than requiring reviewers to go through each page searching for PII, they used Blackout to automatically identify the words, phrases, and PII patterns that needed to be redacted, as well as replace all instances of names with their corresponding identifiers. “We were able to apply 800,000 redactions in just two days,” Angela Green said of the process, “accomplishing nearly a year and a half’s work in a few weeks. If we had performed manual review, the estimated time for redactions alone would have been 540 days.” Having Blackout in their toolbelt allowed Leidos to rise to the occasion without sacrificing anything for their client.

“Clients appreciated the savings of time and money that we were able to provide using a documented and defensible workflow.”
– Angela Green

Leidos was able to uphold their commitment to customer satisfaction by creating a more streamlined process, delivering what the client needed on time and in budget. According to Green, “Clients appreciated the savings of time and money that we were able to provide using a documented and defensible workflow.” Having an incredibly responsive support team at Milyli also made the process that much easier.

Blackout: a crucial part of review

Blackout’s value is now part of Relativity trainings at Leidos, and brought up in every case kick-off. So far, Leidos has used Blackout on many cases, and they don’t see a stopping point. With Blackout’s efficiency, customer satisfaction is a more easily achieved goal.



  • Leidos


  • An efficient solution for PII redaction
  • Cost-effective for clients
  • Easy-to-use workflow for reviewers


  • Blackout


  • Secured PII throughout document set
  • Met tight deadline with faster process
  • Reduced review costs for client

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