Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser printers secretly hide in every document.


The US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each page with identifying information. That means that without your knowledge or consent, an act you assume is private could become public.

The U.S. Secret Service admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to identify counterfeiters. However, the nature of the private information encoded in each document was not previously known.

"We've found that the dots from at least one line of printers encode the date and time your document was printed, as well as the serial number of the printer," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth David Schoen.

You can see the dots on color prints from machines made by Xerox, Canon, and other manufacturers (for a list of the printers we investigated so far, see: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/list.php). The dots are yellow, less than one millimeter in diameter, and are typically repeated over each page of a document. In order to see the pattern, you need a blue light, a magnifying glass, or a microscope (for instructions on how to see the dots, see: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/docucolor/).

EFF and its partners began its project to break the printer code with the Xerox DocuColor line. Researchers Schoen, EFF intern Robert Lee, and volunteers Patrick Murphy and Joel Alwen compared dots from test pages sent in by EFF supporters, noting similarities and differences in their arrangement, and then found a simple way to read the pattern.

"So far, we've only broken the code for Xerox DocuColor printers," said Schoen. "But we believe that other models from other manufacturers include the same personally identifiable information in their tracking dots."

You can decode your own Xerox DocuColor prints using EFF's automated program at http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/...ex.php#program.

Xerox previously admitted that it provided these tracking dots to the government, but indicated that only the Secret Service had the ability to read the code. The Secret Service maintains that it only uses the information for criminal counterfeit investigations. However, there are no laws to prevent the government from abusing this information.

"Underground democracy movements that produce political or religious pamphlets and flyers, like the Russian samizdat of the 1980s, will always need the anonymity of simple paper documents, but this technology makes it easier for governments to find dissenters," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "Even worse, it shows how the government and private industry make backroom deals to weaken our privacy by compromising everyday equipment like printers. The logical next question is: what other deals have been or are being made to ensure that our technology rats on us?"

EFF is still working on cracking the codes from other printers and we need the public's help. Find out how you can make your own test pages to be included in our research at http://www.eff.org/Privacy/printers/wp.php#testsheets.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 11:16 AM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

Yep, makes me happy that i'm still useing my old packard bell printer that was made in what 1994?[8D]

“The thing is Bob, its not that I’m lazy….. Its that I just don’t care” <img src="http://img17.exs.cx/img17/5918/sig20qr.jpg" border=0>
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 11:19 AM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

Its scary, knowing what government does to track you/your activities. With all this information they collect, have they stopped anything bad from happening...

Thanks, D.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 11:22 AM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

samsung is selling a range of laser printers based on old german designs of 94-96.. they are perfect for small-medium company, home and personal use. priting speed is fine too.. and toner is cheap.. bascially german engneering abd built at korean price.. realibility and no tracking shit!!

Fuel economy!! whats that??
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 11:40 AM
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Alien abduction in Arizona

Celebrated leftist and propagandist was abducted this morning shortly after posting subversive material on a foreign manufacturer car enthousiast forum.

It was 11:04 EST when GermanStar, an anarchist well known by U.S. Department Of Justice, posted lies on a german car website for no apparent reason other than destabilizing the current administration. Attached to his post was a picture that allowed our brave agents to locate the nihilist using Zip+4 alien techonology that identifies printers all around the world since the popularization of the personal cimputer in the 1980s.

<FONT SIZE = 2><b>Germanstar, in plain clothes</b></FONT>

At 11:05 EST, Germanstar was apprehended and hastily transported to the NSA for debriefing.

<FONT SIZE = 2><b>Germanstar, taken away in standard government issue vehicle</b></FONT>

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 12:11 PM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

where he met tcp_ml and they had gay sex!!

Fuel economy!! whats that??
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 12:13 PM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

Quote:
theboss - 10/18/2005 1:11 PM
where he met tcp_ml and they had gay sex!!
Most will agree, that is less deviant that the_boss having sad sex (that's the_boss using his right hand while crying for his mommy)

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 12:17 PM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

i thought that sexual activity was ILLEGAL in the Saudi Kingdom.......[:0][?]
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-18-2005, 12:21 PM
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RE: Government Tracking You with Secret Code in Color Printers

Quote:
tcp_ML500 - 10/18/2005 1:13 PM

Quote:
theboss - 10/18/2005 1:11 PM
where he met tcp_ml and they had gay sex!!
Most will agree, that is less deviant that the_boss having sad sex (that's the_boss using his right hand while crying for his mommy)
Damn that is clever and funny to boot (envious). Sorry boss, you r owned! Please proceed to the nearest sheep line with self title in hand.
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