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SCI/TECH: You, Your Printer, and the Government

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posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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The Electonic Frontier Foundation has cracked the code that many modern color laser printers covertly imbed into every document that you print. The code, which consists of a series of tiny yellow dots, is part of a deal that printer companies struck with the U.S. Government, in principle, to identify and track counterfeiters.
 



www.eff.org
San Francisco - 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 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.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The EFF website includes a list of printer models that are known to imbed the dots, how to find them, a diagnostic printer page that can be used to check your printer for this feature, as well as an algorithim which allows you to read the code generated by Xerox DocuColor printers.
While this is probably not a surprise to many here on ATS, it came as a bit of a shock to me. The Secret Service is cited in the article as stating that this feature is meant to aid in the tracking of counterfeiters. I'm sure this would also be particularly helpful for a wide variety of "law enforcement" activities.
I'd imagine that similar features are imbedded into photocopiers as well.
A forum on slashdot linked below discusses potential work-arounds for those that would prefer to avoid being identified by their printer.
The ATS discussion at www.abovetopsecret.com... also discusses this issue.

Related News Links:
yro.slashdot.org

[edit on 10/18/2005 by ChemicalLaser]

[edit on 10/18/2005 by ChemicalLaser]




posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 10:38 PM
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The EFF does some stupid stuff at times. What's so wrong with using an old fashioned typewriter if you're paranoid about the gov't tracing back whatever back to your printer. Counterfieting is a horrible practice that hurts everyone. This is just a stupid move on their part.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 09:34 AM
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lol counterfeiting hurts everyone? Its no more harmful than having a central bank printing the nations money. Except we don't have to pay our taxes to interest rates on counterfeit money.

This is an invasion of privacy issue. There is no warning that you are secretly being surveiled for no legal reason. This is premptive spying and is a sign of the ever growing Big Brother culture we're surrounded by.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 09:44 AM
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When I was a Hotdog vendor when I got passed a fake bill I got that exact bill in my paycheck. Bars are also hotspots of counterfeiting where it's very hard to spot them. Banks do not honor these bills so those businesses lose money. Is that easy enough to understand?




This is an invasion of privacy issue. There is no warning that you are secretly being surveiled for no legal reason. This is premptive spying and is a sign of the ever growing Big Brother culture we're surrounded by.


How? Does the printer somehow print an RFID tag into the paper that allows people to read what you have on your piece of printed pron via satellite?

[edit on 19-10-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by Sardion2000
When I was a Hotdog vendor when I got passed a fake bill I got that exact bill in my paycheck. Bars are also hotspots of counterfeiting where it's very hard to spot them. Banks do not honor these bills so those businesses lose money. Is that easy enough to understand?

Pass the thing on. All currency is illusionary any way. There is as much credibility in those counterfeit notes as in the notes printed at the Federal Reserve. The only difference, hence the Secret Service interest, is that the Fed cannot charge interest on these notes. So the only ones losing money, if everyone passed these notes on as valid, is the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is a privately owned bank any way.


Originally posted by Sardion2000
How? Does the printer somehow print an RFID tag into the paper that allows people to read what you have on your piece of printed pron via satellite?

No, it says the printers serial number is printed in that code. The serial number would be tied to warranties and or the credit card it was bought with. If you printed something that you wanted to be kept anonymous the government could trace it. They have no cause to broadcast that information to them and they've done it without informing the public. They dont need RFID's, ok?



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 10:58 AM
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When I was a Hotdog vendor when I got passed a fake bill I got that exact bill in my paycheck. Bars are also hotspots of counterfeiting where it's very hard to spot them. Banks do not honor these bills so those businesses lose money. Is that easy enough to understand?


Isnt that illegal? Passing on counterfeit notes? Surely your employer, although I understand their reasoning behind it, was breaking the law by still circulating a fake note?



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 11:01 AM
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Just me working there was breaking the law
I was unlicensed as was the unnamable (because I like to live) business. I was young and in need of money.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 11:16 AM
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www.eff.org...

Interesting page on how to decipher the dots on the Xerox computers.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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www.abovetopsecret.com...

go here to see my post. It shows how to deciefer the codes, a program that you can actually put in your own values... as well as a list of printers that do this.



posted on Oct, 19 2005 @ 04:09 PM
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... and the corruption continues! Sheeesh!!!
Well... I guess if you're gonna print your own money, yellow dots or not, (which I STRONGLY advise against) you would probably be better off printing Euros than dollars. LOLOL!!!

I offer the following: Bill Gates, World's Richest Man, Bets Against Dollar




posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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Lets say you stumbled upon a secret document that exposed some kind of scandal or corruption in the administration. You attempt to inform the public by printing out as many as possible and throwing them wherever you can, telephone poles, laundry rooms, bars, grocery stores, and other places.

Assuming you handled the papers with gloves so as to never leave a finger print, the Secret Service, NSA, CIA whatever could very well possibly idnetify the serial number of the printer through those little dots, go back to the manufacturer and see if someone registered it, then find out if that person still has it.

Once all that has been established, you have just been arrested for "funding terrorism" and "conspiring to incite fear to the public" sentenced to life in prison where you are effectively dissapeared. The public is happy that a "terrorist" has been put away and that the government is looking out for them and any scandals brought to light will be dismissed as "terrorist propoganda" against the beloved government by the sheep who these poor souls are trying to inform.

We never stood a chance.



posted on Oct, 26 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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Lets say you stumbled upon a secret document that exposed some kind of scandal or corruption in the administration. You attempt to inform the public by printing out as many as possible and throwing them wherever you can, telephone poles, laundry rooms, bars, grocery stores, and other places.

Assuming you handled the papers with gloves so as to never leave a finger print, the Secret Service, NSA, CIA whatever could very well possibly idnetify the serial number of the printer through those little dots, go back to the manufacturer and see if someone registered it, then find out if that person still has it.

Once all that has been established, you have just been arrested for "funding terrorism" and "conspiring to incite fear to the public" sentenced to life in prison where you are effectively dissapeared. The public is happy that a "terrorist" has been put away and that the government is looking out for them and any scandals brought to light will be dismissed as "terrorist propoganda" against the beloved government by the sheep who these poor souls are trying to inform.

We never stood a chance.

My bet is that it has already happened and ontinues to happen daily. You have the power to fight when someone engages in the attempt to harm you, and most people do. The government has the same power on a larger scale when someone threatens their way of doing things, and takes action accordingly.

[edit on 10/26/2005 by DYepes]



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