I came across this earlier today...I knew it was only a matter of time before our little desktop friends began to turn on us....Now its
confirmed...From the Washington Post.....
Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color Printers
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it isn't. The pages coming out of your color printer may contain hidden information that could be used to
track you down if you ever cross the U.S. government.
Last year, an article in PC World magazine pointed out that printouts from many color laser printers contained yellow dots scattered across the page,
viewable only with a special kind of flashlight. The article quoted a senior researcher at Xerox Corp. as saying the dots contain information useful
to law-enforcement authorities, a secret digital "license tag" for tracking down criminals.
The content of the coded information was supposed to be a secret, available only to agencies looking for counterfeiters who use color printers.
Now, the secret is out.
Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco consumer privacy group, said it had cracked the code used in a widely used line of
Xerox printers, an invisible bar code of sorts that contains the serial number of the printer as well as the date and time a document was printed.
With the Xerox printers, the information appears as a pattern of yellow dots, each only a millimeter wide and visible only with a magnifying glass and
a blue light.
The EFF said it has identified similar coding on pages printed from nearly every major printer manufacturer, including Hewlett-Packard Co., though its
team has so far cracked the codes for only one type of Xerox printer.
The U.S. Secret Service acknowledged yesterday that the markings, which are not visible to the human eye, are there, but it played down the use for
The Article is continued here: