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Laser printers secretly spy on you!

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posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by stumason
I'm sure this is nothing new. I think this story has been doing the rounds since at least the mid-90's....


Yes, I am well aware of this, but not everyone is familiar with this little "gremlin" and more information and help is now available.

The problem hasn't just gone away on it's own has it!

Should people forget about things like Roswell, JFK and 9/11 because they happened in the past. People deserve answers and information.

I am not one to only live in the present...I live with the past, in the present, for the future.




posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 01:29 PM
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I'd like to point out that colour LASER printers are still at the extremely high end of the cost spectrum and usually cost at least $600+. They are usually huge as well and also cost a lot to buy consumables for.


Most homes that have a colour printer of some sort would have a colour INKJET . This is sold under various names but the principle is the same - ink is squirted in droplets across the page.

Given this - if this is correct , how can they be used to spy on people when most of the colour laser printers around are not used for personal printing but instead are used in a business environment?



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 03:21 PM
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Pretty harmless, really


Originally posted by zorgon
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." -- Benjamin Franklin

Ah so. The Argument from Authority.

What is society? It is people giving up certain liberties so as to be able to live together and enjoy the benefits of cooperation and interaction. We have a highway code, by which we gain the security of being able to walk or drive down the street without being run over. Would you consider that a worthless gain? You have given up your liberty to run red lights, drive on the wrong side of the road, etc., to gain it. Still you accede to it, so that you and everyone else can use the road in safety.

I don't want to get into a political argument here. I, too, am a lover of liberty. But in a world afflicted by crime and terrorism, I see nothing wrong with the state's being able to track a printed document to its source, so long as the ability isn't used as a weapon of persecution, for example against political dissidents; imagine if the Soviets had been able to track each samizdat document to its source in this way! But in a democracy, the state is accountable, so the risk is much diminished.

Besides, I want the authorities to be able to track down counterfeiters.

The real trouble with this measure, as so many of you have pointed out, is that it is so easy to evade or subvert.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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But why would it just be laser jet printers? There are other printer types, alternatives to laser jet printers. Why would the government simply pick laser jets to track, you, when yo could easily get an inkjet printer and win?



Buy an ink jet printer! Overthrow the government!


It doesn't make much sense to me.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 04:50 PM
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Very misleading title and technically it is not spying on you it is identifying the machine. The US government and I assume other governments as well asked the makers of printers/copiers to put in identifying marks which do more then just identify the machine they are there for a purpose to thwart counterfeiters.

Nothing to worry about as I see it, but I am willing to bet the stupid site that is asking 7.95 to join is planing on making a bundle off the fools who bother to pay them.

[edit on 7/14/2007 by shots]



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 05:22 PM
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I don't think it's just laser printer, but copiers as well. From what I understand it's pretty much only used to track counterfeit money. It's usually only done on higher end printers because they are what real counterfeiters would use to make the most realistic looking bills.

This has been in the realm of public knowledge for a while now. To think they could actually track harmless communications by these embedded watermarks is somewhat ludicrous. Nothing to really worry about unless you are doing something very illegal.

I really don't see how this has any effect on your privacy or free speech. The feds aren't going to come to your house and harass you because you have an opinion, even if they aren't popular within the government. If that was the case many people on the internet would be harassed daily for the opinions they hold and discuss on the net.

I am of the Libertarian ideology. And I really don't see this as being an egregious loss of freedoms or liberties. It is cool however that the internet gives us a forum to understand things such as embedded printer markings with real freedom of speech and a venue to communicate it.

Here in the US, you are still able to speak your mind and opinion, whatever that may be without fear of action taken against you personally. I agree though privacy in this country has become cheap, but these are the time in which we live. I think it has gotten so bad and the internet has given us the info, that we are beginning to see the backlash of this lack of privacy.



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 05:46 PM
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Dude I'm laughing so hard right now I'm crying LOL! Save this god damned thread this is #ing awesome!



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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Could you see the dots on the paper with a blacklight? I don't have a blue LED, but I do have a blacklight.


apc

posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 06:59 PM
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How can something be yellow and invisible?

I mean... it's either invisible... or it's yellow.

My favorite color is fluorescent clear.

I have a color laser printer at my office but it's so crappy no fake money printed from it would even pass for a 5 year old's crayonic masterpiece.

[edit on 14-7-2007 by apc]



posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 09:15 PM
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It seems to me that if you're not making funny money, there really isn't anything here to worry about.

Is there anyone here who will admit that they think counterfeiting is okay?



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 01:27 AM
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I actually work in the printing industry and have pretty good working knowledge of why and what this does. Most of the color laser process machines that we sell are more then capable of reproducing an acceptable print of money. There is a board in our systems that also senses what's being scanned and will fill the entire page with one toner color if it sees money, a passport, and some other restricted items. This board is also responsible for embedding it's serial number and model number into each print that comes out of it.

Fun times huh? It really is to prevent and curb counterfitting, not to track you...



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 05:12 AM
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It's done for nothing more than tracking serial numbers of the printer, NOT mac or ip addresses. Why?

Um ... let's think about this for a second ... what about a computer that's NOT connected to the internet?



It's easy to get wrapped up in a conspiracy, but sadly this isn't much of one. As others have said, every document you create (paper and digital) is trackable in some manner or other. That's what paper shredders and hard drive washers are for



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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I have known this for some years, and in fact I have seen what I suppose was the first version of this on some prints from a HP colour laser printer. In that case it was a common 2D bar-code, plainly visible but small, in a corner of the page.


Originally posted by HaTaX
There is a board in our systems that also senses what's being scanned and will fill the entire page with one toner color if it sees money, a passport, and some other restricted items.
In the company where I work we have a copier that does that, if we try to copy any bank notes it prints them with a colour overlay.

And that copier has a notice just next to the glass where we put the documents to be copied saying that it is illegal to copy some types of documents, like drivers licenses or passports.

But we also have two printers from a different maker that do not use the yellow dots and give better results.


Edit: I forgot to add that Photoshop and other graphics programs do not allow the printing of bank notes. Photoshop CS2 has this to say about it:



[edit on 15/7/2007 by ArMaP]



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 12:57 PM
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Even if this is 100% true, which I seriously doubt, so what? If you're upset at this you should also be upset that your car has a license oplate that can be tracked back to you. Do a crime and have someone fast enough to get your plate and your car is tracked to you. Combine that with the lip print of the grandmother you hit on the bumper and you go down. Fair enough.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 11:37 AM
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Nothing new here. There have been methods of matching documents to copiers for years. Before computers were so common the US government used to replace certain strikers on typewriters with ones that had imperfections etched into them. These typewriters were used where classified documents were produced. Certain photocopiers had scratches etched into the glass where you placed documents to be copied. This allowed the particular copier that a document was copied on to be identified.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 10:07 AM
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Yaa my first post on ATS.
Hi my name is Rich and i worked as a maintenance tech on Ricoh/Savin commercial copiers,printers,fax machines for about 4 years.
The yellow code that pops up is the machines serial number. If something like counterfit money shows up the FBI will have the serial number and will contact the manufacturer to find out where the machine is. Next the FBI would show up at our shop and find out exactly who has the machine.
And most of the time it was a machine we had in a public place or a school so nobody ever got caught.
So if you have a problem with this and you want a new printer pay with cash and give them false info. If your paying with cash they dont need your info anyways.
All of the newer bigger color printers and copiers have a computer chip that will identify money and when you try to print it will not give you the right color. It will come out almost black.
So if your not trying to counterfeit money you will be ok and they are not using your printer as a method to spy on you.



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally posted by HaTaX
I actually work in the printing industry and have pretty good working knowledge of why and what this does. Most of the color laser process machines that we sell are more then capable of reproducing an acceptable print of money. There is a board in our systems that also senses what's being scanned and will fill the entire page with one toner color if it sees money, a passport, and some other restricted items. This board is also responsible for embedding it's serial number and model number into each print that comes out of it.

Fun times huh? It really is to prevent and curb counterfitting, not to track you...


Can you explain how the printer is able to correctly ID that it is printing money or a passport because I think you are talking crap. I have scanned my passport for security reasons and have printed it out fine and in colour on a laser printer. For the printer to know what its printing it would have to be able to ID the image and compare it to a range of banknotes and passports.

Seems kinda crazy dude. If you can explain it or provide an external link, I'll start to believe. Other than that it just sounds like scaremongering



posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 05:03 AM
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Originally posted by justsomeaussie
Seems kinda crazy dude. If you can explain it or provide an external link, I'll start to believe. Other than that it just sounds like scaremongering
I don't know what type of machine HaTaX was talking about, but I know that I have a fax/scanner/printer/copier Ricoh machine in the place where I work and when the machine is used to make a copy of a bank note the copy turns out yellow.

As far as I understand it, it's not the printing process that identifies the image as a bank note, it's the scanning process. That is probably the same way that Photoshop can see if the image represents a bank note or not.

And I don't think that they need to have a database of bank notes on the machine, they probably use some algorithm to analyze the image to search for specific elements used on the notes.



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