Terminally Incoherent

Utterly random, incoherent and disjointed rants and ramblings...

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Inkjects do not spy on people (yet)

You know, sometimes I'm glad I use an inkject printer. At least the government can't easily spy on me.

Fortunately, identifying you with these micro dots is not that easy. You can (still) legally buy a printer for cash without giving the store or manufacturer any information. Of course police can collect information on documents printed with that specific microdot signature and keep it in a database. They would actually have to get their hands on your printer to check it. Of course this is not as hard as it used to be - now it is possible for them to search your house without a warrant (cause, you know - Patriot Act). So they can ID your printer relatively easily and match you to the paper trail they were collecting.

Now, interesting thing is - Microsoft can potentially find the serial number of your printer via the Genuine Advantage program. Now this might be a little far fetched but we really don't know how deeply they can scan your machine. Which means that MS can easily ID you given a microdot signature.

Scary stuff...

So far EFF written up some guidelines on how to find it, and identified several printers that do use this technology. If your printer is on that list, I recommend throwing it out the window :P If you do own a laser printer not on the list, print some test sheets and send them in to EFF.


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