codeblog code is freedom — patching my itch

October 19, 2005

color printer tracking

Filed under: Reverse Engineering,Security — kees @ 3:28 pm

I’m a little behind in my Slashdot reading, so apologies to those that saw this earlier.

The EFF cracked the nearly invisible finger-printing code produced by color printers. This system is used by most (if not all) major color printer manufacturers to report the serial number of the printer used and the date a page was printed. This system has been in place for at least 10 years. I’m horrified at this kind of privacy invasion. To quote the EFF:

“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 press release:
Washington Post coverage:

© 2005, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.
CC BY-SA 4.0

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