Secret Code 'traces copies'

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Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

V.B. wrote:
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I keep seeing this info like it is something big and new and dangerous.

I remember reading a number of years ago about them doing this for

I am not exactly sure how it helps as when I buy a printer or any
equipment I typically don't register it.  I am not really even sure
where the threat to privacy is.  For example, to read what identifies
many printers requires a microscope.

If I am sending something I printed or giving it to anyone, I usually
pretty well identify who I am, and usually identify far more information.

If I were counterfeiting using commercial equipment (surely I could do
better with other technologies but..), I doubt if I were a
counterfeiter, I would leave an audit trail back to my door.  I surely
wouldn't use a device that could be traced back to me.  Even typewriters
are unique and that is much older technology.

I can't see the issue here.  I am far more worried about tootsie prints
I leave across the Internet and all the nosy folks watching what I do
and with whom I have never had a consensual relationship. The FBI
reading something I printed don't worry me much as they are pretty well
regulated in their activities.  I worry far more about unregulated
entities working outside the legal boundaries. /

I seldom print anything and most of what I print typically gets
destroyed when done.  To me this is more a magicians trick of making me
look at something that really don't matter much while Rome is burning
out the window.

I just saw my first case of Windows DRM burning out a DVD-RW drive (not
mine).  These issues tend to bother me far more.  Then next thing you
know your printer will fail because you printed copyright material....


Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

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Let's say you're opposed to a tyrannical government in your country -
for example if you live in China, or Saudi-Arabia, or the USA ;-)

You want to stage a leaflet-campaign against that government, and print
the leaflets on your printer at home. Even though the government cannot
trace them directly to you (as the printer wasn't registered), they
still DO know the serial number of that printer - so if they ever find
a reason to search your house, they'll note the serial number, check it
against a database of unknown printers, and they'll know that it was
you who printed the leaflets. Off you go to Guantanamo...

Juergen Nieveler
What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing. - Aristotle

Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

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Point taken, although what's wrong with good ol' back and white, anyway? :o)

TBH, most leaflets get printed at an actual printers (for, what? a twentieth
of the cost per?) Not that I've any experience of this, natch. I live in the
happy democratic world of Mr. T. Blair, whose government was elected 18% or
so of the popular vote.. whose latest proposal is a government-mandated ID
card that will be used, among other things, to act as a marker for /every/
electronic financial transaction, rather than just everything above GBP10k.

But back to the horror-story at hand, I just /knew/ I'd seen mention of this
before.. (paper from

The thing that everyone's looking for US Patent 5530759, from IBM. February
1995. If anyone happens to have one of the Xerox machines, then I'd be
interested to see if the small-print of the manual references this patent
(it should).

If it /does/, then it's an easy way to tell who does what, I'd have thought.


Hairy One Kenobi

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this opinion do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of the highly-opinionated person expressing the opinion
in the first place. So there!

Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

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Depends on what is available :-)

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Most leaflets probably get printed on company printers at workplaces,
for zero cost ;-)

Juergen Nieveler
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

Juergen Nieveler wrote:
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Pay with check or credit card, or send in a rebate, then the
printer will be traced back to you.

Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

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A bit more detail from

Still wondering when someone's going to mention that the printers probably
come in boxes with RFIDs attached.. <runs, hides> ;o)


Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

Hairy One Kenobi wrote:
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Just remember, whatever you pay it's never yours and you are always
theirs :0


Broadcasting to the environs

Re: Secret Code 'traces copies'

V.B. wrote:

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Good article...


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