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  • OT: Crime Fighting vs. Privacy

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...pcworld/200411
    22/tc_pcworld/118664

    Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

    Mon Nov 22, 4:00 AM ET

    Jason Tuohey, Medill News Service

    WASHINGTON--Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine
    an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass.
    You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that
    could be used to trace the document back to you.


    According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial
    number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color
    copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the
    United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters.


    Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser
    printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro
    series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in
    every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page,
    nestled within the printed words and margins.


    "It's a trail back to you, like a license plate," Crean says.

    The dots' minuscule size, covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along
    with their color combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the
    naked eye, Crean says. One way to determine if your color laser is applying
    this tracking process is to shine a blue LED light--say, from a keychain laser
    flashlight--on your page and use a magnifier.

    Crime Fighting vs. Privacy

    Laser-printing technology makes it incredibly easy to counterfeit money and
    documents, and Crean says the dots, in use in some printers for decades, allow
    law enforcement to identify and track down counterfeiters.

    However, they could also be employed to track a document back to any person or
    business that printed it. Although the technology has existed for a long time,
    printer companies have not been required to notify customers of the feature.


    Lorelei Pagano, a counterfeiting specialist with the U.S. Secret Service,
    stresses that the government uses the embedded serial numbers only when alerted
    to a forgery. "The only time any information is gained from these documents is
    purely in [the case of] a criminal act," she says.

    John Morris, a lawyer for The Center for Democracy and Technology, says, "That
    type of assurance doesn't really assure me at all, unless there's some type of
    statute." He adds, "At a bare minimum, there needs to be a notice to
    consumers."

    If the practice disturbs you, don't bother trying to disable the encoding
    mechanism--you'll probably just break your printer.

    Crean describes the device as a chip located "way in the machine, right near
    the laser" that embeds the dots when the document "is about 20 billionths of a
    second" from printing.

    "Standard mischief won't get you around it," Crean adds.

    Neither Crean nor Pagano has an estimate of how many laser printers, copiers,
    and multifunction devices track documents, but they say that the practice is
    commonplace among major printer companies.

    "The industry absolutely has been extraordinarily helpful [to law
    enforcement]," Pagano says.

    According to Pagano, counterfeiting cases are brought to the Secret Service,
    which checks the documents, determines the brand and serial number of the
    printer, and contacts the company. Some, like Xerox, have a customer database,
    and they share the information with the government.

    Crean says Xerox and the government have a good relationship. "The U.S.
    government had been on board all along--they would actually come out to our
    labs," Crean says.

    History

    Unlike ink jet printers, laser printers, fax machines, and copiers fire a laser
    through a mirror and series of lenses to embed the document or image on a page.
    Such devices range from a little over $100 to more than $1000, and are designed
    for both home and office.

    Crean says Xerox pioneered this technology about 20 years ago, to assuage fears
    that their color copiers could easily be used to counterfeit bills.

    "We developed the first (encoding mechanism) in house because several countries
    had expressed concern about allowing us to sell the printers in their country,"
    Crean says.

    Since then, he says, many other companies have adopted the practice.

    The United States is not the only country teaming with private industry to
    fight counterfeiters. A recent article points to the Dutch government as using
    similar anticounterfeiting methods, and cites Canon as a company with encoding
    technology. Canon USA declined to comment.








  • #2
    Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity


    "Tm n Kat" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...pcworld/200411 22/tc_pcworld/118664 Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents Mon Nov 22, 4:00 AM ET Jason Tuohey, Medill News Service WASHINGTON--Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you. According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters. Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page, nestled within the printed words and margins. "It's a trail back to you, like a license plate," Crean says. The dots' minuscule size, covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their color combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says. One way to determine if your color laser is applying this tracking process is to shine a blue LED light--say, from a keychain laser flashlight--on your page and use a magnifier. Crime Fighting vs. Privacy Laser-printing technology makes it incredibly easy to counterfeit money and documents, and Crean says the dots, in use in some printers for decades, allow law enforcement to identify and track down counterfeiters. However, they could also be employed to track a document back to any person or business that printed it. Although the technology has existed for a long time, printer companies have not been required to notify customers of the feature. Lorelei Pagano, a counterfeiting specialist with the U.S. Secret Service, stresses that the government uses the embedded serial numbers only when alerted to a forgery. "The only time any information is gained from these documents is purely in [the case of] a criminal act," she says. John Morris, a lawyer for The Center for Democracy and Technology, says, "That type of assurance doesn't really assure me at all, unless there's some type of statute." He adds, "At a bare minimum, there needs to be a notice to consumers." If the practice disturbs you, don't bother trying to disable the encoding mechanism--you'll probably just break your printer. Crean describes the device as a chip located "way in the machine, right near the laser" that embeds the dots when the document "is about 20 billionths of a second" from printing. "Standard mischief won't get you around it," Crean adds. Neither Crean nor Pagano has an estimate of how many laser printers, copiers, and multifunction devices track documents, but they say that the practice is commonplace among major printer companies. "The industry absolutely has been extraordinarily helpful [to law enforcement]," Pagano says. According to Pagano, counterfeiting cases are brought to the Secret Service, which checks the documents, determines the brand and serial number of the printer, and contacts the company. Some, like Xerox, have a customer database, and they share the information with the government. Crean says Xerox and the government have a good relationship. "The U.S. government had been on board all along--they would actually come out to our labs," Crean says. History Unlike ink jet printers, laser printers, fax machines, and copiers fire a laser through a mirror and series of lenses to embed the document or image on a page. Such devices range from a little over $100 to more than $1000, and are designed for both home and office. Crean says Xerox pioneered this technology about 20 years ago, to assuage fears that their color copiers could easily be used to counterfeit bills. "We developed the first (encoding mechanism) in house because several countries had expressed concern about allowing us to sell the printers in their country," Crean says. Since then, he says, many other companies have adopted the practice. The United States is not the only country teaming with private industry to fight counterfeiters. A recent article points to the Dutch government as using similar anticounterfeiting methods, and cites Canon as a company with encoding technology. Canon USA declined to comment.
    Among our numerous criminal geniuses and masterminds ruling the world from
    the Niagara Region, we had a local ubercriminal who paid for a Canon Colour
    Laser Printer with a cheque. He brought it home and set to work copying 50
    dollar bills. Unfortunately the cheque bounced and Beatties went and
    repossessed the printer. Unfortunately for our criminal genius, he had left
    the 50 dollar bills on the platen, and the reversed copies in the copier. He
    was convicted of manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency.

    Doug Thomas


    Comment


    • #3
      Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity

      >Subject: Re: Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity
      From: "doug thomas" [email protected]Date: 11/25/2004 9:18 AM Eastern Standard TimeMessage-id: <[email protected]>
      < snip >
      Among our numerous criminal geniuses and masterminds ruling the world fromthe Niagara Region, we had a local ubercriminal who paid for a Canon ColourLaser Printer with a cheque. He brought it home and set to work copying 50dollar bills. Unfortunately the cheque bounced and Beatties went andrepossessed the printer. Unfortunately for our criminal genius, he had leftthe 50 dollar bills on the platen, and the reversed copies in the copier. Hewas convicted of manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency.

      Some of the newer top-of-the-line color copiers (made by several different
      manufacturers) will simply shut down if the user attempts to copy US currency.
      The local dealer's technicians do not have the code and are not authorized to
      reset the unit.

      The manufacturer often has to dispatch a bonded technician from the regionl
      office or national corporate headquarters at a cost of thousands of dollars.
      The feds have to be notified and an investigation must be done.

      It would be good to think of that the next time little Johnny accompanies you
      to the office late at night and wants to copy a five-spot.

      Dad

      Comment


      • #4
        Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity


        "AdoptaDad" <[email protected]> wrote in message
        news:[email protected]
        | >Subject: Re: Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity
        | >From: "doug thomas" [email protected]
        | >Date: 11/25/2004 9:18 AM Eastern Standard Time
        | >Message-id: <[email protected]>
        |
        | < snip >
        |
        | >Among our numerous criminal geniuses and masterminds ruling the world
        from
        | >the Niagara Region, we had a local ubercriminal who paid for a Canon
        Colour
        | >Laser Printer with a cheque. He brought it home and set to work copying
        50
        | >dollar bills. Unfortunately the cheque bounced and Beatties went and
        | >repossessed the printer. Unfortunately for our criminal genius, he had
        left
        | >the 50 dollar bills on the platen, and the reversed copies in the copier.
        He
        | >was convicted of manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency.
        |
        |
        | Some of the newer top-of-the-line color copiers (made by several
        different
        | manufacturers) will simply shut down if the user attempts to copy US
        currency.
        | The local dealer's technicians do not have the code and are not authorized
        to
        | reset the unit.
        |
        | The manufacturer often has to dispatch a bonded technician from the
        regionl
        | office or national corporate headquarters at a cost of thousands of
        dollars.
        | The feds have to be notified and an investigation must be done.
        |
        | It would be good to think of that the next time little Johnny accompanies
        you
        | to the office late at night and wants to copy a five-spot.
        |
        | Dad

        Ouch! I cant count the times my kids have copied money (for fun) on our
        copier. Heck once I did it to use the copies for 'incentive' money for the
        kids to earn priviledges. It was easier than how I had done it in the
        past...drawing it all up by hand. They have even faxed it from the computer
        scanner to our fax machine and other way around. Of course they are just
        playing around and none of our equipment could come close to reproducing
        something that even closely resembled real money. I can just imagine it
        shutting down and having to explain...
        --
        BaD *** Me
        **My opinions might have changed but not the fact that I am right!**



        Comment


        • #5
          Crime Fighting vs. Crime Stupidity

          "> >
          Among our numerous criminal geniuses and masterminds ruling the world from the Niagara Region, we had a local ubercriminal who paid for a Canon Colour Laser Printer with a cheque. He brought it home and set to work copying 50 dollar bills. Unfortunately the cheque bounced and Beatties went and repossessed the printer. Unfortunately for our criminal genius, he had left the 50 dollar bills on the platen, and the reversed copies in the copier. He was convicted of manufacturing and possessing counterfeit currency. Doug Thomas
          Like the intellectual giant here who tried a little armed holdup on
          his way home from work. He covered his face carefully but forgot to
          remove his nametag...
          M

          Comment

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