Your printer is ratting you out

It sounds like a conspiracy but it’s true. Your computer printer is conducting surveillance on you. Apparently some time ago, the US federal government convinced numerous manufacturers of colour laser printers to print nearly invisible markers on sheets of paper, which could be used to tie a printout to a specific printer. A series of faint yellow dots is printed on each sheet of paper that can be used akin to a serial number. It was originally designed to thwart conterfeiters using colour printers to print fake money or to forge documents.

Recently these dots have been drafted in the war on terror. In other words, mission creep has occurred. Technology designed for one purpose is being used for another purpose, in this case, in the expanded Patriot Act. So dots that once could catch conterfeiters now catches terrorists, or whatever activities governments determine to be terrorist. Considering that the FBI has already collected hundreds of documents on Greenpeace, the potential application of dots allows for ever better monitoring of non-violent environmental organizations. Since there are no laws preventing the use of dots and little oversight of the Patriot Act, these secret little dots are truly worrisome.

Check to see if you have one of these models of printers.

2 Responses to “Your printer is ratting you out”

  1. Saddie says:

    Be very afaird. I didn’t know my digital freedom had to be protected.