Why printers add secret dots

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170607-why-printers-add-secret-tracking-dots

On 3 June, FBI agents arrived at the house of government contractor Reality Leigh Winner in Augusta, Georgia. They had spent the last two days investigating a top secret classified document that had allegedly been leaked to the press. In order to track down Winner, agents claim they had carefully studied copies of the document provided by online news site The Intercept and noticed creases suggesting that the pages had been printed and “hand-carried out of a secured space”.

In an affidavit, the FBI alleges that Winner admitted printing the National Security Agency (NSA) report and sending it to The Intercept. Shortly after a story about the leak was published, charges against Winner were made public.

At that point, experts began taking a closer look at the document, now publicly available on the web. They discovered something else of interest: yellow dots in a roughly rectangular pattern repeated throughout the page. They were barely visible to the naked eye, but formed a coded design. After some quick analysis, they seemed to reveal the exact date and time that the pages in question were printed: 06:20 on 9 May, 2017 – at least, this is likely to be the time on the printer’s internal clock at that moment. The dots also encode a serial number for the printer.

These “microdots” are well known to security researchers and civil liberties campaigners. Many colour printers add them to documents without people ever knowing they’re there.

In this case, the FBI has not said publicly that these microdots were used to help identify their suspect, and the bureau declined to comment for this article. The US Department of Justice, which published news of the charges against Winner, also declined to provide further clarification.

In a statement, The Intercept said, “Winner faces allegations that have not been proven. The same is true of the FBI’s claims about how it came to arrest Winner.”

But the presence of microdots on what is now a high-profile document (against the NSA’s wishes) has sparked great interest.

———-

“These “microdots” are well known to security researchers and civil liberties campaigners. Many colour printers add them to documents without people ever knowing they’re there.”

sneaky..

reality winner..like..who names their child that? 🙂

“Winner faces allegations that have not been proven. The same is true of the FBI’s claims about how it came to arrest Winner.”

401

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~ by seeker401 on June 14, 2017.

9 Responses to “Why printers add secret dots”

  1. >>reality winner..like..who names their child that?

    Nothing worst that naming your child Delusional Loser..:-)

  2. with this winner, and now the shooting of a congressman by a bernie-supporter, it looks like hillary’s teams are trying to get the bernie-progs out of the way.

  3. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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