Don’t worry about NSA – your computer’s printer is spying on you….

printerspy.jpgThis little tidbit from Yahoo Tech (first reported in 2005 but evidently not widely known): most color laser printers have embedded patterns of little dots (yellow and impossible to see with the naked eye) that are unique and traceable. They’re printer fingerprints….

These little dots were (supposedly) originally meant to thwart counterfeiters.

But it seems the FBI has been using these “fingerprints” to trace down who’s doing printing jobs for “suspicious”groups like (wait for it) – Greenpeace and ACLU….

That word you’re looking for is chilling.

That other word you’re looking for is outrage.

As Yahoo’s techie guy Christopher Null reports, the good news is that not all printers have these embedded dots. So if you’re planning to print whistle blowing documents against your boss or hand out broadsheets against a certain vindictive Vice President of the United States, find yourself a reliable ink jet….

(If you want to know if your printer is traceable, check here.)

4 replies »

  1. I’ve had about enough of companies that are taking my money serving as adjuncts for the spooks. The latest seems to be MS Vista, and maybe nothing that’s ever happened topped the telco/NSA scandal (that still hasn’t been addressed to my satisfaction).

    This country was founded by people whose first article of faith was that government would behave in PRECISELY this fashion and that it shouldn’t be allowed to under any circumstances.