Does Your Printer Spy On You? The EFF Can Help You Find Out….

Recently we’ve had the case of a woman named Reality Winner…. Yes, that is apparently her name…. being arrested for leaking sensitive info to The Intercept that the NSA had in its possession. She was apparently busted because the printers that she printed this sensitive info out from had microdots which were used to hunt her down. Now, you’re likely wondering what these microdots are and if the printer in your home or business does this or something similar. Well, the Electronic Frontier Foundation can help you find out. They’ve not only posted a document that lists printers known to do this, they’ve also got a document that explains this tracking tech. But the first document that I linked to does have this warning:

Some of the documents that we previously received through FOIA suggested that all major manufacturers of color laser printers entered a secret agreement with governments to ensure that the output of those printers is forensically traceable. Although we still don’t know if this is correct, or how subsequent generations of forensic tracking technologies might work, it is probably safest to assume that all modern color laser printers do include some form of tracking information that associates documents with the printer’s serial number.

Thus consider this to be a starting point. It will be interesting to see if any printer company fesses up to doing this now that it’s got a rather bright spotlight.

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