Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FOIA request nets list of manufacturers who "agreed to fill document identification requests submitted by the Secret Service"

Hello dots blog: long time, no see.

I was happy to receive an email today from freelance journalist Theo Karantsalis. Since 2010, he's been trying to get the US Government to fess up about which printer manufacturers they are in cahoots with.

His Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has finally paid off: the US Secret Service sent him an official list of ten manufacturers that have "fulfilled or agreed to fulfill document identification requests submitted by the Secret Service... using machine identification code technology".

The manufacturers are:

  • Canon
  • Brother
  • Casio
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Konica
  • Minolta
  • Mita
  • Ricoh
  • Sharp
  • Xerox
In other words, these manufacturers have helped (or have agreed to help, in the future) the US Government identify individuals through the near-invisible secret dot pattern that their colour printers print on every page. Lexmark didn't make the list, even though they have the dot technology enabled. 

For those of you keeping track: the government AND the manufacturers have finally fessed up: "yes, this tracking dot technology is a real thing and we use it". So it's not a secret anymore, right? Well... maybe with all the digital privacy issues these days, paper dots don't get precedence. 


5 comments:

  1. Hola amigo, could you make a post about what printers to get to avoid these dots, printers capable of clean prints?

    Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I don't commit much time to this anymore. I have no idea if there are color ladder printers WITHOUT this technology - they almost all have it. Inkjet might be the way to go.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, I don't commit much time to this anymore. I have no idea if there are color ladder printers WITHOUT this technology - they almost all have it. Inkjet might be the way to go.

      Delete