The history of the secret code that printers put on all your documents

In The Lives of Others, a movie about the radicalization of a playwright living under Communist rule in East Germany, a key plot point revolves around identifying what type of typewriter was used to write an article by an anonymous critic of the government. Every typewriter in East Germany is registered, so an editor smuggles in a foreign one that prints in red ink. The authorities become obsessed with hunting for the red ink typewriter; if they can find the typewriter, they will find their man.

Surprisingly, this situation isn’t all that different from an incident that was in the news last week. A once secret code, invisible to the naked eye, may have been one of the markers used to identify and eventually arrest NSA leaker Reality Winner. Security researchers have theorized that Winner’s downfall could have been a small set of dots in the corner of the Top Secret analysis she printed and mailed to online news outlet The Intercept.

Keep reading

Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s