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26th June 2013 Tom Woods 8
If we all communicated via paper letters and the only tool the NSA had were OCR, this might be effective across the board. One always could put jpegs into a PDF, though.
The idea of this doesn’t even make sense, since the NSA doesn’t scan anything, just reads data directly.
Yeah, for blocking anyone using a computer to try and read your stuff, this is worthless.
Besides high-quality OCR being able to clean up and figure things out nicely, and besides the fact that standard CAPTCHAs are harder to read and still easily broken by low-skill hackers, you don’t even need 100% accuracy in decoding:
Spell-correction and general text cleanup, along with a 51% chance-of-terrorism threshold would easily cause your messages to be analyzed and flagged…
And of course it’s actually totally worthless unless you have converted the document into an image. A machine-readable file doesn’t give a crap about the font.
It looks kinda neat, though.
Doh. Should have actually read to the end of his page before assuming anything about the guy
“Update: I’ve been reading the comments here and
elsewhere, and it seems many people are concerned about my
understanding of how digital text works — ASCII, binary codes, etc. As
mentioned above, I spent two years as intelligence personnel with the
NSA and a year researching, so I am fully aware of all that. This
project/post is focused on raising awareness, which I should’ve
articulated better. That said, it would be great if further
conversations ruminated over the growing surveillance state and how we
should act. I sincerely appreciate everyone reading, criticizing, and
sharing these matters.”
It is just a variant on the CAPTCHA system web 2.0 forms use to prevent spam. The idea behind it is that software will have a hard time pulling letters from the artifacts thus hiding the word from anyone but a human. While it works good to prevent most users it is kind of pointless on a large scale.
If I worked at the NSA as was tasked with coming up with a quick work around I would just download the font and add it to the comparison algorithm. The reason CAPTCHA works is because of the many permutations that exist not just the artifacts.
font download link http://z-x-x.org/3457965
just print a word doc or wordpad doc to fax printer and attach the tif file.
Interesting from a design perspective, but probably nearly useless from a privacy perspective. A big part of privacy now I think is avoiding the internet about as much as possible. The government doesn’t have cameras in our houses yet.
what about the x-box or other game consoles. They have cameras and microphones?
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