View Full Version : Government tracks you with color laser printers

11-23-2004, 09:46 PM
Story (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1093&u=/pcworld/118664&printer=1).

11-24-2004, 01:43 AM
Here's (http://users.chartertn.net/tonytemplin/FBI_eyes/) what they're using to track our internet useage with.:(

;) :D

11-24-2004, 06:50 AM
there are tons of things they are keeping tabs on, yet the government is so unorganized, that they probably never even process the data on you or anyone you will ever know unless it is part of an investigation... a big one.

from doing government consulting, first thing that amazed me was how unorganized it was. the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. each department and agency wants to be it's own entity and doesn't communicate well (if at all) with others. it is very sad. but at least i helped with that, writing software to replace humans to improve efficiency and communication (and reporting too, so they actually know what is going on in their own department/agency).

David Jamieson
11-24-2004, 08:26 AM
um, i would say that what is going on is a standard and acceptable security measure in place for the purpose of foiling counterfeiters to a degree.

It helps the SS (ultimately the ones responsible for acts of forgery and counterfeiting) to at least have a starting point of where to look when they attempting to stem the flow of a particular grade of counterfeit bills.

I'm pretty sure the government could care less about the baby pictures you just printed. THis is not the purpose and it is indeed for investigative purposes only.

It's not a conspiracy and this is old news. It has been known for sometime that these measures are in place to ensure that colour laser printers are not used in the practice of counterfeiting.

Now move along, there's nothing to see here. :p

Ming Yue
11-24-2004, 08:34 AM
I work in a copy/print shop as the designer. In three years, I have had about 6 people try to copy money. 6 not very smart people.

11-24-2004, 09:02 AM
"tracks" or "tracking" is a misnomer. The government can use it to track, not that they are tracking or do track using this method.

11-24-2004, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by Ming Yue
I work in a copy/print shop as the designer. In three years, I have had about 6 people try to copy money. 6 not very smart people.

What happens? Do you have to report that? I've always wanted to scan a dollar bill to see what would happen. I heard there's something special about the ink used in money and it won't scan or print the correct color or something.

11-24-2004, 09:18 AM
when I was going to college I worked over night at Kinkos. Th ecolor printers did an ok job of printing fake money, but it was always a different shade or tone then the real thing and anyone but a complete idiot could have spotted it.
As for people asking to copy it, we were only allowed to at lik 33% of it's original size, or it had to be reduced 33% or something like that. People would come in and say, "can you photocopy this?" and we would tell them the policy. More often then not it was for some project and the reduction didn't cause any problems.

Ming Yue
11-24-2004, 09:24 AM
yep, it's ok to either reduce or enlarge by >50%.

The green that the us mint uses has special reflective qualities so it either shifts blueish or yellowish when copied or scanned.

I too have scanned parts of US bills for people to use in projects, and the color is never true.

Royal Dragon
11-24-2004, 01:28 PM
Wash them in color safe bleach and see what happenes :D

Royal Dragon
11-24-2004, 01:35 PM
Oh, btw, if I was any of you guys, I would never admit to photo copying hundreds of dollars worth of $20's, washing them in color safe bleach and then driving to Milwalkee Wisconsin to roam the city buying Small french fries or small diet cokes at every fast food place with a drive up that could be found, untill they were all spent, simply because I know the stupid 16 year olds at the late night window are color blind.


11-24-2004, 06:49 PM
Being a most excellent designer Ming, couldn't you Photoshop or Gimp up a note and print it as opposed to copying it? I dunno really what US$ look like. Here in Oz each of our notes is different colour and they're all made of a funny plasticky paper and have clear windows with watermarks == hard to copy.

11-25-2004, 12:37 AM
^ Are your bills different sizes, too? I know some countires have different sized bills.

11-25-2004, 12:52 AM
Aren't yours? I don't remember. Anyway, ours are slightly different. *Rustles in wallet* I've got a 5, 10, 20 & 50. All are slightly different in width in order of value, but similar (the same?) in height. I guess so they don't stick out the top of your wallet.

11-25-2004, 01:00 AM
All our bills are the same size.

Our coins, though, are different sizes. With one exception, it's bigger coin = more valuable.

It goes like this in value:

Penny = 1 cent
Nickel = 5 cents
Dime = 10 cents
Quarter = 25 cents

But from smallest to largest in size, it goes like this:


The difference in size and value probably has to do with the fact that pennies are copper and the other ones are silver (I think).

Oh, we also have 50 cent and one dollar coins, but no one ever uses them and you hardly ever see one.

11-26-2004, 03:29 AM
My bank gives me 5 bucks in Susan B. Anthony or Sacjuia(sp?) dollars every time I withdrew cash. I like to use 'em to pay my kids' allowence, cause they don't get stuck in the piggy bank like paper money does. Also, the penny is copper, but the silver-tone coins are nickle-plated alloy, with a few exceptions.

Ming Yue
11-28-2004, 02:45 PM
I could make one that would mostly pass visual muster, but not tactile, and not with a magnifying glass. special paper and slightly raised ink require an engraving type printing press. There is microtype all over our money (type less than a 10th of a millimeter high) that is simply impossible to print with dry toner or inkjet printing - gotta be a metal plate.

more recently, our larger bills have plastic detection strips in them, and have irridescent highly raised ink, and random numbers scattered around - the boys and girls at the federal reserve are cracking down.

Royal Dragon
11-29-2004, 05:16 AM
I could make one that would mostly pass visual muster,

Then all you need is a teenager working the late night drive through and a hankering for small fries to convert a bogus $20.00 into a real $19.00 and a snack.

Ming Yue
11-29-2004, 09:10 AM
$19 bucks, an unhealthy snack and a trip up the river.

I'd never survive in the hoosegow. I need the illusion of freedom I currently enjoy.

Royal Dragon
11-29-2004, 10:09 AM
How would you get caught though? (Ok, Ok so I grew up in the capitol of the Chicago Mob scene, does it show??)

Think about it, a gazzillion cars go through a drive through every shift. VERY few of them have cameras, and even if they did, how would they know it was you that passed the phoney bill?

Even if they could place you at every drive through that got a phoney bill, the can't convict unless they can actually prove you passed it. The camera would show you passed "A" bill, but the authenticty of it still cannot be determined with current technology.

At best they'd get cercumstamntial evidence.

Most likely, you'd get away clean, especially if you hit all of the drive thrughs in one night. doing several hundred fake $20's

Ming Yue
11-29-2004, 10:24 AM
They could certainly identify the paper and the type of ink, and the machine (or at least the type of machine) that printed it, from that info they could narrow it down to maybe 4 places in the metro area with the right equipment, and maybe all 4 use the same paper supplier....

last time I went through a drive through it was the pharmacy, and they swiped my $20 with a special pen to make sure it was on the right paper.

You go ahead though. Let us know how it turns out.

11-29-2004, 10:50 AM
Going to every drive-through in one night would be suspect, if it wasn't normal behavior. Also, fingerprints.

But if you go to the right drive throughs with the right apathetic people working there, you might not even have to pay at all.

"$3.00 please"
"Are you going to let the man tell you how much to charge? How much of that $3.00 will you see? What about all the food that doesn't get ordered at the end of the day. You're just going to toss it anyway. What's one burger and fries? Come on, help a guy out."
"Yeah, you're right. Here you go, no charge."


Royal Dragon
11-29-2004, 08:25 PM
Wasn't aware you could fingerprint $$.

As for the paper suppliers, I bet any office max has something suiteable, theres only like a gazzillion of those around.

The girl I knew who did it used a common color photocopier seen in just about every office known to man. The bills she made would easily make it past a 16 year old at Wendy's late on a Saturday night.

I think the equipment is just to avaliable to get tied to it.