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Automatic redaction - Off in the distance
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2011-01-20 13:25
Subject: Automatic redaction
Security: Public
There is a BBC news report on software that stops images being viewed after a particular point.

Oh dear.

Oh dearie me.

What a snake oil promise. Guys, once that image is seen, you can't stop it being kept. All that will be need will be an initial viewing, and then that image has been decoded. How you going to keep the decoded image out of the browser cache, eh? Are you going to reconnect every time the page redraws - if so, that'll really slow down the browser? How do you stop someone capturing it when they can see it?

I really can't see this one flying, somehow.
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Silly Swordsman
User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2011-01-20 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Since it's only viewable if you have a plug-in installed, there's no reason why the decoded version would be kept in the cache. In that sense it's like the Flash picture-showers, which lets you browse but stops you from right-click "Save as". (And just like that Flash solution, this won't work against PrtScn.) But if it's only released in the encoded format, this system looks reasonably safe against most non-geeks.

Not that I think it'll fly, mind, especially if they'll be asking a fee to expire-stamp images.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-01-20 13:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If it's going to require people to install a plug-in in order to see the images in the first place, I suspect the general attitude will be 'fuck that for a game of soldiers'.

Flash gets installed because it brings something of sufficient value to the recipients. This, though?
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Silly Swordsman
User: silly_swordsman
Date: 2011-01-20 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Quite. Actually, what they should have done is sell the concept, patents, and implementation to Adobe, for inclusion in Flash and PhotoShop.
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ewx
User: ewx
Date: 2011-01-20 19:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually I suspect quite a few of people would install a plugin in order to see their friends naked/doing something embarassing/etc. I don’t expect to be one of them myself though…
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-01-21 15:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's going to install plug-ins at both ends, which is the more amusing thing.

With luck it'll devolve into the telephone dilemma - "why would I buy one of these - who could I call?" - and it'll disappear back into the obscurity it so richly deserves.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2011-01-20 13:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
However, he said, social networks never forget and images posted to sites, be they embarrassing or not, were visible forever.

Unless, you know. The user wises up and deletes it.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2011-01-20 13:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Exactly. At that merely requires the user to be wise after the event - this 'solution' requires the user to be wise beforehand.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2011-01-20 13:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And presumably, if the user was that smart in the first place s/he wouldn't be sharing sensitive pics in a public forum to begin with.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2011-01-20 15:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, definitely - but that's what this software does, assumes that users are going to go "I want to share this picture of myself snogging a gerbil, but only for two days, so my friends have time to laugh over it but my future employers won't find it."
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Megabitch
User: megabitch
Date: 2011-01-20 17:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And forgetting that removing the original image does NOT mean that it is no longer out there.
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Barry: 12 Wizard Speed Time
User: hobnobs
Date: 2011-01-21 17:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:12 Wizard Speed Time
"Why, what's this? I do believe it's a Print Screen Key..." :)
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ewx
User: ewx
Date: 2011-01-20 19:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While you can't stop an image being kept by someone who wants to keep it, what you can do is stop it being downloaded from Facebook by your new boss/mother-in-law/pupils etc in five years time. Just deleting it and user-unfriendly cryptographic methods will both achieve that, if the user bothers.
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