[OT] Software protection schemes

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at gmail.com
Tue Aug 30 09:48:43 CDT 2011


I downloaded a passport application form today:

http://centralcontent.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/central-content-pdfs/form-c1.pdf

Now, as I am having a "printer crisis" at home, I decided to take the 
PDF document up to my school to print it, via a Flash drive.

Hey-Ho; when I got to the school and opened the PDF all I got was a 
single-page blank document.

So, back home, poking around in the PDF I found that it is "(SECURED)"; 
which seems to mean that I cannot copy what I have downloaded from the 
internet onto any sort of portable media.

*   So I opened the application form with GIMP and exported the 5 pages 
as JPEG
*   files, copied them onto my Flash drive, ran up the road and printed 
them.

Now this process took me all of 3-4 minutes.

So, what on earth was the point of the document being "(SECURED)"? 
Presumably the computery people who do "that sort of thing" for the 
British authorities are well aware that all that stands between their 
'protection' and doing what on earth you want is just a spot of lateral 
thinking?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Any form of software protection can (and almost inevitably will) be 
overcome. So,
the only real reason for it is just to slow people down a bit.



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