The Leak-Prevention Tech the Government Could Deploy

By Alexis C. Madrigal

In the wake of the publication of the WikiLeaks war logs from Afghanistan, observers are expecting the government to take steps to plug leaks. Today, Technology Review reports that adding watermarks to government documents is technically possible, and would make tracking down leakers easier.

One way the government could finger a leaker is through digital watermarking of the documents themselves. James Goldman, a cyber forensics expert at Purdue University, says it's not clear whether the government uses digital watermarking, "but it's certainly possible."

Such watermarks would consist of hidden digital data--or even slight alterations in the pattern of words--added to documents in ways that are hard to detect, but are readily decodable with the right software.

Read the full story at Technology Review.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/07/the-leak-prevention-tech-the-government-could-deploy/60633/