Don't Forget To Hide The Metadata When Protecting Your Sources

from the finding-deep.throat dept

Yesterday, we pointed to a Washington Post article about botnets. The article was definitely a fascinating read, helped along by the story, weaved throughout the article, of one young botnet herder, who remained nameless (other than an online handle). Part of the agreement he apparently made with the Washington Post was that his small town not be identified either. The article contains a few random details which could apply to just any number of small towns throughout the country -- so they seemed safe enough. However, there was also a tightly cropped photo designed to not really give away any info in the image. Unfortunately, as many people have learned, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to data associated with digital files, and it didn't take long for some Slashdot readers to take a gander at the photo's metadata, and work out the probable location of the young man. Some are wondering if the Washington Post (who famously kept Deep Throat's identity secret for three decades) may now face some sort of liability should the individual actually be revealed through this bit of metadata sleuthing.
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  1. identicon
    Jason, 21 Feb 2006 @ 8:06am

    Re: Digital image redaction is so easy

    What the heck, man? He's just giving advice on how to remove the metadata. His post isn't intended as flamebait. He's noting something that I found quite interesting, and I'm appalled that you would attack him for writing it. You need to calm down for a bit before posting next time. Besides, everyone knows that the average reporter is about as bright as a broken light bulb when it comes to any sort of technology. Let alone the idea that they should strip out metadata. Not everyone knows about metadata.

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