The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Sunday, 3 October 2004


The Register reports that the US authorities are making copies of the new $50 bill available online from a website run by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The low-quality copies are not intended to be turned into counterfeit bills by forgers; they're for the use of "artists, students and others", the Register says.

The news feature adds that it has apparently become harder to make digital replicas of bank notes that are current legal tender, thanks to secretive anti-counterfeiting technology built into some popular consumer hardware and software products at the request of US government regulators and international bankers. The technology detects and blocks attempts to view, scan or print copies of the redesigned $20 and $50 bills and, in a pop-up window, urges consumers to visit a website in order to learn about international counterfeit laws. The technology, known as the Counterfeit Deterrence System, was designed by a consortium of 27 central banks in the United States, England, Japan, Canada and, across the European Union, the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group. Precisely how the technology works is a mystery. The U.S. government keeps its inner workings a closely guarded secret, arguing that disclosing too much information could help counterfeiters circumvent protections.

The IPKat wonders whether the Counterfeit Deterrence System's software is being kept well out of view of the mainstream commercial market (where it must be potentially of immense value) in order to reduce the likelihood of it being reverse-engineered and turned to illicit use. Certainly, the ill-gotten gains to be scooped by the first enterprising person to print his own digitally perfect bank notes are almost beyond imagination.

More here on counterfeiting and forging
Anticounterfeiting here and here
Fakin' it here


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