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Sometimes you really don't want the author to know...

Sometimes you really don't want the author to know...

Posted Mar 31, 2005 8:50 UTC (Thu) by eru (subscriber, #2753)
In reply to: Differences from server logs by yodermk
Parent article: Unexpected features in Acrobat 7

Plus, is it really wrong for a content author to know a bit about how far their content has spread? In nearly all cases, an IP address doesn't tell much about you.

Try this skenario: Whistleblower at a Big Corrupt Corporation mails law enforcement officials an internal PDF document exposing illegal activities by the top management. Unfortunately the PDF was tracked and the Law Enforcer just naively opens it with Acrobat, thus alerting the corrupt management to the investigation, and giving them a head start with the paper shredders...

For a long time I thought of PDFs as just a kind of digital paper. Too bad they have now endowed it with capabilities to perform surprising activities when the document is merely read. We really need an electronic docment format that is guaranteed to be "inert". I guess plain ASCII is left, but something with richer formatting capabilities would also be nice.


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Sometimes you really don't want the author to know...

Posted Mar 31, 2005 14:52 UTC (Thu) by cpm (guest, #3554) [Link]

If I want the author to know, I can email, call, write, them and
tell them.

If I don't, or more to the point, don't care, then I don't. It shouldn't
be a mandatory, or opt-out (why is this in contemporary parlance, is
it the spam issues and the spam laws? yes!) issue.

A PDF *should* be an electronic document. Nothing more.

It can be copied, messed with, forged, and all that rot. To add all these
bells and whistles to it, to fend off these old-as-the-written-word
issues with "documents" (What is a document anyway?*) is to create
yet-still-another legal morass of so-called "Intellectual Property"
disputes.

It's a PDF. Once it has been printed, it's as good as the paper it's
printed on. Want to have some assurance that its "real" ? wrap it
in gpg/pgp before you send it.

Oh, yes, many will say that using decent crypto/signature is too much
bother, and they are right. But everything else is often simple
to break/ignore/circumvent etcetera.

Sometimes you really don't want the author to know...

Posted Mar 31, 2005 17:28 UTC (Thu) by juha (subscriber, #5866) [Link]

> A PDF *should* be an electronic document. Nothing more.

Is it possible to create a filter program to remove these extra features from the .pdf file?


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