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Interpol APB proves police agencies can now unscramble digitally blurred images

Sleepwalk | 13.10.2007 07:34 | Repression | Social Struggles | Technology | World

Digitally blurred images from protests or other actions which can incriminate people involved are not safe to post publicly. Police now can unscramble the encryption behind this security device.

A press release from the international police agency appealing for the public to aid in the capture of a notorious child molester who has posted videos of himself on the Internet raping dozens of young boys, included four images of the man's face reconstructed by specialists in the German national police agency. An agent involved in the decision to release the images publicly said he was opposed to the move since it would let 'criminals' know the police can now unscramble digitally blurred images, but after years of fruitless searching for the child molester, Interpol decided to ask the public for help.

The consequences for people involved in all manner of illegal political activity could not be clearer- DO NOT rely on technology to protect you online or in using telecommunications. It's simply too risky that the police can in future access communications which today they cannot. After all, they target people and keep records of electronic communications for good reasons. Not to make people paranoid, but this is a wakeup call for anyone involved in risky activity. Don't get caught doing something stupid.

From the Guardian article:

"Techniques are always developing," he said. "What is impossible today is possible tomorrow. There were several attempts to clear the face ... We are sure that you can't get better pictures and the people in his neighbourhood - family friends, colleagues, whatever - they will recognise him."

Mr Persson added that he had opposed making the photos public because it demonstrated to criminals that police could now unblur pictures, but that consideration and the risk the man could face public humiliation or violence were outweighed by the desire to protect children.

"It was a long discussion," he said. "We can't just sit here and do nothing. We have exhausted all possibilities within police work to find this man ... This was the last step."

- Homepage:,,2186568,00.html


Display the following 6 comments

  1. Sloppy Work — alt0156
  2. by the way... — Sleepwalk
  3. addition to sloppy work — geek
  4. The Photo — Photographer
  5. try and uncrypt — hmm
  6. What about putting a black circle over the face? — hm