HA HA! - Stupid paedo!

Depends on the image format. Programs like photoshop have native formats that preserve things like layers and undo buffers but your generic run of the mill jpeg, bitmap or other simple format will not. Once the are is replaced with solid black and the image is saved, there’s no getting it back.

There was an Urgent Alert that came around our office warning of a similar problem with “blacklining” documents. Apparently some law office in the states wanted to release certain documents but with parts blacked out. They blacklined them using “black highlighter” in (I think) MSWord. Then they .pdf’ed them and emailed them out: but all you had to do to see the text underneath was highlight the relevant parts with your mouse and the text under showed up.

I think there are some standard formats (i.e. not proprietary to this or that bit of image handling software) that can contain layered images (I thought png was one, but I can’t find anything about layers in the spec) - and in some cases, a photo editing app might leave them unflattened when saving to such a format, but by and large you’re right - a web image with a black square added to it will not be reversible.

For many of these types of criminals, if they had the rationality and self-control to restrain themselves from recording their crimes, they wouldn’t be committing them in the first place …

The US government has been embarrassed by this one more than one occasion. It is the price you pay for a really useful undo function.

Except it wasn’t the undo function. I must admit, my usual method of making an MSWord document somewhat less malleable in the hands of its recipient is to convert it to .pdf. Before I heard of this particular problem, the fact that a .pdf could have information in it beyond the surface appearance of the document had not occurred to me.

Well, it´s a rather appropiate method of masking the face of a twisted perv. Specially for its uselessness.

Yours is a common problem. “What you see is what you get” is subtly different from “what you see is what is there”.

Converting it to PDF makes it more malleable. PDF is a well documented format. Heck it is practically the native format for Macs these days. All non microsoft programs that interact with word are to a large extent reverse engineered and thus prone to bugs that PDF readers can avoid with less work.

That’s quite lovely. Bless 'em.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the highlighter in Word before, but I can’t help finding it very amusing that someone would imagine it is destructive when the highlight colour happens to match the text colour. I just did a test on this and highlighting the text in the PDF doesn’t show it up (on my machine - might work out differently for different versions of Word/adobe reader), but copying it out and pasting into notepad does.

It’s worse than that: When dealing with a Word document that has revision history turned on… it’s quite possible to undo the revision history. All sorts of interesting things have been found out that way.

Hmm. Maybe I left out a step. Or maybe the latest version of Acrobat is different.

Anyway, still works by cut/paste, as you say.

To be fair though, if I’d been asked about it before receiving the Alert, my reasoning might have been: “well a .pdf can be an image format. And the image created by black highlighter over black text is just a blob’o’black. Why would Acrobat bother encoding the fact that the blob’o’black was comprised some bits of black text and some bits of black highlighter.”

Anyway, the moral is print it out, then scan it back in and save the image as a .pdf.

A barrister on the other side accidentally sent my barrister an MSWord document with embedded history during a multimillion dollar trial. No doubt he’d not had “track changes” turned on when he sent it, so he didn’t notice what he’d done. My barrister did have “track changes” on when he opened it, so all the revisions were there to see. There was nothing damaging involved, but we did enjoy giving the other barrister shit about it for days afterwards.

Of course he’s a nitwit. The proof lies in the fact he didn’t come up with the “ingenious” Townshend defense, I aaah yeah, I was a downloading kiddy porn for research, yeah ah, research, that’s it.

Indeed. The concept is that what you see on screen is what you’ll get when you print it to paper. As mentioned, what you need to redact is to print, scan and save as pdf IMAGE; BUT please: where it’s adequate and appropriate. If you’re sending me a memo requiring me to add your two-page-long amendment to the report, then for Christ’s sake, DO send it to me in a format that lets me copy-and-paste!

Also relevant to the OP-referenced perv’s plight (and that of others of his colleagues) is that nowadays your digital camera or your photo software will likely encode into your saved file a bunch of extra information. It’s not unusual for me to hover over a thumbnail and see “IMG000345 Nikon F4X 20061228 23:05 1200x1800SF” or some other such tagging. Very helpful, I should say.

BTW, agree somewhat with SCSimmons, really, MOST criminals (*notable exception: some terrorist groups) do try to avoid recording actual evidence. The difference with a certain subset of the child preds, is that on top of the compulsion, there is apparently some sort of weird sense of “giving back to the community” :rolleyes: at work.

This excuse also works if you like the taste of whales.

Any time I save a Paint Shop Pro image with multiple layers to PNG, I get a warning message that the layers will be merged in the output, and when the PNG file is opened, sure enough, it has one layer.

I don’t know, as messed up as these people clearly are, I have a tough time believing that there isn’t enough common sense left in their head to say, gee, this is illegal. Maybe I better not press record?

But yeah, I suppose I see what you’re saying.

If the President of the United States systematically tape-recorded himself doing illegal things, how can you expect better from some common schlub?

Fuck you, jackass. Pete Townshend is not a pedophile.

Think of it this way…if he was so fucking STUPID (and yes, he was stupid) to use his real credit card number to access an illegal kiddy porn site…how come there was NO kiddy porn on his computer, a la Gary Glitter??

Stop spreading ignorance and focus instead on the real sick freaks (like the guy we’re talking about in this thread – or Chester the Molester.)

Update: We have an identification.