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Simit
Simit, Computer Hardware Engineer
Category: Computer
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Experience:  6 Years of experience in Computer, Networking, and Phone Systems.
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If you print something off the internet can the police trace

Resolved Question:

If you print something off the internet can the police trace the computer it came from from the print off?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 7 years ago.

Where do you live?

 

Is it a document or photo?

 

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
document of crude joke, saint john NB
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 7 years ago.

While I think I could answer you, this really is a technical question and not a legal question. I'll try to have your question moved to the proper category.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it even legal to do that?
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 7 years ago.

To try to track where a printout came from? The police can essentially investigate anything they like, but if they do so improperly then the evidence is worthless. Try to find out whether this is possible in the first place. A computer expert should be with you shortly.

 

Ulysses

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you very much
Expert:  Simit replied 7 years ago.
It may be possible, but it would depend on the printer. And there's really not a list of printers that are capable of doing this. Here's an article that might give you some more information:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/118664/government_uses_color_laser_printer_technology_to_track_documents.html

It is likely to be just color laser printers that have this capability.

But it would likely have to be a very serious crime before they would try to track down the printer that a document came from.

Let me know if you still need any clarification on it.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Would an inkjet printer be able to be traced or is it limited to laser printers?
Expert:  Simit replied 7 years ago.
Here's a link to a brief summary of a much longer article(that isn't free for viewing), that states that it is possible to trace it back:

http://www.astm.org/JOURNALS/FORENSIC/PAGES/JFS2004061.htm

The difference here is that in color laser printers, the ability to trace it back is built into the printer by the people that designed the printer.

For inkjets, there isn't anything built into the printer, but each printer might have unique characteristics to it that might cause it to make the same "mistake" repeatedly, which would allow it to be traced back to a particular printer. So, while technically it is possible, it will be VERY difficult to trace it back to the inkjet printer.

Simit, Computer Hardware Engineer
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 5747
Experience: 6 Years of experience in Computer, Networking, and Phone Systems.
Simit and 7 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Simit replied 7 years ago.
Did you still have any questions about this?

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