What an e-book watermark looks like

In recent weeks, there was some fuss about a new agreement between digital book distribution platform eBoekhuis and connected vendors. This agreement obliges vendors to hand over previously-private customer information to anti-piracy group BREIN, should a purchased e-book at some point turn up on the internet (e.g. BitTorrent, Usenet, file-sharing sites). In order to trace a book back to the customer, a transaction code is watermarked into it. When I noticed one of the eBookhuis-connected vendors (i.e. Bol.com) started selling watermarked e-books, I bought one to see what this watermark would look like.

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Why Dutch internet users should be concerned

Last month the Guardian revealed the details of a GCHQ program called “Mastering the Internet”, aimed at vacuuming up as much internet data as possible. It emerged that the agency was able to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fiber optic cables for up to 30 days. Friday German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung published the names (and secret code names) of the companies that have given the GCHQ secret unlimited access to their network of undersea cables.

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