DropSafe is blocked in China!


Really, I can’t think why they’d want to block me

Via greatfirewallofchina – go take a look, see if you can get anything past it…

Unshredding: German boffins resurrect Stasi files

This was on the BBC World Service last night; alas the only imprint I can find is from the Inquirer.

I wonder what happened to all the stuff from the Enron scandal?


German boffins resurrect Stasi files

Shredded papers stitched back together

ATTEMPTS BY THE East German secret service to destroy embarrassing files after the end of the Cold War may have failed.

German boffins are attempting to reassemble millions of shredded East German secret police files using complicated computerised algorithms.

The files, on their own citizens and foreigners, overloaded the Stasi’s shredding machines as the Berlin Wall fell and some documents were ripped by hand.

More than 16,250 sacks containing pieces of 45 million shredded documents were found and confiscated after the reunification of Germany in 1990. So far only 323 of the sacks have been reassembled.

Deutschlandfunk radio reports that Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology estimates that putting everything back together by hand would take 30 people 600 to 800 years, however it thinks that with some clever software it can re-assemble 400 sacks in two years. If the technology works then they could finish the whole lot in four to five years.

The technology uses algorithms developed 15 years ago to help decipher barely legible lists of Nazi concentration camp victims. Each strip of the shredded Stasi files is scanned on both sides. The data is fed into the computer for interpretation using colour recognition; texture analysis; shape and pattern recognition; machine and handwriting analysis and the recognition of forged official stamps.

If it all works it could mean the end of the shredder as a useful method of getting rid of documents you don’t want people to see.

More here