Thursday, February 22, 2018

Oh, patents! Digimarc® steganography (2)

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Steganographia circa 1500
The term steganography [stegano + graphy] has a Greek root steganos, meaning covered or concealed, and the suffix graph, meaning writing or graphic. 

The oldest record of the term steganography, per the OED, dates back to a book of magic and occult writing, in three volumes, titled Steganographia, written by a German Benedictine Abbot, called Johannes Trithemius, circa the year 1500.

To date, the term steganography refers to the process of hiding secret messages within a text. Recall the very recent (2017) example of UC Berkeley Professor Daniel M. Kammen’s letter of resignation, as US State Department Science Envoy, following US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, and in the aftermath of the White Supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, VA. The letter, addressed to the POTUS 2018, concealed the secret message IMPEACH, when reading the first letter of each of the letter’s seven paragraphs, (Wang, A., The Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2017).

Considering the 15th-century origins of the term steganography, Digimarc® watermarking technology has deep roots. When Digimarc® technology imperceptibly alters an image, for example every 100th pixel, and provides means to detect and read the distortion introduced in the text or media material, it is also concealing a secret code or message within a text. Whether this is a print, audio or visual watermarking, digital stenographic processes might be invoked for copyright purposes, identification, authentication, security, or to prevent the leakage of sensitive information and the proliferation of counterfeits, especially banknotes and ID cards or passports.

Indeed, several of the Digimarc® patents actually use the term steganographic processes. The following then, is a very small hyperlinked subset of some of the early (even expired) Digimarc® steganographic patents, considering that 1,815 (one-thousand-eight-hundred-and-fifteen) patents are returned for Digimarc® technologies when searching patent registries, 600 of which currently cover digital watermarking. 
  • USRE40919E1 - Methods for surveying dissemination of proprietary empirical data (Re-issued patent)
  • US4879747A - Method and system for personal identification
  • US4995081A - Method and system for personal identification using proofs of legitimacy
  • US5636292A - Steganography methods employing embedded calibration data
  • US5710834A - Method and apparatus responsive to a code signal conveyed through a graphic image
  • US5832119A - Methods for controlling systems using control signals embedded in empirical data
  • US5841886A - Security system for photographic identification
  • US5850481A - Steganographic system
  • US5862260A - Methods for surveying dissemination of proprietary empirical data
  • US6111954A - Steganographic methods and media for photography
  • US6266430B1 - Audio or video steganography
  • US6301369B2- Image marking to permit later identification
  • US6324573B1 - Linking of computers using information steganographically embedded in data objects
  • US6408082B1 - Watermark detection using a Fourier Mellin transform
  • US6408331B1- Computer linking methods using encoded graphics
  • US6411725B1 - Watermark enabled video objects
  • US6421070B1 - Smart images and image bookmarking for an internet browser
  • US6535617B1 - Removal of fixed pattern noise and other fixed patterns from media signals
  • US6535618B1 - Image capture device with steganographic data embedding
  • US6546112B1 - Security document with steganographically-encoded authentication data
  • US6636615B1 - Methods and systems using multiple watermarks
  • US6650761B1 – Watermarked business cards and method
  • US6681028B2 - Paper-based control of computer systems
  • US6718047B2 - Watermark embedder and reader
  • US6763123B2 - Detection of out-of-phase low visibility watermarks
  • US6813366B1 - Steganographic decoding with transform to spatial domain
  • US6869023B2 - Linking documents through digital watermarking
  • US6879701B1 - Tile-based digital watermarking techniques
  • US6944298B1 - Steganographic encoding and decoding of auxiliary codes in media signals
  • US6970573B2 - Self-validating security documents utilizing watermarks
  • US6993152B2 - Hiding geo-location data through arrangement of objects
  • US7076084B2 - Methods and objects employing machine readable data
  • US7113596B2 - Embedding information related to a subject of an identification document in the identification document
  • US7130087B2 - Methods and apparatus to produce security documents
  • US7152786B2 - Identification document including embedded data
  • US7171020B2 - Method for utilizing fragile watermark for enhanced security
  • US7191156B1 - Digital watermarking systems
  • US7308110B2 - Methods for marking image
  • US7314162B2 - Method and system for reporting identity document usage
  • US7415129B2 - Providing reports associated with video and audio content
  • US7444000B2 - Content identification, and securing media content with steganographic encoding
  • US7461136B2-  Internet linking from audio and image content
  • US7548643B2 - Methods, objects and apparatus employing machine readable data
  • US7567686B2 - Hiding and detecting messages in media signals
  • US7724919B2 - Methods and systems for steganographic processing
  • US7770013B2 - Digital authentication with digital and analog documents
  • US7778437B2 - Media and methods employing steganographic marking
  • US8301893B2 - Detecting media areas likely of hosting watermarks
Milano, D. Content control: Digital watermarking and fingerprinting
Wang, A. (Aug. 23, 2017) Trump’s science envoy quits in scathing letter with an embedded code: IMPEACH

Wikipedia - Johannes Trithemius

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