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Canon Introduces Keyword-Narcing Software

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They've blocked most of the Internet. You can't surf Facebook, Twitter, or Fark. AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live, and Google Chat are also behind a firewall. On top of all that, you're forced to use Internet Explorer as your only browser.

The online life of a lowly cubical dweller is often pathetic. Many employees are constrained and monitored lest their attention is diverted to a personal email or -- God forbid -- a YouTube video. For a full eight hours, you are under digital lock and key.

And here comes Canon to Windex Big Brother's camera lens.

According to ITpro.co.uk, Canon has developed a document management system that will search print, copy, or fax jobs for certain keywords. If it matches a word or phrase against a list of preselected keywords, the task will cease and a PDF copy of the page is automatically emailed to the administrator.

Dubbed Uniflow 5 -- which has a lovely Orwellian tone, doesn't it? -- the technology is able to notify the user that their print job has stopped without specifying which security phrase has been breached. This keeps the staff fearful and skittish over future word choice -- possibly conducting print jobs from a colleague's work station, pinning any future insurrection against them.

The system is intended to keep classified projects or clients' names from leaking out. But given the wide range of parameters in which Uniflow 5 can search, this technology could notify an administrator of personal correspondences, private interests, barbecues he's not invited to, Stargate fan fiction, etc.

Maybe it's time to start investing in secret decoder rings.
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