Kiroshi Steganography

How do you combat non-consensual recording in a world where everyone has a camera in their face? You don’t.

Centuries ago, people simply had to make do with imagining the things they were told about. Paintings were a thing, yes, but they’re notably lacking in motion (Zuul doesn’t count and never did.)

At some point, we as a collective invented moving pictures. A lot of very clever people figured out flick book animation, zoetropes, and eventually film. Film cameras meant no more imagining—if you wanted to watch Douglas Fairbanks duff up a swarthy rotter, you paid your shilling and sat down for a matinee. It was great, but bulky and inconvenient—there were very few amateur filmmakers. Few opportunities for… candid filmmaking. 

Not that mucky films didn’t exist. There quickly sprang up an industry. But then, after a while, video replaced film in consumer-grade visual recording tech, and home movie equipment began to rapidly shrink in heft.

Of course, as soon as humans had invented the video camera, they started recording themselves doing mucky stuff. Every major advance in history has had something to do with mucky stuff. You’re only reading this now because five and a half thousand years ago a Mesopotamian lad wanted to describe some particularly good mucky stuff he’d had revealed to him by a djinn, and so invented written language.

Anyway, cameras got smaller and smaller, until finally Kiroshi Optics made one small enough to go in the human eye, an interface between the world and the brain with more bandwidth than ever thought possible.

And what did people do with this, when it became available? That’s right. They recorded themselves doing mucky stuff. Sometimes without the consent of the person/people/items they were doing that stuff with.

Kiroshi issued a fix, one that made sharing nonconsensual images recorded via its implants far more dangerous. Every optic now blinked and moved in a predetermined pattern, at least once every sixty frames. The blinks were too fast for anyone to see, but Kiroshi introduced slower blinking, timed to an RNG based on the user’s movements. The pattern of saccadic movement that encoded the information was blanked from the user’s view out of necessity—saccades are invisible.

So, this pattern had no impact on the user’s visual acuity, but it did place a unique steganographic signature into every single video stream any of its optics ever recorded. The time, date, location and user identity were revealed, plain as day, in every piece of POV mucky stuff recorded from that day on.

Technically, this could be removed easily by editing out the pattern, but this led to awful queasiness for anyone experiencing the BD, and BDs that make you vomit have a very small audience indeed.

And that’s why, although we all have cameras in our stupid faces, we still blink. Because of the mucky stuff.

About Da5e

A writer and a black metal musician.
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