Hacking the GPO

February 1, 2007 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

The Government Printing Office is in charge of publishing all official legislation and stuff like that, and as such, they’re the authoritative source for official government-type information.AND there are a whole lot of laws out there, many of them really small and petty and largely ignored. But the devil is in the details, and just the tiniest little turn of phrase can make a huge difference, and sometimes the tiniest things are just sitting there dormant, waiting for someone to come along and exploit them. Or at least so I like to think.

So this this pretty good idea is that somehow, you gain access to the GPO printing process. Get some low-level job, crack some overlooked administrative system, something. And go in and change something small. Make the changes so they don’t raise red flags in copyfitting or checksums or something–I’m a little nonspecific still on the details of how this would be done, and may in fact need to hire a subcontractor to help with this part, but that’s the basic idea. Just change maybe an ‘and’ to an ‘or’ with an extra space. Change an and to an or or vice versa.

Or go bigger. Write some new administrative law in some obsure and unexpected place. Fabricate a legislative history, and this is important: Leave it be.

Let it sit there for a while. Don’t draw attention to it at first.

Wait long enough that it exceeds the grasp of short-term memory. Give it time to be propagated in printed materials. If your fabricated law is boring and administrative enough, people won’t expect to remember much in the way of debate or letters to the editor, and they’ll probably just accept its legitimacy without much question. Make it look like it was snuck in through the proper channels.

And then make a lot of money.

I don’t have any solid plans for what types of changes I’m going to make specifically, and if I did, I would probably not say because I’d want it to be a surprise. Hypothetically.

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Entry filed under: boring, hack, law, proof of concept, surprise.

Marketing idea What I can do for my country

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