Washington DC April 1st, 2015 - Claiming that barcodes are too easily decoded and replicated, the National Security Agency today seized control of the UPC / Barcode numbering system and will issue new guidelines that require 256 bit encryption of all UPC codes effective immediately.
A spokesman for the NSA said briefly, “The NSA needs to have jurisdiction over anything that is a code. And obviously that includes bar codes.” "It’s just not right that bar codes are not encrypted - a code is a code - and all codes need encryption” "And this business about putting the secret contents of the code right underneath the code itself - we just don’t get that. What is the point of having a code if you give away the secret each time? "
The entire retail industry will need to be redesigned to meet the new security standards - virtually tens of millions of bar code reading devices will need to be recalled and re-programmed.
The numbering scheme will only be disclosed to companies that print packaging and labels, and to those companies that manufacture bar code readers, and those companies that need to use bar codes to conduct business.
“Furthermore" the spokesman added, "this business of letting anyone with a smartphone have the capability to decode a bar code - well, that simply will have to go. We believe in a ‘need-to-know' basis, and consumers don’t need to know what is in the code.”
When pressed, the NSA spokesperson admitted that they intend to require all barcode scanner manufacturers to include a back door for the NSA to access scanners in the retail world so as to ensure they are not being misused. “It is entirely possible for foreign agents to be passing secrets using common bar codes. We already have agents monitoring online video games - we also intend to have agents monitoring retail sales and the supply chain as well.”
(April 1st, 2015) ;-)
( Wishing you a pleasant and secure April Fools Day… )
By the way, you can help support the Electronic Freedom Foundation here: https://www.eff.org/