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Here's something that may make attempts such as Clipper a bit harder to
mandate, if this (non-escrowed, I believe) system becomes common. It should
also provide some pressure for relaxation of ITAR.
(c) 1995 Copyright Nando.net
(c) 1995 Reuter Information Service
A security system developed at the University of California at San
Francisco prevents unauthorized access to x-rays and other medical
images transmitted via computer networks. A scientist described the
system in a report prepared for a radiologists' convention here.
Stephen Wong, assistant professor of radiology and bioengineering, and
colleagues developed the system for the picture archiving and
communications system used at the university to store and transmit
digitized medical images.
He said the authenticity of the images as well as patient
confidentiality must be protected.
"We have to make sure that the digital information and images are not
altered accidentally or surreptitiously," Wong said. "In addition,
x-rays and other imaging studies are part of the patient's medical
record and must be protected from unauthorized access."
The system uses mathematical formulas or codes to scramble the images
through encryption. It involves a "two-key" system -- one code enables
public access but a second, private code is required to unscramble the
The private code, known only to the individual to whom the information
is transmitted, is 1,024 computer bits long, Wong said.
In emergencies where fast transmission is needed, the unscrambled
image is transmitted with a digital "fingerprint," a smaller code that
assures the intended viewer that no one has altered the original
Wong prepared his report for the annual meeting of the Radiological
Society of North America.