Here’s a valuable lesson for you college students out there, from Dave Meizlik: if your professor is married to one of the leads at a DLP vendor, think twice before plagiarizing a published dissertation.

We talked generally for a while about the problem and then it hit me what if I downloaded a bunch of relevant dissertations, fingerprinted them with a DLP solution, and then sent the girls dissertation through the systems analysis engine for comparison? Would the DLP solution be able to detect plagiarism? It almost seemed too simple. … So when we got home from lunch I started up my laptop and RDP”d into my DLP system. I had my wife download a bunch of relevant dissertations from her school”s database, and within minutes I fingerprinted roughly 50 dissertation files, many of which were a couple hundred pages in length, and built a policy to block transmission of any of the data in those files. I then took her students dissertation and emailed it from a client station to my personal email. Now because the system was monitoring SMTP traffic it sent the email (with the student”s paper as an attachment) to the content analysis engine. I waited a second another and then I impatiently hit send receive and there it was, an automated notification telling me that my email had violated my new policy and had been blocked.

I suspect that’s one grad student who’s going to be serving fries soon…