Electronic steganographic techniques can be used to encode a rights management control signal onto an information signal carried over an insecure communications channel. Steganographic techniques ensure that the digital control information is substantially invisibly and substantially indelibly carried by the information signal. These techniques can provide end-to-end rights management protection of an information signal irrespective of transformations between analog and digital. An electronic appliance can recover the control information and use it for electronic rights management to provide compatibility with a Virtual Distribution Environment. In one example, the system encodes low data rate pointers within high bandwidth time periods of the content signal to improve overall control information read/seek times.