Home > Privacy, Security > Will Trusted Computing Mean the End the PC as We Know It? Will Trusted Computing Mean the End the PC as We Know It? Eugenia Loli 2003-04-16 Privacy, Security 38 Comments An interesting Palladium editorial is at Linux-mag, going through the pros and cons of the technology. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 38 Comments 2003-04-16 4:22 am Whether or not Palladium is GPL compliant is not Microsoft’s concern. If it is, fine but if it is not then Herr Stallman and his goosestepping cronies will have to come up with a new licensing scheme or become irrelevant. I’d prefer they become irrelevant personally. 2003-04-16 4:23 am Palladium is the result of on going battle between Microsoft and Sony for control of the entertainment market, Linux and GPL unfortunate casualty. Don’t worry nothing will change from our current situation. Apple will be Apple, Microsoft will be Microsoft, and Sony will back Linux (not Linux in current form but the one provided by Sony for the Playstation kit). The real loser will be the consumer as usual. 2003-04-16 4:23 am another interesting tidbit over here http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20030415S0013 whitfield diffie and Ronald Rivest comment on palladium … 2003-04-16 4:39 am Linux does no have to play that game…that is all. Linux is not proped up by MS apps so losing those apps will not be a big deal. 2003-04-16 4:39 am another thing that is left out of the debate. What about most worms and viruses already propagating in the wild, I mean most of them are exploits and macros being executed by iis (trusted palladium application perchance?) and outlook’s constant macroviruses (yet another trusted application) I wish I also could get lost in the buzzword jungle.. dont..want..to..think… 2003-04-16 4:55 am without DMCA to enforce it. Meaning, anyone who tries to crack it will face the warth of the DMCA. Oh my, what interesting times we live in. George Orwell was wrong! Big brother is not the government but corporation. 2003-04-16 5:10 am Laura wants to download a music CD. The site that offers the CD verifies that Laura’s computer can be trusted. After Laura pays for the music, she downloads the CD. Parts of the music are keyed specifically to her computer, potentially encrypted, so that only her computer can decrypt and play back the music. Consumers will not accept this – anyone remember Circuit City and DIVX? I want the ability to play music on any device I want (iPod, car MP3 player, PC, stereo etc), and this restriction will keep people away. Manufacturers can introduce all the locks they want, but when people decide to purchase the cheaper asian brands instead (no DRM), these manufacturers will be forced to introduce back doors and what-not. For example, here in Australia most DVD players are region free straight out from the box. The world is bigger than Orwells USA. 2003-04-16 5:35 am The ideas they’re trying to implement are needed badly for internet security, but letting MS have the helm is like giving expecting a Wolf to guard Sheep! They can say they won’t abuse it, but their track record speaks for itself…very badly of MS. Perhaps the key to multimedia on PCs is working along media devices rather than actually playing media. There’s a trend in small form factor PCs to add instant-on hardware players for common media formats rather than fully booting. If these could be accessed by any OS for “remote control” then you could already have a much better comprimise than what is proposed in either scheme. The “free market” can surprise even Mighty Corporations sometimes. 2003-04-16 6:09 am Microsoft has apparently forgotten what made them so indecently wealthy: selling software for the PC. And PC means, if I recall corectly, _Personal_ Computer. Now this Palladium stuff is trying to turn most of the PCs into a single supercomputer with centralized administration/control. So the PC isn’t P(ersonal) anymore. It’s just an expensive collection of hardware you can use if you obey “big brother”. … “and he points out that Palladium will be an optional, not mandatory, feature that users can enable at will.” … But the essential stuff here is that Microsoft says Palladium is _optional_. Which is probably proof that they remember the source of their wealth. So is Palladium still relevant? As for the TCPA, they probably want to stay in business too 2003-04-16 6:19 am The reality is that 95% of people live outside the USA. PC hardware production is totally dominated by Asian companies. The reality is that sooner or later even companies like Intel will be threatened by Asian rivals. Software production and many IT services will eventually move largely to low wage (but well educated) countries such as India, China and Russia. There isn’t much that Microsoft can do if a PC is built in China by LG with an Indian linux distro and ultracheap Taiwanese designed components. A US$99 computer will be a a realistic proposition within 1-2 years. No-one will pay more than the cost of a PC to purchase an OS. PCs will probably become almost disposable like mobile phones and bundled with broadband connections with a 2 year contract. Your contract will give you a preconfigured PC that will be delivered and setup by the cable provider. There will probably be an AOL type client and a Lindows type software repository. The razor thin operating margins will make the use of commercial software unviable. Larry Ellison said a few days ago that the good times are over forever for the computing industry. The future of the computer is with Asian manufacturers of consumer electronics like LG and Matsushita. My suggestion to any IT people out there – retrain for another career. Most future IT jobs will be in low wage countries. 2003-04-16 6:39 am fas-cism (fâsh’iz’em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. — The American Heritage Dictionary 2003-04-16 7:33 am Windows has now restricted access to your applications and Documents. “…because users will be able to require cryptographic certification before they run applications or open documents on their system.” 2003-04-16 8:50 am sanchos said “George Orwell was wrong! Big brother is not the government but corporation.” Both actually. Something Libertarians would do well to grasp if they ever could get past their dusty hate-on for govt. 2003-04-16 10:39 am Sancho said: “George Orwell was wrong! Big brother is not the government but corporation.” Deep. Very deep. I like it! 2003-04-16 12:27 pm Zenja – the difference is that Circut City just bailed from the market. Now consider if they pushed to have laws changed so that there wasn’t a consumer option. Tariffs and import restrictions can negate the foreign options. Right now – practically no consumer wants to pay for 10 extra songs just to get 1; but thay do and they are labled “criminals” for trying anything else. Don’t be surprised at what consumers will support if the law and lack of choices forces them. 2003-04-16 12:34 pm If I write a program and then set the installer to require Palladium to install my program on your computer because I want to keep it from being pirated (ie most software houses), then you must turn it on. Once it’s turned on, you can’t turn it off because then all your applications wont work. Now, MSFT doesn’t like people pirating Office; so they require Palladium to be turned on for Office to work. MSFT also says that the web site I’m on can require Palladium to be turn on before I’ll let me download stuff. Since most media is handled by IE, IE would have to be a trusted application. Thus if you turn off Palladium, then you can’t use IE, Office, and just about any other piece of software out there. The bottom line is: Use Palladium or use Open Source. If you use Open Source, then some web sites wont work because they require you’re computer to be “Trusted”. Don’t expect newer DVDs or CDs to work; they’ll require the device to be “Trusted” before allowing themselfs to be played. 2003-04-16 12:45 pm Is this not just another technology fork? We’ve had these ‘forks’ for years – Vinyl vs. CD, Betamax vs. VHS etc. Although these are not good for consumers, the market does finally decide who the winner is, whether technically superior or not. Many corporate environments are so locked-down already that their ‘workstations’ are no more than toasters, and the opportunity to impose ever greater levels of control is going to be welcomed (many people who have nothing positive to contribute find fulfillment in making negative contributions). That said, there are also plenty of people who expect to be able to do anything (within reason) that they want with their property, and would no more consider a Palladium (or similar) PC than they would buy a car that could only travel on manufacturer-approved roads. It’s no wonder that M$ say that Palladium will be able to be switched off – It has the potential to break M$ if made compulsary. Alternatively, if it ends up as just another ‘Microsoft Update’-type service, but more so, then it’s going to be very popular as it’ll take the hassle out of applying critical security patches every few days. All this DRM and DMCA nonsense looks (to a non-American) like an politically powerful industry trying to avoid change and, in particular, to maintain the inflated value for its products that it has managed to impose on its customers by law instead of by virtue. Leaving aside arguments about so-called democratic systems that force politicians to sell themselves to the highest bidder, when someone finds a way to make enough money out of electronically distributing music and video, then the market will get a shake out and the obsolete business models will disappear, along with many of the jobs in the music and video businesses, unfortunately. I reckon that this should be viewed in light of some of the other stuff winging its way towards us. Will people really be buying general purpose computers when their needs will be better met by appliances such as Internet phones, Internet ‘entertainment centres’, and thin clients? As far as OSS goes, it’s been around for a looong time. Are there really going to be fewer enthusiasts, fewer people who will not use pirated software, and fewer people who simply prefer to avoid the mainstream, in the future than there has been in the past? Finally, again from a non-American perspective, there are already enough concerns about what is already lurking in Windows, and what might be being put in as a result of whatever deal M$ did with the US government to escape its monopolistic woes, to regard Windows as perhaps not quite as trustworthy as one might hope for, Palladiumised or not. Never has source code inspection been so important. 2003-04-16 1:04 pm The sad thing is that DRM and DMCA and the associated hooplah will someday result in a new generation of western youth who will never have been able to take apart a radio a tv or mod their game console. These will be a new generation that can’t innovate because they will never have been able to *tinker*. My guess, personally, is that the future is for india and china. America, Europe, and the any other place that follows America’s example will soon find themselves irrelevant. We’ll no longer be able to compete — on any technological field — and as such the work will go overseas and eventually, so will all the money and resources. I’d wager that in 50 years the west is nothing. Maybe we’ll be a source for cheap labor whan asia becomes prosperous and needs to ship it’s manufacturing somewhere cheaper! Wouldn’t that be ironic. 2003-04-16 1:30 pm Isn’t ‘Palladium’ the Microsoft implementation of this TCPA shit? Then why is everyone talking about ‘Palladium-compatibility’ on a complete different OS? (Linux, BSD, ..) 2003-04-16 2:15 pm Hollywood and greedy corporations backed up by their stooges (politicians sitting in Congress and Senate) keep pushing users year after year. If they have any sense of reality they have to realize that there’s such a thing when paying users will not take BS any more. Thank God they created the global market which will be the demise of this draconian and fascist measures. We the people (paying users) have to make an allied front together with open source software alliances and libertarian organizations. 2003-04-16 2:26 pm The worst part of it, is that the vast majority of people is slowly getting used to the idea that this is the “natural way” of things to be. Companies deciding what software you can “trust/run”, having HP recording you call to support center, what credit card you have and what you use it for, and the list grows every hour. >[ …the fact that you are paranoid, doesn’t they are not after you… 2003-04-16 2:47 pm Sorry, but if Palladium works as the article describes it, it’s going to be very easy to break. The big problem here is that it’s vulnerable to man in the middle attacks – if I can alter the hardware to produce whatever key I choose at any time, all someone has to do to distribute encrypted programs is include the key it was bought with with them. -Erwos 2003-04-16 3:31 pm Isn’t ‘Palladium’ the Microsoft implementation of this TCPA shit? no TCPA is the hardware side back by almost all the major vendors. Palladium needs TCPA in order for it to be effective. 2003-04-16 3:36 pm “Sorry, but if Palladium works as the article describes it, it’s going to be very easy to break. ” RTFM, its not that easy. You see Xbox was a test case for palladium like trusted computering. Microsoft is learning alot from Xbox hackers. 2003-04-16 3:48 pm “George Orwell was wrong! Big brother is not the government but corporation.” America is Business. Sometimes big business, once in a while small business, but Business nonetheless. How many of you were taught in school that the united states was “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, only to go to work after your school years and find out that it’s actually “of the bosses, by the bosses, for the stockholders? (bosses?)” The current state of affairs is just an outgrowth of the Orwellian paradoxes that capitalism (American style,) imposes on people. You can say what you want here, but make sure you keep your mouth shut at the right time. The upside of all this is that everything is born, grows, and dies. I have personal experience of how corporate greed can virtually destroy an ecology. I also have personal experience of the fact that eventually even *those* effects go away, and slowly but surely, some kind of prosperity and community and stability creeps back in. Right now, very rich people are afraid they will lose one or more of their boats, cars, yaghts, and/or mansions because of the unwashed masses on the Internet. We are going to suffer from their reactions, but eventually, all the boats sink, all the cars rust out, and all the mansions become museums. Meanwhile, the peasants continue farming and programming and writing their own music. That is what will be left in the end. 2003-04-16 4:06 pm “For example, here in Australia most DVD players are region free straight out from the box.” Are those players PAL, NTSC, or both? I need to pick one of those up. Regions on DVDs have largely been a failure. I suspect that Palladium however, will NOT fail. You have all sorts of things creeping into hardware. Witness the copy protection garbage that crept into SCSI hardware within the last couple of years. All Microsoft, and others, need to do is build it into the hardware for the next couple of years without doing anything with it. Then, just activate it. You’re toast, they own it. 2003-04-16 4:07 pm All this palladium stuff relies on the fact that the venders are going to make their hardware ready for it and TCPA based OSs…. How many of the smaller manufacturers in the east are going to swallow this crap? Ok, so compaq, HP, Gateway et all sign up, thats fine so they’ll become (essencially) M$ only. But there are hundreds of other companies that will offer cheeper brands that don’t need you to run M$. I think that unless M$ plays this absolutely correctly, then this could go horribly wrong for Bill, and end up instead opening the doors to “Alternative” OS’s like linux, bsd, Zeta, skyOS and dozens of other OS’s that are out there. How many users out their now use M$ with pirated software would want to continue using M$ if they know that pirating will no longer work and there are alternatives that will? People are cheep and software isn’t. They say piracy hurts these industrys…. but how many people bought Amigas or Ataris when they were big because they could get free games? Or buy music cds after downloading a track off of napster when they were still around and liking what they heard? Its no coincidence that CD sales slumped after Napster dissapeared. In trying to control their respective markets, the industry giants have often ended up hurting themselves and I can see history repeating itself with this. Regards Alan Fisher 2003-04-16 4:24 pm You are right that Palladium will definitely be hacked. With hardware mods it probably won’t even take that long. However, the teeth of Palladium is in the DMCA. Palladium need only offer a token resistance to hacking and then MS can prosecute hackers under the DMCA. 2003-04-16 4:31 pm Look guys, it’s not “capitalism’s” fault. Capitalism works. Democracy works. It’s only when the masses don’t do their part to educate themselves and think critically and analyze that we have problems. America is a strong nation of reasonably educated people. Everyone is assuming that folks will have no choice, that the dangers will never be published. This is a highly controversial subject, and if and when MS attempts to impose this on home desktop users, people will react against it. People dislike Microsoft enough already. Blaming capitalism because people sometimes put out bad products is bad enough. Using articles to push this self-important posturing with Orwellian undertones and a right-wing axe is just plain childish. 2003-04-16 5:07 pm >>Look guys, it’s not “capitalism’s” fault. Capitalism works. Democracy works<< Absolutely capitalism works – when unencumbered by government, and also when it doesn’t use government to control it’s playing field. If business controls the market through law, then it is closed – the free market doesn’t exist. Democracy works too – but you forget that money is speech – the more money you have, the more you get to speak through your elected representative – hence, ridiculous laws that benefit not the general public, but multinational corporations instead. >>It’s only when the masses don’t do their part to educate themselves and think critically and analyze that we have problems.<< In “Hello, Dolly!” Walter Matthau’s character Horace said that “Eighty percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in danger of contamination.” I have found that quote to be almost dead on the money. Most people won’t do their part, can’t think critically, and are incapable of analysis on the level you suggest. I have updated the quote for my own daily use – “97% of the people in the world are too stupid to live, and they are infecting the rest of us.” >>America is a strong nation of reasonably educated people<< What country do you live in? America is a strong nation, of undereducated and uninformed citizens, with the vast majority being downright stupid and able to be deliberately misinformed and misdirected into supporting something they do not understand. Pick 10 people off of the street right now, and seven of them will tell you the reason we invaded Iraq is because of the WTC attacks. Ask those same 10 people about PC OSes other than Windows, and only two of them will have heard of another one. Don’t give credit where credit isn’t due. The reality is, the general public will be scared by companies like Microsoft and politicians into thinking that Palladium is good and will protect them against those evil hackers and their viruses, and they will take what is shoved down their throats, and like it – even if it does cause them inconvenience. 2003-04-16 5:16 pm ThanatosNL wrote: America is a strong nation of reasonably educated people. [..] This is a highly controversial subject, and if and when MS attempts to impose this on home desktop users, people will react against it. I’m sorry to disagree, but I think that despite education, information and resources are much more important here. Let’s say Palladium forces you to use only Palladium compilant software, in the US you might go out and buy the Utility you need for u$s 25, Will America’s (or UK’s or Germany’s)people really care that this is because of palladium? Will they care to seek for the necessary information to realize what this is about? Will CNN+AOL+Warner+Netscape+Times give clear, objective, sincere information? Will those countries’ people realize that u$s 25 in a thirdworld country can equal a person’s monthly salary? Will they care about the impact of being forced to only use software “approved by the vendor” 🙁 I just want to express a different point of view, please don’t take any personal or political offence from my comments. 2003-04-16 5:20 pm http://news.com.com/2008-1082-996787.html “Huang’s recently completed book, “Hacking the Xbox” was recently dropped by Wiley subsidiary Hungry Minds, citing possible legal issues under the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Department of Justice recently used the DMCA to shut down ISOnews.com, a Web site partly used to distribute Xbox-hacking tools, and to imprison the site’s owner. ” Thank God, I live in the USA where we won’t have to deal with this shit. 2003-04-16 5:59 pm Professor Anderson explains thoroughly the real dangers of TCPA: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html 2003-04-16 6:04 pm >> Ask those same 10 people about PC OSes other than >> Windows, and only two of them will have … … any idea even what an OS is, much less Windows being one. 2003-04-16 6:16 pm >>… any idea even what an OS is, much less Windows being one.<< You got me there – I was giving too much credit to the intelligence of the average human being. 2003-04-16 6:32 pm Excellent Article !!! I would give my life to see “the people” wake, fight and beat this… but I suspect I’ll have a long life. “Why call the monitor chip a `Fritz’ chip? In honour of Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina, who is working tirelessly in Congress to make TCPA a mandatory part of all consumer electronics.” “Microsoft says that Palladium, unlike vanilla TCPA, will be able to run trusted and untrusted applications at the same time in different windows; this will presumably make it easier for people to start using it.” 2003-04-17 1:57 am Hell Yeah, so not long now eh! Pack your bags ppl, Amiga OS4 will be your next upgrade, and not this Longhorn ahiesen! 2003-04-17 2:13 am You can buy a region free DVD player (NTSC + PAL) for as little as AU$100 (about US$60) in Australia.