|FROM ||Ray Connolly
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Now, it's getting scary, and FAST
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From: Ray Connolly
Subject: [hangout] Now, it's getting scary, and FAST
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 13:41:15 -0400
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Reply-To: Ray Connolly
List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
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This is getting out of hand bretheren. It's a sad day when this American
hopes a foriegn company will see the light and save us. What is this country
Palladium: Now AMD joins the party
Date: Friday, September 20 -at- 10:07:32 EDT
Advanced Micro Devices will include Microsoft's Palladium "trusted" --
meaning Microsoft-approved software only -- support in its next generation
of chips, according to published reports.
The Opteron chip, to be released in 2003, will refuse to run applications or
display content that has not been digitally signed by Microsoft or one if
its designees. This, Microsoft says, will increase security. Certainly it
will increase the security of Microsoft Corporation and its shareholders.
While a Microsoft project, Palladium is nominally under the control of the
Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, of which AMD is a member.
AMD has been working toward Palladium compliance for some time as a result
of pressure from the motion picture and music industries. It has worked with
Wave Systems Corporation to achieve this end; Wave published a report (pdf
file) on the subject more than two years ago.
In a report in The Age entitled "Bit by bit, digital freedom disappears",
writer Nathan Cochrane notes that Palladium will be all-encompassing:
"For the end-to-end security features to work as envisioned by the TCPA, all
parties along the network chain must build in complementary security
features. Chips from the likes of AMD and Intel will only decode
information, such as audio and video, if it comes with an unlocking key.
Hard-drive makers will make drives that won't record certain types of
information, and so on."
But, Cochrane says, it scarcely stops there, as if that were not bad enough:
"It is envisaged that once the TCPA system is fully functioning, our PCs
would quietly report to authorities any unauthorised content on our
machines. PCs and other devices would also refuse to play content, such as a
music CD, tied to another device, and may be instructed by a remote server
to delete information from the owner's hard drive."
At issue, of course, is what constitutes "content," and what Palladium will
do with applications that do not accept instructions from the motion picture
and recording industries and, of course, from Microsoft itself. Microsoft
has already released a Media Player update that allows the company to delete
files from user machines.
AMD's "vice president of consumer advocacy," Patrick Moorhead, says that
concerns over privacy in connection with Palladium are overrated. But, he
says, users should be able to defeat Palladium if they choose.
That might not be so easy. If legislation sponsored by Sen. Ernest Hollings,
Democrat of South Carolina, is approved, there could be federal prison time
awaiting anyone who disables "security" features his legislation would
mandate. The bill calls for adoption of whatever is the "industry standard"
technology for protecting the copyrighted work of movie and music companies,
which more and more looks as if it will be Palladium. (An analysis of
Hollings's proposal is here.)
If AMD persists in including Palladium in its new chips, the leading safe
haven for those who run non-Microsoft software will disappear. Unknown is
whether European and other nations, who have increasingly rejected the
Microsoft monopoly, will enact legislation that pre-empts Palladium.
Let your voice be heard, here's an email address at AMD: hw.support-at-amd.com
If somebody finds a better one please post it.
New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....