|FROM ||Ruben I Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [hangout] Prior restraint of Digital Use
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Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 21:04:08 -0500
From: Ruben I Safir
To: fairuse-at-nylxs.com, nylug-talk-at-nylug.org
Subject: [hangout] Prior restraint of Digital Use
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Reply-To: Ruben I Safir
List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
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NY Fair Use Action at Brooklyn College Sunday
Letter to the Editor: NY SUN
Trusted Computing - the beginning of the end of Freedom
The Associated Press Article run throughout the nation on
Tuesday, November 5th, 2002 on Digital Rights Management
and "Trusted Computing" made several factual errors. It showed
such poor research on the part of the reporter, Matthew Fordhahl,
that he should be released from his position.
Digital Rights Management and "Trusted Computing" can only be
described by honest people has wiretapping and unlawful breaking
and entering. It does nothing to allow for secure computing and
no evidence in the article is presented to justify this quote from
"Trustworthiness would be achieved by giving users two choices: trusted
and untrusted. On a computer running in untrusted mode, information would
be shared just as it has been for the last 20 years. It's also vulnerable to
The trusted realm, however, would be immune from such attack. Data and memory
would be held by a chip that lets in only trusted software"
Anyone with at least marginal understanding of computers would be flaberguasted
at the incredible stupidity of this argument. Every computing professional on
the planet outside of Redmond Washington knows that the security issues which
have plagued the PC platform for the last 20 years has been directly due to the
poor implementation and software design of commercial products on the market.
No encryption of memory is going to prevent Outlook from automatically executing
code. This executing of code has been marketed as a 'feature' built directly into the application.
In fact, historically, The Windows operating system has exposed it's entire
OS through public access channels which included the ISS Internet Web Server,
the Exchange Mail Server, and the entire Microsoft Office Suite. Hell, a few
years ago you could remove the entire Windows hard drive by simply viewing a
There is no need for a digital 'agent man' in you PC in order to
prevent secure private transactions. Publicly available cryptography is
currently readily available through GPG, VPN and IPSec, also known as freeSWan,
and we have encrypted hard drives for laptops. The major commercial vendors
have dragged their feet at making these things available, despite their
being free and available to the public for a decade.
So what then is the purpose to putting a "secret agent man" chip in every
PC. The purpose, and the only purpose, is to spy on you and to take your
property from you. Digital Rights Management is theft. It steals from the
public. It spies on you, it records your every activity, it exposes your
home and business to risk. It's about marketing through control, and
wiretapping. The public has be become more alert about these con games
designed to systematically end private ownership of information and the means
to store it, copy it and manipulate the information we own. The "Trusted
Computing" idea is nothing less than Stalinistic. In fact, Stalin would have
LOVED to been able to have a 'Trusted' media for his program of forced
coercion, propaganda and social control.
So who is culprit in this drive to take control of all the digital information
systems on the planet. None other than our good friend Jack Valelnti of the
MPAA. This is the same Jack Valenti who likened the VCR to the Boston
Strangler, and the same MPAA which has lost multiple anti-trust lawsuits and
tried to plant sub-liminal advertising into movies in the 50's and 60's.
According to the MPAA, having a 'secret agent man' in every digital device
will unlock the potential of our computers, presumably by letting us download
videos over the Internet. Jack was reported as saying that if Department of
Commerce wouldn't take the steps needed to prevent 'theft' of their property,
then they would get Congress to do it.
Indeed, we do need Congress to step in and protect personal property, the
personal property being seized by Stalinists like Jack Valenti. It is not
ethical to impose on the people digital systems which have chips which will
spy on us, and lock us out of our own information. Having a 'Secret Agent
Man' spyware chip in a PC is the same as quartering an agent of the government
in your home, to monitor everything you type, rip and watch.
The proposed systems will force everyone to use 'trusted' systems. The
reasons for this is obvious. Nobody can live in a vacuum. The public is the
first stakeholder in the access and control of information, even when that
information, like most information, is under copyright. The public will be
forced to use the snoop chips in order to read the newspaper, to listen to the
radio, to watch news footage, and to get a basic education. Since all
information published in the 20th Century is under strict copyright, we will
have no choice but to allow ourselves to be snooped on and spied on. And we
will be inhibited from participating as free people in a society where the
communication methods are increasingly digital.
Just as the public needed to be protected from wiretapping by the telephone
companies, the public now needs similar protection for their digital devices.
Doing otherwise is inhibiting competition in the market, and political
discourse. If we are to have any political rights in the future, then we need
to first be secure in our homes, and businesses. DRM is theft, and it is an
evasion of property. We must retain the right to use information without any
form of prior restraint. Without this ability, we become second class
citizens at the mercy of others.
Brooklyn Linux Solutions
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS http://fairuse.nylxs.com
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Consulting
http://www.inns.net <-- Happy Clients
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/resources - Unpublished Archive or stories and articles from around the net
http://www2.mrbrklyn.com/downtown.html - See the New Downtown Brooklyn....
New Yorker Free Software Users Scene
Fair Use -
because it's either fair use or useless....