"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management

Someone once said, "Follow the money." The aphorism is broadly applicable.

Note that the opinions expressed here are my own. In the interest of full disclosure, I currently am paid by Intel Corporation to do something akin to real work and I own Intel stock, but my work for them has nothing to do with Trusted Computing, nor do I have any privileged insights into that technology.

So here's my thought: I find irony that the Internet continues to be victimized through its own orifices, especially those on the common endpoints, while an appropriate solution, Trusted Computing, is getting a bad rap because some media companies want to use it to prop up their derelict business model (see Digital Rights Management (DRM)).

The digital rights problem seems to me to be a social problem in the market, not a technology problem. I think by associating Trusted Computing too closely with DRM. Tim Bray writes...

OK, if there’s ever a place where DRM is appropriate, it had better be open and non-monopolistic and all that.
And this is exactly right... the technology can be used broadly to support capability-based security down to the hardware. All software can be made more secure if this problem can be addressed effectively. The media companies are just a mountain in the road toward safer computing generally. We need market solutions to solve that problem, but the technology should be considered as a potential solution to the fact that insecure office and back office software are still exposing our orifices on the net to whomever wishes to pay an unwanted visit.

Trusted computing *and* greasemonkey might make a terrific combination. (With a fair bit of reengingeering unfortunately.)


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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.