October 22, 2002

Can You Trust Your Computer? - essay by RMS

Richard Stallman has a great essay about the issues surrounding "Trusted Computing"/Palladium/DRM, etc:

Can You Trust Your Computer?

Notably, it touches on many issues that have been discussed in the past few weeks, such as general vs. restricted purpose: (my emphasis)

"Treacherous computing" is a more appropriate name, because the plan is designed to make sure your computer will systematically disobey you. In fact, it is designed to stop your computer from functioning as a general-purpose computer.

The language aspect:

The presentation made frequent use of other terms that we frequently associate with the context of security, such as "attack," "malicious code," "spoofing," as well as "trusted." None of them means what it normally means. "Attack" doesn't mean someone trying to hurt you, it means you trying to copy music. "Malicious code" means code installed by you to do what someone else doesn't want your machine to do. "Spoofing" doesn't mean someone fooling you, it means you fooling Palladium. And so on.

And all the wonderful things we'll be able to do with these new capabilities:

Making sharing impossible is bad enough, but it gets worse. There are plans to use the same facility for email and documents -- resulting in email that disappears in two weeks, or documents that can only be read on the computers in one company.


There are proposals already for U.S. laws that would require all computers to support treacherous computing, and to prohibit connecting old computers to the Internet. ... To oppose treacherous computing, we must join together and confront the situation as a collective choice.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on October 22, 2002 01:13 PM (Infothought permalink)

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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