November 23, 2003

Treacherous Xboxes - "Trusted Computing" and Xbox-ization

[I wrote this as a contribution to a discussion thread regarding "Trusted Computing" and whether the goal of that is to turn the PC into restricted console similar to the gaming machine "Xbox"]

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:01:27 EST
To: dmca_discuss[at-sign]
Subject: Treacherous Xboxes

Seth-DS, [David Schoen] I believe there is a slight disconnect between what you are thinking regarding the meaning of the phrase "not trying to turn the PC into an Xbox", and where "treacherous computing" is in fact trying to turn the PC into an Xbox. And this is leading to some talking-past-each-other.

There is indeed some subtlety here. That is, there are two senses where the above can be true. The Axis-Of-Copyright would like the PC to be an Xbox in terms of it being an appliance which is a dedicated terminal for their marketing. The vendors would like the PC to be an Xbox in terms of having it be restricted to running only approved, licensed, hardware and software. These are not quite the same thing. The subtle difference is, I believe, the only thing which is saving us from having TCPA platforms mandated immediately (see Broadcast Flag).

Both of these, however, are thoroughly inimical to owner control! Hence the users-are-enemies orientation you've noted yourself.

In either case, "Owner Override" is contradictory, so it won't ever be allowed.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in security | on November 23, 2003 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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