Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Microsoft Ready To Achieve Lock-in

A new report available online sheds even more light on how bad the situation relating to what was originally known as Microsoft Palladium and later as TCPA is rapidly becoming.

The report, entitled "Trusted Computing: Promise and Risk" maintains that computer owners themselves, rather than the companies that provide software and data for use on the computer, should retain control over the security measures installed on their computers.

The paper suggests that while Microsoft swiftly attempts to move fast ahead with its plans, by continuosly changing the official name of this highly ill-fated initiative, the actual dangers mounting up for each one of us, as final users of this system, are increasing visibly by the day.

The latest attempt to distract the uniformed and to throw some confusion by way of another one acronym to define the project has given birth to the NGSCB, a new strategy by Microsoft, which has been better known as as Palladium/TCPA, and which is intended to integrate security features, DRM features and hardware into a single security package.

"The impact on security of this lock-in is real and endangers society," the paper states, adding that "there can be no more critical duty of...governments than to ensure that a spread of trusted computers does not blithely create yet more opportunities for lock-in."



The writers of the above paper urge the US federal government to do everything that is possible to guarantee that future Microsoft technologies, such as this very controversial NGSCB or "next-generation secure computing base" formerly known as "Palladium," don't sharply increase Microsoft evident attempts for final conusmer lock-in through false security and misleading security-targeted technologies.

The authors also clearly suggest to the U.S. government to

a) force Microsoft to make publicly available the interface specifications to major functional components of its code,

b) to singificantly better support interoperable components to allow others to compete with more secure technology,

c) to define and set specifications through industry standards bodies and consortia.

As a matter of fact, under the new acronym NGSCB (Next Generation Secure Computing Base) Microsoft continues to pursue its plan of "world dominance" through the much hyped positive virtues of its DRM strategy which could mean death for the Internet as we now it and the ability for small publishing companies to survive through the same means they have today.

The same report also seriously condemns Microsoft for using security propaganda to lock in consumers to its own technology. t also recommends and advises that the company be held liable for any damage caused by its own self-generated security threats and for its highly controversial mass-imposed solutions.

The technology under NGSCB depends upon deep collaboration between Microsoft and a good group of hardware providers will integrate technologies embedded in future processors, inside the keyboard (which will also incorporate cryptographic technology), inside the video display and of course inside Windows itself, through a software component dubbed the "Nexus".

Because its ultimate success depends on ubiquity, Palladium is either going to be a great and popular success or as a complete failure. "We have to ship 100 million of these before it really makes a difference," says Microsoft vice president Will Poole. That's why the company can't do this without some heavyweight partners.
Unknown to most users, this is highly controversial technology, has been skillfully designed to act as a Trojan for Microsoft-directed digital rights management (DRM) strategy. Microsoft approach is implemented by creating a secondary, fully transparent operating environment within Windows that would provide completely secure integration between software applications, central memory, storage and peripherals.

"The project would create a special zone within a PC where software could run securely. Such a protected space could prevent unauthorized applications from changing data, making it far more difficult for programs such as viruses and Trojan horses to run. In addition, the inclusion of digital rights management technology, which has been on the wish list of Hollywood media giants, could make it nearly impossible to copy digital media files, analysts said."

See also:

  • Trust or Treachery? November 7, 2002

  • Windows security gain or privacy pain?

  • Palladium Raises Eyebrows Jul 24, 2002

  • Why we can't trust Microsoft's 'trustworthy' OS

  • Microsoft Palladium Threat Just Around The Corner Now

  • Raising Fears That Microsoft Palladium Is A Threat

  • Microsoft Strategy for World Wide Web Dominance

    Sovereignty issues and Palladium/TCPA

  • Is A Tiny Bit Of Your Privacy At Risk?

  • If you want to take some action you may consider:

  • Studying and learning more about this topic
  • Asking more questions
  • Signing up this petition to End TCPA and Invasions of Privacy.
  • Reading what the EFF has to say about this:
    Who Controls Your Computer? Oct. 2, 2003
  • Studying over Lawrence Lessing essays on the topic when writing for Red Herring
    "Anti-trusting Microsoft" (PDF) Sept. 2002

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    posted by Robin Good on Sunday, October 12 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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