Who Controls Your Computer?

Seth Schoen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Oct 03, 2003
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a report on what has come to be called "trusted computing". In Microsoft's implementation, "trusted computing" cosnsists of four parts: memory curtaining, which prevents one program from looking at what another is doing; secure input and output, which prevents downloads from being read by non-authorized software; sealed storage, which allows only authorized software to read certain files; and remote attestation, which allows unauthorized changes to your computer software to be detected. The Foundation argues 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. Any other approach carries the risk of anticompetitive behavior by which software providers may enforce 'security measures' that prevent interoperability when using a competitor's software."
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