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UK Government Pushing For 'Trusted Computing' 291

Posted by timothy
from the bland-acceptance dept.
Motor writes "As has long been expected — we are now beginning to see governments pushing for the use of so-called 'trusted computing' — chips installed in all computers that effectively remove control of the PC from its owner. While there may be security advantages to some of the ideas, few can doubt that it represents a fundamental shift in the IT world. A radical move away from an open technology landscape and towards a system that denies all access unless you have the right credentials. Governments will demand the right credentials to access their services — meaning approved software stacks (i.e Windows) with the right digital signatures. Vernor Vinge had it right ."
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UK Government Pushing For 'Trusted Computing'

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  • This won't last. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @12:37PM (#37810130) Homepage Journal

    Here is what we'll do.

    We will create and use our own internet and if you have one of those chips on your computer, we'll disable your access to it. Thanks Government for giving us a way of checking if someone is controlled by you!!

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @01:04PM (#37810312) Homepage Journal

    Actually, no, Richard Stallman had it right [gnu.org] long before Vernor Vinge.

    DRM has never been about getting paid, it has always been about keeping control. And for all the shit Microsoft got about Palladium, the Apple zealots sure turned a 180 in 2007.

    But the zealots are right about one thing - the iPhone is the future of computing. And that future is a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

  • by chill (34294) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @01:14PM (#37810368) Journal

    Easily, if you hold the keys. The trick is the keys that sign the boot image need to be in your control.

    Google does this with their CR-48 Chromebook. It will only boot Google-signed images. But, there is a small switch in the battery compartment to put it into developer mode where it'll boot any image.

    I *LIKE* TPM, as long as I generate the signing keys for the images. Then it'll boot what *I* tell it, and not necessarily what MS or the gov't, or anyone else tell it to.

    It ensure that *I* can trust my computer. Screw what they want to trust.

  • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @04:44PM (#37811896)

    Linux can use TPM just fine.

    It's one of those double edged swords - you can indeed, create a trusted platform. The question is, where does the trust reside?

    Despite all the the hoo-haa about MS pushing Secure Boot for Windows 8 machines, part of me thinks it's a good thing - it will help to prevent a certain class of rootkit. The downside is that I don't trust MS not to abuse the feature to make it harder to load other operating systems on your machine. A colleague of mine was impressed enough with a certain LiveUSB this week that he intends to try it out on his ageing, ailing, overcrufted Windows machine at home. If Secure Boot was enabled on his machine, this would not have been possible.

    Given the amount of software on my Windows machine at work devoted to snooping on what software I run, what files I have on my drive, and what websites I visit, the attitude is that my employer does not trust ME. To be honest, I wouldn't trust the average user not to foul up their computer. I might even welcome a trusted platform, if it meant that all this cruft went away and I could devote the resources to actually doing my job... but as a software developer, I can't run in an completely trusted environment, by definition, I have to be able to run software that has not been approved by our IT department, because I'm writing it.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @06:48PM (#37812654) Journal

    The right question to ask is: what proportion of people who bought iPhone or iPad would have still bought them if they were non-jailbreakable?

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