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DRM Privacy Microsoft Security

Would You Secure Personal Data With DRM Tools? 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend dept.
museumpeace writes "From its own EmTech conference, Technology Review reports on a privacy strategy from Microsoft's Craig Mundie: When sharing music online took off in the 1990s, many companies turned to digital rights management (DRM) software as a way to restrict what could be done with MP3s and other music files — only to give up after the approach proved ineffective and widely unpopular. Today Craig Mundie, senior advisor to the CEO at Microsoft, resurrected the idea, proposing that a form of DRM could be used to prevent personal data from being misused." Mundie also thinks it should be a felony to misuse that data. He thinks larger penalties would help deter shady organizations from harvesting data the user isn't even aware of. "More and more, the data that you should be worried about, you don’t even know about."
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Would You Secure Personal Data With DRM Tools?

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday October 11, 2013 @03:59PM (#45104267) Journal

    You know, because it works so well, it has completely wiped out the drug trade, and there's no more murders now with our fancy death penalty. Prison for all! Lock 'em up before they commit the crime. That's even better. When you're born, it's straight to jail, until you have rehabilitated yourself.

  • Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:11PM (#45104357) Journal
    Even if you thought that this was a good idea, how would you?

    The foundation of DRM is building computers whose primary allegiance is to some entity other than their owners, with this allegiance enforced by technical means (and, in the most pure form, building computers that 'default-deny' all non-DRMed content in order to make cracked cleartext copies from subverted systems useless: the iDevice 'app' situation or the contemporary console space is probably the best example of this: both realize that the cat is out of the bag for music, and most of the way for movies; but unblessed application binaries are simply refused; so, while doing so is easy, obtaining 'cracked' apps is useless without a blessed signing key).

    If the intended victim is end users, this works; because the root-of-control entity simply has to have financial and/or legal ties with the 'content owners' that are closer than its ties to end users.

    If actually-powerful-and-influential data brokers/advertisers/spooks/etc. are the target, though, who, pray tell, is going to be the cryptographic root of control? Google? Uncle Sam? Microsoft? Don't be absurd.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:13PM (#45104369) Journal

    In this case, the "DRM" in question a tiny bit of metadata saying "please don't do X with this".

    Sure, your data is encrypted, but as with all DRM, you're giving out the decryption key along with it. It was always a stupid idea that can NEVER work.

    If you want to see the end result of well-implemented DRM, see Blu-rays... Everybody can play and copy any Blu-ray disc they want, but somebody has to go through the small hassle to do so. If the official player programs weren't closed-source and heavily obfuscated, it wouldn't even take any effort at all. That is really why Microsoft likes to push DRM... It's a back-door way to eliminate open source software from consideration.

    So the crux of his point is: âoeYou want to say that there are substantial legal penalties for anyone that defies the rules in the metadata. I would make it a felony to subvert those mechanisms.â

    Without the laws in place to enforce that, DRM doesn't help you AT ALL. With the laws in place to restrict what can be done with your private information, YOU DON'T NEED THE DRM.

  • clever trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by duckintheface (710137) on Friday October 11, 2013 @04:19PM (#45104407)

    When Microsoft suggests anything to "protect" the user, I immediately look for the trap. In this case it's easy to find. When DRM violations are made a felony, it won't be a felony only when the violated party is the user. This is a back door way to make DRM violations against big corporations a felony. This has nothing to do with protecting users and everything to do with helping corporations.

If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.