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UK Government Pushing For 'Trusted Computing' 291

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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  • by koestrizer ( 2491576 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @12:36PM (#37810124)
    My Linux machine is well-protected and I don't need your meddling nor do I need Microsoft's.
  • Two words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @12:50PM (#37810210)

    Fuck. Off.

    I will be the final arbiter of what runs on MY computers. Not some nebulous "trusted computing" that is in the back pocket of proprietary software conglomerates. There's no point in it unless the real agenda is to wrest control from users' hands. (The recent "secureboot" crap for Windows 8 is a prime example.) It's my computer. It's my data. It's not yours. It won't ever be yours. And no amount of fearmongering will convince me you have my best interests in mind.

    Kiss my ass. No, really. Not on the left cheek, not on the right cheek, but RIIIIGHT in the MIDDLE.

  • My Linux machine is well-protected and I don't need your meddling nor do I need Microsoft's.

    That is indeed one of the reasons why this will not work: there are people using all kinds of different OSes, including all the mobile ones, desktop OSes and whatnot. If the UK government were to only allow devices with the trusted computing built-in both the hardware and software they'd be instantaneously removing access for everyone who is used to using mobile devices to access those services.

    Another case of government not understanding technology, yet still pushing everyone to adopt it.

  • by pmontra ( 738736 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @01:07PM (#37810334) Homepage
    Suppose you are a Linus Torvalds some years in the future. How do you create your own OS if your PC only boots existing OSes and you don't work for a company that can buy or create non TC hardware?
  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @01:29PM (#37810484) Homepage
    From the article:

    These are making the public safe online and ensuring the country is one of the best in the world for online business; making the UK more resilient in the face of cyber attack and better able to protect its interests; proving a more "open and vibrant" cyber security environment; and having the knowledge, skills and capability to underpin these.

    "Building the most resilient cyber defences in the world will not help if you are suffering from intellectual property theft," he said. "Trusted computing underpins security and can underpin growth, providing confidence in transactions, expanding markets and making them function more efficiently."

    The first quoted sentence is the usual self congratulating typical for British politicians, nothing to see here, move along.
    The second part of the quote starts with divulging who is sponsoring this 'action'.


  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @03:15PM (#37811326) Homepage Journal
    A chip that allows utter control of a computer remotely, and security advantages ?

    underground crime networks wouldnt blink an eye and would not waste even a '0-day' before they hack them to their advantage.

    Politicians are stupid from an i.t. perspective. They shouldnt be allowed to talk on anything i.t.
  • Too many issues (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @05:21PM (#37812114) Homepage Journal

    There are too many issues of lock-in and lock-out associated with so-called "Trusted Computing", in particular the potential to block users from installing their operating system of choice on the hardware they own.

    So far the TPM initiatives deployed by the vendors have failed one after the other. X-Box, PS3, smart phones -- every TPM system I know of to date has failed to provide the protection promised, while restricting freedom of choice by the general public.

    As a result, the only ones who really benefit from TPM are those who want to implement hardware DRM (digital restrictions management.) I'm not willing to give up my software freedoms to support the media companies.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.