Think DRM: Apple Adding Trusted Computing to OS X

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Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005, 08:33
Category: Hardware

A post on boingboing has some people ready to defect from the Macintosh platform. Ok, step off the ledge, it’s only a Slashdot report that “the new Intel kernel Apple has included with the Developer Kit DVD uses TCPA/TPM DRM. More specifically, it includes “a TCPA/Palladium implementation that uses a Infineon 1.1 chip which will prevent certain parts of the OS from working unless authorized.” (click through and read the comments).

This means that “open formats” are no longer meaningful. It means that the price of being a Mac user will be eternal vigilance. If this “feature” appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple’s OS, they’ll lose me as a customer — I’ve used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.

The Trusted Computing Group would have you believe that it’s all good but an article by the EFF has quite a different take on the situation:

There is a widespread perception that personal computer security is in an unfortunate state and that something must be done to fix it. There are many promising approaches to improving security — redesigning operating systems, changing programming methodologies, or altering the PC’s hardware itself. It is well known that a comprehensive defense against the security threats faced by PC users will involve several approaches, not just one. An insecure system can’t magically become “secure” with the addition of a single piece of technology.

Would you buy a Mac with Trusted Computing inside?


A post on boingboing has some people ready to defect from the Macintosh platform. Ok, step off the ledge, it’s only a Slashdot report that “the new Intel kernel Apple has included with the Developer Kit DVD uses TCPA/TPM DRM. More specifically, it includes “a TCPA/Palladium implementation that uses a Infineon 1.1 chip which will prevent certain parts of the OS from working unless authorized.” (click through and read the comments).

This means that “open formats” are no longer meaningful. It means that the price of being a Mac user will be eternal vigilance. If this “feature” appears in a commercial, shipping version of Apple’s OS, they’ll lose me as a customer — I’ve used Apple computers since 1979 and have a Mac tattooed on my right bicep, but this is a deal-breaker.

The Trusted Computing Group would have you believe that it’s all good but an article by the EFF has quite a different take on the situation:

There is a widespread perception that personal computer security is in an unfortunate state and that something must be done to fix it. There are many promising approaches to improving security — redesigning operating systems, changing programming methodologies, or altering the PC’s hardware itself. It is well known that a comprehensive defense against the security threats faced by PC users will involve several approaches, not just one. An insecure system can’t magically become “secure” with the addition of a single piece of technology.

Would you buy a Mac with Trusted Computing inside?

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