[linux-elitists] News conference, demonstrations, and talks in mid-July 2003

Jay Sulzberger jays@panix.com
Thu Jul 3 19:40:48 PDT 2003

On Thu, 3 Jul 2003, Nick Moffitt wrote:

> begin  Jay Sulzberger  quotation:
> > Further much time, effort, and money has been spent to force
> > Palladium hardware into every IBM style peecee to be sold over the
> > next few years.  If the Palladium hardware actually were to allow
> > free booting, then what is the point of this large scale project?
> 	To make it feasible to release binaries (programs, movies,
> music) that can only be played on a signed OS on "Palladiated"
> hardware.  If you run a non-signed OS (such as Debian or FreeBSD),
> then you lack the necessary crypto to make use of these files.  If you
> run a signed OS, you have limited use of these files.
> 	The pernicious aspect of Palladium is that copies of Word[TM]
> and other MS Windows apps may begin creating files that can *only* be
> viewed on a signed OS.  Programs like mswordview or antiword would
> cease to be useful, and Abiword's import features would be severely
> hampered.  It seems like a wedge to drive between signed and
> non-signed OSes, not a mechanism for keeping non-signed OSes from
> being run.

The Palladium attack on free software is a large effort, and large forces
have been assembled and are in process of being deployed.  I agree that the
effects you point out are part of the whole plan of assault.  My conjecture
is that these "horizontal network effects" are considered directly
important, and that they are also be viewed by the Englobulator commanders
as a useful softening up barrage, so that when another attack, like the
attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001, is made, Homeland Security will
find it easy to publish the list of Officially Trusted Authorized OSes, and
on this list will not appear those odd free OSes, which nobody, except
followers of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, really uses.

I just want to repeat what I hope to expand on in my next few notes:

1. Once Palladiated hardware is fully deployed, then it is easy to give an
Order From WorldHomeSec, that all cpu fabrication plants make a one bit
change in all lines: flip the "can load own OS" bit to "no".  I will say
more about this in my note on Amygdala's Error.  Note that the Taliban and
the Communist Party of China and the Congress of the United States are
already on record as being in favor of such an order.

2. Seemingly small barriers to market entry actually have large effects,
and we should fight against even small trammels, because they keep down our
market share, so that we are weak when the next deeper attacks against us
are mounted.


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