[p2p-hackers] Stop Palladium and TCPA Now!

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Mon Feb 3 12:17:01 UTC 2003

Zooko writes:
> Now, Adam is probably right that the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance spec 
> doesn't say that a TCPA computer must prevent you from booting Linux, but Seth 
> is right that the Treacherous Computing Platform Alliance *will* prevent you 
> from booting a free operating system and *will* control everything that you do 
> with your computer, and soon.

Are you being facetious here?  What is the Treacherous Computing Platform
Alliance and how does it differ from the Trusted Computing Platform
Alliance?  Are you just calling them names?

If so, where do you get your information about what the TCPA will do?
Don't they all explicitly claim that they won't impose restrictions on
what can boot?  How do you explain IBM's release of open source software
for using the TCPA hardware?

> As far as I can tell, the current TCPA spec is intended to make sure that you 
> can't view Microsoft Media DRM'ed videos through Wine, vmware, bochs, etc.  so 
> that you can't bypass the DRM.

I believe this is correct, the idea is that the TCPA boot process stores
various metrics of your boot sequence in some protected memory.  Then it
lets the OS lock (i.e. encrypt) data such that it can't be unlocked
if a different boot sequence is used.  So data could be locked under
a Windows OS such that it could not be unlocked under a non-Windows OS
(and vice versa, I suppose).

Given this capability, why do they need to stop you from booting Linux
as you claimed above?

And does this constitute "control [of] everything that you do with
your computer"?  Or is there something worse?

Hal Finney

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