[p2p-hackers] Stop Palladium and TCPA Now!

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Thu Feb 6 11:57:02 UTC 2003

Just thought I'd make a final comment on the TCPA/Palladium issue...

I know my opinion is somewhat out of step with most views in the
security community.  I think the differences are more political
than technical, though.  Opponents of the technology are generally
extrapolating possibilities which I agree would be genuinely harmful.
The worst case would be for trusted computing (TC) to be mandated by
legislation, with only government-approved software allowed to run.

If we can avoid such a disaster, I generally support the exploration of
new technologies like TC, even when they are used to implement digital
rights management.  It may seem paradoxical to work on Freenet and
anonymity while also supporting DRM technologies, but to me they are
all part of the same picture.  My politics are libertarian, which means
I don't take sides in the marketplace.  I want people to make informed
decisions, but I don't want to take away their options.

But enough philosophy.  As a final technical point, I think the community
is in danger of making a mistake in evaluating TCPA vs Palladium.  There
is a growing current that says TCPA=good (or at least OK), Palladium=bad.
I think in fact the proposals are much more similar in their goals and
their effects than this distinction suggests.  However the point may be
moot, as Microsoft's effective abandonment of TCPA in favor of Palladium
suggests that TCPA doesn't have much of a future.


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