Forget the NWO, here comes Microsoft Palladium
In June 2002, Microsoft released initial details regarding its new "Palladium" initiative. Palladium is a hardware/software process that creates a
"trusted" computing platform. In doing so, it would establish an unprecedented level of third-party control over users and their computers.
Palladium, as currently defined, will place Microsoft as the sole gatekeeper of identification and authentication. However, the primary purpose are
the systems embedded in both software and hardware which will control access to content, thereby creating ubiquitous Digital Rights Management (DRM)
schemes that can track users and control use of Palladium signed media. Corbis, the massive photo archive owned by Bill Gates has announced that all
content will be digital and Palladium signed by the end of 2004. Microsoft expects to have elements of the system in place by 2004, and has begun
shipping aspects in their new Media Player.
Known Elements of the Palladium System
* The system purports to stop viruses by preventing the running of malicious programs.
* The system will store personal data within an encrypted folder.
* The system will depend on hardware that has either a digital signature or a tracking number.
* The system will filter spam.
* The system has a personal information sharing agent called "My Man."
* The system will incorporate Digital Rights Management technologies for media files of all types (music, documents, e-mail communications).
Additionally, the system purports to transmit data within the computer via encrypted paths.
Questions remain regarding the Palladium system. For instance, is such draconian system security even necessary? Many of the known elements are
already offered by third parties or could be accomplished through simple means. For instance, simply avoiding Outlook e-mail software, which in some
cases automatically executes attachments, can prevent the running of malicious code. Several fine products already exist that can store personal
information on encrypted partitions of the user's hard drive and watermark digital content, some schemes are even free open-source solutions.
The known elements of the Microsoft DRM system will control users and limit the abilities of computers. In essence, Microsoft will own the unique
decryption key that provides access to your own applications and content. Microsoft has obtained approval for two key patents (Digital Rights
Management Operating System, No. 6,330,670 and Loading and Identifying a Digital Rights Management Operating System, No. 6,327,652) in December 2001
that contained many of the basic elements of a "trusted" operating system.
In a June 2002 submission to BSDVault, one user noted that the user agreement in Microsoft's Windows Media Player allows the company to: "provide
security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer. These security related updates may disable
your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer." This allows Microsoft to control components of the users'
operating systems without notice or consent.
For more reading, try these sources:
Intel, Motorola, AMD, IBM, HP, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, and seven major after-market mother board manufacturors have announced support for Palladium.
Making this: www.apple.com...
seem better for those of you who haven't "switched."
OS kidding aside, the Skeptic Overlord is very concerned about this. And watch for Microsoft to attempt to become more cozy with AOL... this would be
What do you say?