Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
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-REC Fears of Misuse of Encryption System Are Voiced
[16 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Jun 2002]

New York Times; John Markoff; June 19, 2002. Anticipating Palladium?

A leading European computer security and privacy advocate is challenging an effort by the American computer industry to create a standard to protect software and digital content, calling the plan a smoke screen by established companies to protect their existing markets.

In a paper to be presented at a technical conference in Toulouse, France, on Thursday, Ross Anderson, a University of Cambridge computer scientist, attacks the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance, an organization formed in October 1999 by Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Intel and Microsoft . The companies say their intent is to provide a cryptographic system that would ensure privacy and protect intellectual property.

... Dr. Anderson also warns that widespread adoption of the standard from the alliance, known as T.C.P.A., could put large United States computer companies in a position to thwart competition by controlling who gets to use the standard and on what computer platforms.

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-REC Security in Open versus Closed Systems -- The Dance of Boltzmann, Coase and Moore
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jun 2002]

Cambridge University; Ross Anderson; June 2002. The paper referenced in the New York Times

Abstract. Some members of the open-source and free software community argue that their code is more secure, because vulnerabilities are easier for users to find and fix. Meanwhile the proprietary vendor community maintains that access to source code rather makes things easier for the attackers. In this paper, I argue that this is the wrong way to approach the interaction between security and the openness of design. I show first that under quite reasonable assumptions the security assurance problem scales in such a way that making it either easier, or harder, to find attacks, will help attackers and defendants equally. This model may help us focus on and understand those cases where some asymmetry is introduced.

However, there are more pressing security problems for the open source community. The interaction between security and openness is entangled with attempts to use security mechanisms for commercial advantage -- to entrench monopolies, to control copyright, and above all to control interoperability. As an example, I will discuss TCPA, a recent initiative by Intel and others to build DRM technology into the PC platform. Although advertised as providing increased information security for users, it appears to have more to do with providing commercial advantage for vendors, and may pose an existential threat to open systems.

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-Digital Rights Managment: Promoting Science and Art, or Monopoly Power?
[13 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jun 2002]; dipierro; June 24, 2002. More on DRM in the wake of Palladium and the announcement of Anderson's paper - lots of links

Digital Rights Managment (DRM) is the antithesis of the concept of open standards that created and facilitated the internet. The purpose is to hinder unauthorized duplication or distribution of content produced in digital form. Opponents of DRM argue that it also hinders authorized duplication and distribution such as fair use. But some proponents argue that duplication and distribution are already prohibited by copyright law, and the use of DRM systems is voluntary.

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-Trusted Computing Platform Alliance Homepage
[14 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 0.00] [Added: 25th Jun 2002]

Homepage of the Intel, Microsoft, IBM, HP and Compaq group
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