All Your Data Are Belong To Us

At least, that’s what David Berlind reports:Microsoft: No substitutes for Trusted Platform Module allowed

In response to one of the questions raised during last week’s Vista conference call with Microsoft, a spokesperson for the Redmond, WA-based company has informed me that in order for users to get the full benefits of the Trusted Platform Module(TPM)-reliant features in Windows Vista such as Secure Startup and full volume encryption, they will absolutely have to have a TPM that’s compliant with version 1.2b of the Trusted Computing Group’s (TCG) TPM specification (Uh oh. The TCG’s site doesn’t even list such a version of the specification). In other words, not only will existing systems not be able to be upgraded with a TPM module, another hardware-based security token like a SmartCard cannot be used as a substitute. Referring to ways in which an encrypted volume might be recoverable using a system other than the the original one that stored data in it, a Microsoft spokesperson wrote the following to me via e-mail:

We are looking at scenarios that allow the recovery key to be stored on a removable storage device for Windows Vista. However, Smartcard storage of tokens for full volume encryption isn’t in the plan for Windows Vista.

Prosecuting an Inside Job

Eight charged in theft of “Star Wars” movie [pdf]

Federal officials on Tuesday charged eight people with several crimes related to the illegal theft, copying and Internet distribution of hit movie, “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.”

[…] [B]efore it ever opened, an illegally made copy could be downloaded from the Internet, and that copy was traced back to an editing facility in Lakewood, California.

The charges come as moviemakers wage a battle against illegally copying and distributing movies on video, DVD and the Internet. Hollywood’s studios claim they lose $3.5 billion in annual revenue due to piracy and are worried about losing billions more if swapping films on the Web becomes common.

The U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles filed a copyright infringement charge against Albert Valente, 28, of Lakewood, California, for taking the “Star Wars” copy from the post-production house where he worked. He has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Related: Movie pirates across U.S. walk the plank [pdf]