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Enabling DRM in the kernel?

Jun 01, 2009, 16:04 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jake Edge)

"Pointing to a "Trusted Computing" FAQ from 2003, Ts'o noted that five years ago, FAQ author Ross Anderson "was able to predict the emergence of the LaGrande Technology (see question 15 in the above FAQ)." But, Joseph Cihula, author of the TXT patch noted that some of the FAQ (and other Trusted Computing complaints) had been rebutted [PDF] in an IBM whitepaper by David Safford. But, as Ts'o pointed out, much of Safford's response was specific to the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA) technology, which is essentially broken as a DRM lockdown solution:

"However, it seems to me that TXT/LaGrande's main purpose for existence was to repair the defects in TCPA that made it essentially [unusable] for DRM purposes. With TCPA, any time you changed *anything* in the boot path --- installed a new BIOS, upgraded to a new kernel to fix a security vulnerability, updated to a new Nvidia proprietary video driver slightly less likely to crash your [system] --- it would change the trusted boot measurements, and would require an exchange to "[Circuit] City DIVX hotline" (as a generic stand-in for whoever is Hollywood's current monkey paw towards trying to implement DRM) to approve a transfer of the TCPA trusted keys, which would be essentially be a consumer support nightmare, and there would be no way for "Circuit City" to know whether the kernel you are claiming was the latest update from Fedora or Novell or Canonical was really an authorized upgrade, or whether it was a custom kernel with patches to tap into video and audio paths to steal Hollywood's precious bodily fluids."

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