Salon.com: Can We Trust Microsoft's Palladium?
Jul 11, 2002, 19:00 (55 Talkback[s])
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"Many longtime critics of Microsoft have been quick to dismiss
the idea as smoke and mirrors, mere public relations. It's too
complicated to ever actually work, some say, and it's just an
attempt to convince people that Microsoft is sincere about wanting
to make computers 'safer.' It's also easy to see Palladium as no
more than a gesture made to appease Hollywood and the recording
industry, which have long been clamoring for such systems.
"But what if it's not all puffery? What if Microsoft does manage
to build a foolproof Palladium and deploy it to 100 million users?
Those questions elicit the really troubling scenarios. 'If
Microsoft has its way, there just won't be any open-source
software,' says Perens, referring to the thriving ecology of
software development in which users freely share code and
constantly modify each other's applications. Perens is convinced
that Palladium will let Microsoft decide which applications can run
on a machine and which are simply too unsafe for public consumption
-- such as programs written by open-source hackers. Perens even
thinks that's the point of Palladium: 'It's designed to kill off