winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)

(This post is something of a stub, but I figured I should get this much out there at least. A more thorough writing may come in the future.)

The face gazed up at him, heavy, calm, protecting: but what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache? Like a leaden knell the words came back at him:




Amongst a consortium of others, Microsoft is leading the front line war against open source. Yeah, so what's new? What's new is that if they succeed the entire movement of open development will become illegal and open software will not run on computers that are legal to own. The devil is TCPA and they're funding it under the premise that it will protect us. But the only thing it protects is the old regime's stranglehold on the market[1], a stranglehold which demands that you never own anything lest you perform that most profane act of using it. They would but protect us from ourselves.

Some excerpts from the site linked above:

Seen in these terms, TC does not so much provide security for the user as for the PC vendor, the software supplier, and the content industry. They do not add value for the user, but destroy it. They constrain what you can do with your PC in order to enable application and service vendors to extract more money from you. This is the classic definition of an exploitative cartel - an industry agreement that changes the terms of trade so as to diminish consumer surplus.

[Re the name "Trusted" Computing] It's almost an in-joke. In the US Department of Defense, a `trusted system or component' is defined as `one which can break the security policy'. This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but just stop to think about it. The mail guard or firewall that stands between a Secret and a Top Secret system can - if it fails - break the security policy that mail should only ever flow from Secret to Top Secret, but never in the other direction. It is therefore trusted to enforce the information flow policy.

Or take a civilian example: suppose you trust your doctor to keep your medical records private. This means that he has access to your records, so he could leak them to the press if he were careless or malicious. You don't trust me to keep your medical records; because I don't have them, regardless of whether I like you or hate you, I can't do anything to affect your policy that your medical records should be confidential. Your doctor can, though; and the fact that he is in a position to harm you is really what is meant (at a system level) when you say that you trust him. You may have a warm feeling about him, or you may just have to trust him because he is the only doctor on the island where you live; no matter, the DoD definition strips away these fuzzy, emotional aspects of `trust' (that can confuse people).

[1] A stranglehold grounded in antiquated notions of property and economy and which would rather strangle us than adapt, develop, and evolve. Alas, an argument for another time.

Edit: Oh, I should prolly cite that I heard of this through Free Geek who would, of course, be yet another casualty on the chopping block if this fecal matter passes. Which means no more computers for the needy at the low cost of volunteerism, which in turn means a furthering of the "digital divide" between the rich and the poor, thus further limiting the poor's resources and abilities to even have a chance at improving their living situation.

Not to mention that without the volunteers FG would fall apart which means how many extra tons of ewaste going into landfills? How much arsenic and lead and less speakable things leeching out of old CRTs and into the ground water (and yes, CRTs are classified as "toxic waste" in Oregon and hence illegal to dispose of in landfills).

And don't forget Personal Telco who provides so much free wireless service to Portland. And how many other small groups and non-profits who strive to make all out lives that much nicer?

Edit, the second: Wikipedia has this to say about the matter. And Richard Stallman, however you feel about the man, has this.

June 2017

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