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Trusted / Treacherous Computing





kansloos
I liked to discuss trusted computing with you today. Trusted Computing is the idea of the TCPA, which originally was designed to make the PC ready for the home entertainment market and there insane continiously failing copy protections. The first purpose of trusted computing is to make computing trustworthier for the big companies. And practicly letting them control your PC.

againsttcpa.com wrote:

The technology:
TCPA stands for Trusted Computing Platform Alliance. For the technology we will speak from TCP (The trusted computing platform). This plans that every computer will have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), also known as Fritz-Chip, built-in. At later development stages, these functions will be directly included into CPUs, graphiccards, harddisks, soundcards, bios and so on. This will secure that the computer is in a TCPA-conform state and that he checks that it's always in this state. This means: On the first level comes the hardware, on the second comes TCPA and then comes the user. The complete communication works with a 2048 bit strong encryption, so it's also secure enough to make it impossible to decrypt this in realtime for a longer time. This secures that the TCPA can prevent any unwanted software and hardware. The long term result will be that it will be impossible to use hardware and software that's not approved by the TCPA. Presumably there will be high costs to get this certification and that these would be too much for little and mid-range companies. Therefore open-source and freeware would be condemned to die, because without such a certification the software will simply not work. In the long term only the big companies would survive and could control the market as they would like.
Some could think that it should be possible to get around this security. But probably they would be proved they're wrong. Until now there're no such hardware-implemented security systems and actual security systems have to work offline. This would be changed with TCP. The rights and licenses would be central managed by the TCPA (USA?). And as soon a violation is noticed, they will get notified. Read the chapter "The bills" to get an overview about the possible resulting consequences.

The companies:
The TCPA was founded 1999 by Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. But in the meantime around 200 companies joined them. You will find Adobe, AMD, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Motorola, Samsung, Toshiba and many other well known companies. IBM already sells first desktops and notebooks with integrated TPM.


http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html This is a quite old faq (2003), but it is usable still.
http://www.lafkon.net/tc/ a nice short movie
https://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/about/members/ TCPA member list

Now ofcourse if only things with a certificate run, this will increase security a bit, on the other hand if the companies tend to control my PC, someone else knows my password too and that is not to good in my opinion :(. And the early versions of the so called 'Fritz'-Chip are already getting mounted on mobo's as we speak. But don't worry there not enforcing anything (yet).

Or at least this all is what I have heard, when reading all the doomsday pages I could find on this topic on the internet. So feel free to correct me or add something...

But mostly I like to know how you think about this shit that there going to try enforce us to use.


And Linux users should be able to check for TPM modules issueing this command:
Code:
lsmod | grep tpm

No idea if it works I found it on the ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=367446). I hoped anyone could confirm that it works
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