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Microslosh vision of the future
- From: blitz
- Date: Sun Aug 11 18:53:18 2002
So read about Palladianism, and tell me the
different between Palladium and Server 2000........
Windows Palladium, the end of privacy as
we know it.
This taken from various sources
encluding UHA and deviantart, the register and slashdot., Disturbing
Earlier this week, Microsoft outlined their plans for their next
generation of operating systems, codenamed Longhorn/Palladium. Among the
features touted was the "secure networking" functions that OS
Microsoft plans to implement Palladium DRM (digital rights management) in
a hardware chip, initially implanted on the mobo, but later on embedded
in the CPU, and employing hardwired encryption throughout. The purpose of
this is to flag every file on the computer with a digital signature
telling a remote server what it is. If it's an unauthorized file, the
remote server will tell your computer not to let you execute it.
This is basically an attempt to stop the trading of mp3's and/or warez.
Before an application can run, it too must have a digital signature
remotely verified by another server. If the program binary doesn't match
with any of the authenticated binaries, your computer won't run it. This,
again, is meant to stop your computer running "unauthorized"
software - which might be warez, or it might just be a nifty freeware
program that the authors can't afford to have certified. Microsoft will
be able to control exactly what your computer can and can't run.
As most of you know, Microsoft employ a strategy of making their software
deliberately obsolete - they make it forward compatible, but not backward
compatible. With the laws of the DMCA, it will soon be illegal to try to
make a software product that is compatible with another programs file
types (for example, take the many office applications there are for Linux
which have had some success in translating their arcane file formats).
This has the effect of killing any competition in the water - since
you're not allowed to make your new product compatible with any of the
others, no-one will use it. And eventually people will give up using any
of the others instead, since no-one else can read their documents. So the
entire world will be left with one choice only for software - Microsoft.
Fourthly (I don't know if that's a word, but it should be):
Palladium will effectively ban free software, not just free stuff for
Windows platforms, but free stuff for Linux, Mac, in fact every OS that
runs on a Palladium enabled motherboard/processor. Why?
In order to get the program to run on a palladium platform, you will need
to pay to have your binary certified as "safe" by Microsoft's
software authentification branch. And who in their right mind is going to
pay for a piece of software they spent hours working on? It just wouldn't
be worth it.
It gets worse when it comes to open source projects, such as Linux and
BSD. Those of you who know about these things will know that open source
projects are created by freelance coders all over the world who create
programs in their spare time and then give them to the rest of the world
for free. Many of them also release the source code for free too, so that
if you wish you can alter the program (such as to fix bugs, add features
Now, it would be bad enough if the owner has to pay a certification fee.
But EVERY CHANGE that is made to the source code will require a new,
separate certificate to be created. Those of you who use Linux will know
that so many things get updated so quickly, that this just isn't
practical, and would cost the open source development people millions of
dollars. This is money they just don't have, and Microsoft knows it.
The "secure network". This is the real clincher for Palladium.
At first, they're going to make it so that it is possible to turn
Palladium off at the hardware level. But it is created in such a way so
that, if you try to connect to a Palladium web server, you won't be
allowed to. Palladium machines will only be able to talk to other
Palladium machines, and non-Palladium machines won't be able to talk to
any Palladium machines.
Hence, if Palladium reaches critical mass, there will be thousands of
people the world over who won't be able to access the internet or even
work on a network with Palladium machines, so by extension they will be
forced to "upgrade" to Palladium machines.
At first I thought: what the hell, this is only going to apply to x86
architecture (namely Athlon and Pentium chips, since it's only AMD and
Intel who are involved at the moment). So, I could try another hardware
architecture: such as the Mac/PPC, or the Sun Sparc, or an ARM, or any
other kind of processor.
But then I realside that even if I did, I wouldn't be able to access the
"Palladium network" which could encompass the entire internet
if this concept goes far enough. So all you Mac users would be
effectively locked out; you too would have adopt a Palladium machine if
you wanted your computer to actually do anything.
Palladium will enable all your documents to be controlled remotely. No,
this is not a joke. If Microsoft find you are using an outdated version
of Office, all they need to do is send a message to your computer and it
will no longer let you read any of your documents that were created with
Even more sinister is that if Microsoft take offence at any of the
documents on your machine (this could be porn, it could be a simple
document containing DeCSS information or anti-Palladium information) then
they can delete or alter it not just from your PC but from every other
Palladium PC on the network.
This has a remarkable similarity to the "Ministry of Truth" in
George Orwell's "1984" where the government continually faked
information, both new and old, the entire country over to make themsleves
appear "correct" all the time.
If Palladium ever becomes widespread enough, the internet as we know it
today will be dead. Instead of being controlled by us, it will be
controlled by Microsoft, and you will have no choice to do exactly what
Hence why I want to tell as many people about this atrocious idea before
it become spopular, and M$ administer their miraculous spin to it to make
it sound like the best thing since sliced bread.
Darn, I forgot to post the links explaining about it. I'll also put up a
few emails from some mailing lists me and my friends are members of.
Initial outline of Palladium [link]
Analysis on how Palladium is solely designed to protect IT businesses
such as Microsoft [link]
The Palladium FAQ [link]
How Palladium has the potential to eradicate Linux [link]
The following is an excerpt from an email by "Lucky Green" one
of the worlds most renowned cryptography hackers:
[Minor plug: I am scheduled to give a talk on TCPA at this year's DEF CON
security conference. I promise it will be an interesting talk. [link] ]
Below are two more additional TCPA plays that I am in a position to
1) Permanently lock out competitors from your file formats.
- From Steven Levy's article:
"A more interesting possibility is that Palladium could help
introduce DRM to business and just plain people. It's a funny
thing," says Bill Gates. "We came at this thinking about music,
but then we realized that e-mail and documents were far more interesting
Here it is why it is a more interesting possibility to Microsoft for
Palladium to help introduce DRM to business and "just plain
people" than to solely utilize DRM to prevent copying of digital
It is true that Microsoft, Intel, and other key TCPA members consider DRM
an enabler of the PC as the hub of the future home entertainment network.
As Ross pointed out, by adding DRM to the platform, Microsoft
and Intel, are able to grow the market for the platform.
However, this alone does little to enhance Microsoft's already sizable
existing core business. As Bill Gates stated, Microsoft plans to wrap
their entire set of file formats with DRM. How does this help Microsoft's
core business? Very simple: enabling DRM for MS Word
documents makes it illegal under the DMCA to create competing software
that can read or otherwise process the application's file format without
the application vendor's permission.
Future maintainers of open source office suites will be faced with a very
simple choice: don't enable the software to read Microsoft's file formats
or go to jail. Anyone who doubts that such a thing could happen
is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the case of Dmitry Skylarov,
who was arrested after last year's DEF CON conference for creating
software that permitted processing of a DRM- wrapped document
Permanently locking out competition is a feature that of course does not
just appeal to Microsoft alone. A great many dominant application vendors
are looking forward to locking out their competition. The beauty of this
play is that the application vendors themselves never need to make that
call to the FBI themselves and incur the resultant backlash from the
public that Adobe experienced in the Skylarov case. The content
providers or some of those utilizing the ubiquitously supported DRM
features will eagerly make that call instead.
In one fell swoop, application vendors, such as Microsoft and many
others, create a situation in which the full force of the U.S. judicial
system can be brought to bear on anyone attempting to compete with a
dominant application vendor. This is one of the several ways in which
TCPA enables stifling competition.
The above is one of the near to medium objectives the TCPA helps meet.
[The short-term core application objective is of course to ensure payment
for any and all copies of your application out there]. Below is a mid to
long term objective:
2) Lock documents to application licensing
As the Levy article mentions, Palladium will permit the creation of
documents with a given lifetime. This feature by necessity requires a
secure clock, not just at the desktop of the creator of the document, but
also on the desktops of all parties that might in the future read
such documents. Since PC's do not ship with secure clocks that the owner
of the PC is unable to alter and since the TCPA's specs do not mandate
such an expensive hardware solution, any implementation of limited
lifetime documents must by necessity obtain the time elsewhere. The
obvious source for secure time is a TPM authenticated time server that
distributes the time over the Internet.
In other words, Palladium and other TCPA-based applications will require
at least occasional Internet access to operate. It is during such
mandatory Internet access that licensing-related information will be
pushed to the desktop. One such set of information would be blacklists of
widely-distributed pirated copies of application software (you don't need
TCPA for this feature if the user downloads and installs periodic
software updates, but the user may choose to live with
application bugs that are fixed in the update rather than see her unpaid
With TCPA and DRM on all documents, the application vendor's powers
increase vastly: the application vendor can now not just invalidate
copies of applications for failure to pay ongoing licensing fees, but can
invalidate all documents that were ever created with the help of
this application. Regardless how widely the documents may have been
distributed or on who's computer the documents may reside at present.
Furthermore, this feature enables world-wide remote invalidation of a
document file for reasons other than failure to pay ongoing licensing
fees to the application vendor. To give just one example, documents can
be remotely invalidated pursuant to a court order, as might be given if
the author of the document were to distribute DeCSS v3 or Scientology
scriptures in the future DRM protected format. All that is required to
perform such an administrative invalidation of a document is either a
sample copy of the document from which one can obtain its globally unique
ID, the serial number of the application that created the document, or
the public key of the person who licensed the application. (Other ways to
exist but are omitted in the interest of brevity).