Guess my home P.C. will no longer be an intel
platform......hello mighty SPARC
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2002 5:50
Subject: Microslosh vision of the
read about Palladianism, and tell me the different between Palladium and
Windows Palladium, the end of privacy as we know
This taken from various
sources encluding UHA and deviantart, the register and slashdot.,
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 would offer.
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
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 -
Fourthly (I don't know if that's a word, but it should
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?
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 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 etc).
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
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 that application.
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
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
[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 mention:
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 domains."
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 entertainment content:
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,
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
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
2) Lock documents to application licensing
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
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 software disabled).
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
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