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the new evil by Microsoft
Not to be confused with anything else called Palladium
Palladium is a new security thing by Microsoft. I will now express my personal opinion, a liberty which none of us will have if Microsoft and the US Government get away with the sinister plan to make this evil thing compulsory. The idea is to make it the law for all computers to have a special "Fritz" chip fitted which will spy on the user. That's YOU! None of your computer stuff will be private, and the government will have access to your machine and your private thoughts. If you are ever suspected of having a pirate copy of anything your computer will be erased automatically and you'll be put on trial. Creativity will be stifled and you will not be allowed to create your own computer programs. All competition will be made illegal. If you want to watch a video you'll have to pay every time, and the government and various companies will know what you are watching. The ambitious plan is nothing short of Microsoft and the US Government taking control of everything digital in the world.
But wait, isn't this a paranoid notion? Something nightmarish like George Orwell's 1984? No, they're serious about it! It's like when the former USSR communist regime tried to licence and control all typewriters and fax machines, or when the Chinese government tried to ban Google! I wouldn't be surprised the US Government may try to have me bumped-off just for speaking my mind about this. After all, freedom is something they don't want.
Well surely people are going to not be so stupid as to allow them to get away with it? Sadly, already the Government have passed a law making it compulsory for ALL new hardware sold in the USA after next year to have to have Digital Rights Management (DRM) built in. This draconian step is the first part of the plan. They'll make all new computers have the SPY chip in, and we shall all surely be enslaved?
Well, not ALL of us. Bad news for citizens of the USA who are living under the oppressive regime, but for the rest of us in the Free World there is some chance of stopping other governments from agreeing to this nonsense! Some of them still believe in "democracy", an ancient idea where the person who gets the most votes gets in! As such, we the people may be able to kick out governments that allow this sort of digital oppression! But we'd better do it before it's too late. Remember these keywords: TCPA, DRM, and PALLADIUM. If your government is signing up to US "Digital Rights Management" it's time for a referendum, or even a revolution!
Note that "Trusted Computing" in itself is not evil. Making it under centralised control by Microsoft, that's bad. Also, "Trusted Computing" does NOT mean you can trust it! It means quite the opposite - it means that YOU are not trusted!
Also, Americans are not stupid, even if the Government might like to pretend they are. If they knew what was going on they'd surely oust the rulers, but part of the problem is the sinister and insidious way the new digital oppression is being introduced. By the time they realise, it might be too late!
Now there might be those who might say that Palladium has got some good points, such as the idea it will stop the piracy of software, music, and video. Well, it might stop Microsoft software being copied, but even if it was introduced in the most severe forms it could not stop music being copied. You could record a quite good analogue version by putting a microphone near the speakers. Or are they going to ban tape recorders as well?!
I've even heard that Microsoft Palladium will stop SPAM. Is this a joke or what?
Also, although Palladium will stop all small-time computer pirates it will not stop organised crime big-time operators. They can afford to have the system hacked into and can run equipment which is immune to Palladium, and which will generate pirate copies in bulk which you will be expected to pay for!
Palladium will not be suffered by ALL countries, and there will be some countries who will make computers which do not have the restrictions. You'll be able to get these on the black-market just like you could get hooch in the Prohibition Era. It will be a new gangster era in history as the trade in enhanced illegal computers will make a fortune for organised crime.
Some countries which don't always agree with everything that goes on in the USA will make computers in two forms; a restricted form for the US market and a general release version for the rest of the world. A similar thing has already happened on PGP because of the daft laws about encryption. As a result, the rest of the world has better security than US citizens are allowed to have.
There are a few things we can do to stop all this. Firstly, avoid Microsoft if at all possible. Upgrade to LINUX. Provide discouragement for Microsoft in this unwise project to introduce Palladium. Also, when buying a computer, make sure you insist it does NOT have a FRITZ chip in. Whilst this won't actually stop Palladium from being introduced, it will help to delay it as manufacturers will all want to be the last to implement it. A lot of these companies aren't in it to take away your freedom and grind you down - they're in it to make money. Make them lose money and they'll slow down, and only implement it when the Government forces them to. Also, keep all old computer equipment. This is free of the scourge of Palladium and Digital Rights Management, as there was no such thing when these machines were made. Eventually this may be the only equipment which still allows you the user any freedom or privacy.
Now here are a few links to some reviews by other people talking about their concerns about palladium and Digital Rights Management. Save this page and then check the links later to make sure they're not being closed down as the repression sweeps the world...
Against TCPA.com - was http://www.againsttcpa.com/
Defective by Design
And many others!
Update 2005/06: The evil is almost upon us. The end is nigh. It has been announced that the new version of Microsoft known as Longhorn (known to some people as "Silly Moo") will have Palladium compulsory as standard. If manufacturers don't oppose this now and insist on FRITZ-FREE motherboards, we're doomed! ...doomed. Doomed, I tell you.
Update 2011/10/02: The situation about Microsoft has taken a turn for the worse, as Microsoft seems to have a plan which could eradicate all opposition. They're doing this by means of the UEFI secure boot which makes Microsoft the only operating system allowed.