[Fwd: Re: sad treacherous computing day]

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Thu May 10 08:19:13 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-05-10 at 18:01 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> On 10-May-2007, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > As opposed to the logic that if the hardware comes with free 
> > software drivers and is entirely under your control, then it's 
> > pretty difficult to understand an argument which purports it to be 
> > harmful?
> You've snipped the point I quoted from RMS's message. If you're 
> dismissing it without addressing it, that makes "difficult to 
> understand" a bit hollow.

Actually, I did address it. I said, ``The faulty logic I've been seeing
has been more related to people not having much clue about "treacherous"
hardware, the different types, what they do and how they work''.

To be clearer, the TPM chip in IBM laptops is not the same hardware as
the Palladium SCP chip. It's basically the same as having an in-built
smart card or other security token. It doesn't "boot" the laptop or have
any execution capability at all, it doesn't have any manufacturer-set
endorsement certifications.

If you want to lump it in with other "treacherous computing" hardware
then that's up to you; but I won't on the same basis that I don't count
smart cards as TPM chips. The only practical difference between the two
is that it's a bit harder to unplug the TPM chip (and yes, it is



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