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Microsoft Stalling TCG Best Practices Document? 163

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the security-getting-in-the-way-of-profit dept.
It doesn't come easy writes "Bruce Schneier (of Counterpane Internet Security) suspects Microsoft doesn't want the recently Trusted Computing Group published best practices document: Design, Implementation, and Usage Principles for TPM-Based Platforms to apply to Vista. The reasons are mostly speculation at the moment but Bruce implies further investigation will be forthcoming..."
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Microsoft Stalling TCG Best Practices Document?

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  • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:25PM (#13447643)
    The same system that protects spyware from accessing your data files might also stop you from copying audio and video files. The same system that ensures that all the patches you download are legitimate might also prevent you from, well, doing pretty much anything.

    At least someone that is talking to a larger group of those not-in-the-know gets it.

    The only reason I can think of for all this Machiavellian maneuvering is that the TCG board of directors is making sure that the document doesn't apply to Vista. If the document isn't published until after Vista is released, then obviously it doesn't apply.

    If only that were the case! Unfortunately it's something that's calculated, malicious, and devious.

    From Best Practices Principles Document [trustedcom...ggroup.org]:

    preserving privacy, backward compatibility, and owner control

    This will accomplish NOTHING but promote an environment where people will continue to become accustomed to DRM being on their computers. It's not going to stop worms, spyware, viruses, and the like - they are going to continue to plague people's computers - it's all part of the desensitizing of DRM. Get people pissed off enough about spyware, etc, and they will be happy to accept DRM.

    It's really sad that most people still don't know what spyware is or how to defeat it. When they do hear of it they see this "DRM" stuff in the future that will eliminate it. Instead of taking the 5 minutes daily to do routine maintenance that will keep their computers and themselves happy, they instead opt for having someone else do all the work for them at the loss of everything that was once great about computers.
    • by ciroknight (601098) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:39PM (#13447768)
      Eh, it's all just signs of Microsoft cracking. Right now it's running around in so many directions, trying to do so many things that one side of Microsoft can't tell what the other's doing.

      One section of Microsoft is trying to find a way to diversify into other fields (as it always has been). This means as soon as anything gets popular, instantly releasing that they will have a competitor to that product. See previous articles..

      The next section of Microsoft is designing Vista. More or less, they're looking over at Apple and saying "hmm, now how do we do this for ourselves". Hey, if you're going to copy, make sure you copy from the best.

      Next, Microsoft's patent team is doing everything they can to churn out as many patents for as many things as possible, no matter what relevance they have to anything. Patents are the new gold; having them makes you rich, no matter in what shape, color, or form.

      Then you have the Microsoft gaming committee putting together the XBox 360.. Good luck with that xboxers.

      And then you end up with the "future of technology" department; the one where they write all of these magnificent things, designing things like Palladium and giving them crazy names. The only problem is, while this section's doing the designing, all of the other sections of Microsoft are doing their own thing; it seems as if there isn't any communication in the entire process.

      Microsoft is like a three hundred pound kid on a tricycle on a very big hill. They've got a lot of business henged on a small amount of products, and they've got to ensure that these products don't collaspe. And the best way of doing that is Advertising, the media, product placement, and the public (get the picture yet? good). The more of these documents coming out that don't mean anything at all, the more Microsoft looks like it's doing something.
      • " Eh, it's all just signs of Microsoft cracking. Right now it's running around in so many directions, trying to do so many things that one side of Microsoft can't tell what the other's doing."

        what a bunch of utter bu**sh**.

        i've never bought into the absurd notion that a company or organization doing things that the other people in the said groups don't know about.

        it's just a red herring. or another way to say it is "plausible deniability".

        it's not hard to see that it's very effective... almost no one holds
        • i've never bought into the absurd notion that a company or organization doing things that the other people in the said groups don't know about.

          Then you've never worked in an organization with more than 3 people in it. In a real business there are generally all sorts of politics going on. I have lost track of the amount of times I have seen Linux or BSD boxes put into production without approval up the corporate ladder. Heck, I have been involved several times with a project at the division level that w

          • I could not agree more - the person you are replying to has no idea what they're talking about. Almost *every* company over a certain size I've ever worked for or dealt with as customer or client has the same problem.

            Not only does the left hand rarely know what the right hand is doing, the pinky and thumb are usually working at cross-purposes as well, or at the very least in intense rivalry for the promotion to forefinger.
    • File Protection (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:53PM (#13447885) Homepage Journal
      Not only can it protect your files from being accessed by spyware, it can protect them from being accessed by you.

      That is, when the 'key holders' decide that the information is forbidden. ( or just politically incorrect ).

      And 'loss of everything great about computers? Remember, you are *just* a consumer, you should be happy with your 'media-device'.
      • And, unfortunately, using something else than Vista won't help here as long as there isn't some kind of global boycott (yeah, right!)

        Using e.g. Linux instead of Vista to avoid these practices will give you content that may not even be playable at all, unless Linux supports the DRM mechanisms and hardware of course. So it's really a lose/lose situation, no matter how you look at it.

        The implications of this is, of course, that you have nothing to lose on using Windows Vista, rather just things to gain on it.
        • The implications of this is, of course, that you have nothing to lose on using Windows Vista, rather just things to gain on it. All non-DRM content on it will work just like before, and the rest will have strict rules applied to it.

          Until SP2, when non-DRM content gets mysteriously broken due to a purportedly unrelated security fix. And there's precedent. Look at the way XP SP2 broke raw sockets completely. (of course, the saner solution of restricting them to privileged accounts wouldn't have worked too

      • You say, "Not only can it protect your files from being accessed by spyware, it can protect them from being accessed by you. That is, when the 'key holders' decide that the information is forbidden. (or just politically incorrect)."

        This brings to mind an ugly scenario, where the OS's TC component continually monitors your computer for disallowed content, which depending on the legal climate of the day, might be classed from "felonious" to merely "politically incorrect". And it might then report your transgr
        • Re:File Protection (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SilverspurG (844751) *

          This brings to mind an ugly scenario

          I'm on board with another ugly scenario presented here [slashdot.org].

          Writers of malicious software are always several dozen steps ahead of the average consumer by nature. They will figure out how to circumvent the TC implementations and then use those very restrictions to prevent the users from diagnosing and removing them.

          In a sick sort of way this may be economically profitable for companies who write security software. But the whole system is definitely not in the best interest

          • I think that's altogether too plausible -- that TC/Palladium will indeed become the "secure path" for rootkits and various other malware, and by its very nature the installed malware will be out of the user's reach.

            That's yet another reason why once we're all stuck with it, and with no internet access except by a TC system -- my older computers, the ones that do my everyday work, will never interact with the TC machine. Not only will *I* be unable to trust said machine, it could easily be a hazard (out of m
    • It's not going to stop worms, spyware, viruses, and the like - they are going to continue to plague people's computers

      Don't be so pessimistic. Once you're in the "Trusted Enviornment" you're stuck there and can't touch anything else. So, knowing MS, this means worms, viruses and the like will only have access to trusted resources. Meaning MS Office will be wiped off the computer, but Open Office and my pr0n collection will be safe.
    • > it's all part of the desensitizing of DRM

      Agreed that that's part of it. And, as we slip down that slope where there are hardware- and OS-level mechanisms determining what we can and cannot view, hear and run, let's please thank the heavens and stars for GNU [gnu.org], the FSF [fsf.org] and the thousands of players who've given us the ability to circumvent these things.

      I personally don't get too up in arms about "some DRM." I think, e.g., FairPlay [extremetech.com] is pretty fair for consumers. Currently.

      I no longer hear (m)any rant

      • I personally don't get too up in arms about "some DRM." I think, e.g., FairPlay [extremetech.com] is pretty fair for consumers. Currently

        But those that accepted FairPlay have cooperated with getting the Digital Restrictions Management nose underneath the camel's tent. Once DRM is accepted, it will all become more intrusive, because there will be an oligopoly or monopoly controlling the only game in town.

    • Yah know, all you hens running around clucking about how the sky is falling when ever someone mentions anything about trusted computing should 1) stop, 2) breathe, 3) read the documents, 4) think about how humanity reacts (in the US, at least) to perceived threats to privacy and control, 5) then get a grip. The stated in intent of the TCG is to create a trusted platform that is tamper resistant to software attacks like worms, viruses, and trojans, will not interfere with any other operating software, and w
      • OK, but after sudden implementation of DRM by the backdoor, try finding a workable CPU/OS solution that's able to play media without DRM restrictions; for that matter, try finding (legal) media without DRM restrictions.
  • No lasting effect. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trusty Penfold (615679) * <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:25PM (#13447644) Journal
    So it doesn't apply to Vista and the end result is that Vista turns out to be an bug-ridden, insecure operating system. What's new?

    This will yet more incentive to move to a system which has been properly designed, from scratch, to be safe.

    As has happened before, the other members of the group will go ahead with their design based off of a draft of the document - generation 1 has a few interoperability issues because each member interpreted the draft differently but at least there will be something out there which everyone, except MS, is trying their best to follow.
    • by TemporalBeing (803363) <bm_witnessNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:45PM (#13447826) Homepage Journal
      "So it doesn't apply to Vista and the end result is that Vista turns out to be an bug-ridden, insecure operating system. What's new?" This is classic Microsoft Embrace and Extend. Since it doesn't apply to Vista, Microsoft will release it the way they want it in Vista, and everyone else will have to comply in order to be compatible. If Microsoft actually had to comply to someone else's standard, then there would actually be interoperability.
      • by nacturation (646836) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @03:00PM (#13448382) Journal
        If Microsoft actually had to comply to someone else's standard, then there would actually be interoperability.

        In this case, the standard defines how it should work and what it should do. Microsoft can *implement* this in any way that they choose. In no way does this imply that adhering to the standard will promote interoperability. Think of it this way: a security standard might say that "door locks should be of sufficient strength and complexity that it would withstand 500 pounds of force and take an experienced lockpick a minimum of 30 minutes to pick". Adhering to this standard doesn't mean that one vendor's keys will work with another, nor that the locks will even fit on your brand of door.
         
    • Nowhere in the article does he convince me that even if it was published before Vista was released that it *would* apply to Vista. Microsoft is going to delay or modify a major OS release because a *recommendation* outlining a mythical platform is released? This guy has a touch of paranoia.
    • Personally, I think it would be better if TC/DRM *does* become a mess of incompatible "standards" with many points of failure -- if it's a PITA to the average person, TC has more chance of coming to the public notice as the negative thing it truly is.

  • by metallikop (649953) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:26PM (#13447662)
    Microsoft Stalling __________ Best Practices. Old news.
  • TCG Bashing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by weilawei (897823) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:29PM (#13447691) Homepage
    I'm not sure of the writer's bias, but it would seem that TCG is fairly "opt-in." Somewhat unlike the current /. tidal wave seems to indicate. TFA mentions "Controllability: Each owner should have effective choice and control over the use and operation of the TCG-enabled capabilities that belong to them; their participation must be opt-in. Subsequently, any user should be able to reliably disable the TCG functionality in a way that does not violate the owner's policy." Who and what is the owner's policy? If the owner's policy says I can't run what I want without TCG, then that statement is effectively meaningless. I can have a hunk of hardware. If the "owner's policy" is something I make up, then it seems fine. TFA also states "The use of coercion to effectively force the use of the TPM capabilities is not an appropriate use of the TCG technology." This is exactly counter to /.speek. So what is it? Is this marketing spin? Is it real?
    • just who is the 'owner' of your computer? are you a 'user' in this document? it's not very clear to me...

      sum.zero
    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by saintp (595331) <stpierre.nebrwesleyan@edu> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:54PM (#13447899) Homepage
      Of course hardware and software companies won't use coercion to force people into TPM. They'll just stop selling everything else, citing "lack of demand." "There's just been no demand," Intel will say, "for a processor/mobo/whatever that doesn't support TPM, ever since Windows stopped supporting non-TPM platforms." Of course, months before, Bill Gates will have played the high morality card and announced that Windows would not longer run on non-TPM platforms; to allow that continue is to allow the continued spread of spyware and viruses, and Microsoft indignantly refuses to be any part of that!

      See? It's not coercion. It's for security. It helps the economy. It thwarts terrorists. TPM gives flags to orphans if that's what it needs to do to get people on board.

      • I rate the parent "insightful", and anyone else who sees the black chess pieces being put into place probably thinks the same.
      • Yes, the particular elision being made here is between a system that you can trust and one that they can trust.

        The former does not require the latter but we can safely assume it will never appear that way.
    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Josh Triplett (874994) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:09PM (#13448007) Homepage
      ...it would seem that TCG is fairly "opt-in."

      Most of the TCG spec is optional and can be turned off, and thus is not particularly dangerous unless you don't control what your software does. It will make Windows Media DRM and similar proprietary systems stronger and harder to break (though still not impossible), but it won't affect people who run Free and Open Source Software. Some of these features may even be useful in a FOSS environment, such as by keeping your encryption keys safe even if your machine is remotely compromised.

      The primary danger in the TCG spec is Remote Attestation. This allows your machine to non-forgeably attest that it is running a particular hardware/software configuration. While Remote Attestation is also opt-in, refusal to attest to your systems configuration will be treated the same as attesting to a disallowed configuration: no access. This would mean no "compatible but unsupported" clients, something that the FOSS community has been amazingly good at providing for many protocols.

      Essentially, Remote Attestation would take away your ability to have your computer say things like "Uh, yeah, I'm running IE7 on Windows Vista, sure!", "Yeah, this is iTunes 42.9 requesting purchase of music file blah.m4p", "Of course I'm running the official IM client from AOL/MSN/etc, certainly not something unofficial like Gaim", and "Yes, of *course* I'm just going to stream this file and delete it after viewing, I certainly wouldn't want to download it to watch over something faster than my slow Internet connection".
      • but it won't affect people who run Free and Open Source Software
        Until they stop making free and open source hardware and lock out the software.
      • Not to mention all the hardware out there that can now be easily locked up. This has the potential to make hardware truly proprietary, Microsoft-only, Apple-only, etc. It will make reverse engineering drivers a hell of a lot harder if manufacturers start co-opting it for "protecting" their IP. That scares me a lot more than the stuff you mentioned. I can do without streaming, websites, AIM, etc, but I can't do without a video card, NIC, etc.
    • The problem is currently there are no controls on TCG. This document would attempt to make it opt-in.

      That is why he believes that MS is trying to stall so that these rules don't apply to Vista.

    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:5, Informative)

      by robertjw (728654) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:18PM (#13448068) Homepage
      I'm not sure of the writer's bias

      Bruce Schneier [schneier.com] is a security expert with a practical perspective on security analysis. I subscribe to his newsletter, and near as I can tell, he's not particularly biased for or against Windows. He is very vocal about the balance needed between individual rights and security concerns. He also regularly points out security measures and implementations that are just for show.

      I read the article and it doesn't seem like he's bashing TCG at all. Appears more like he has issues with Microsoft wanting to release VISTA as a approved TCG OS without actually following the best practices document.
      • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:3, Informative)

        by fermion (181285)
        I would add that if one is not sure who Schnieir is or his biases, then one really has no basis to write an opinion on any computer security issue. He is one of the major players in the field. It is like programming and never having heard of Gamma or kernighan or stroustrup. One may not a agree with a particular player, but one should know who the players are.

        In fact it has only been in past several years that Schneier has left the ivory tower and taken a stance on certain security situations, most not

    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:1, Informative)

      by zonker (1158)
      i don't believe schneier [schneier.com] has any bias except towards making sure bad security and policy doesn't become commonplace. this means making clear the user's rights and the content owner's rights and making sure they don't overstep each others bounds.

      have you ever read any of his stuff [counterpane.com]?
    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:44PM (#13448250) Homepage

      Read the article again - in English.

      Bruce makes it clear that the document is fairly good in that it comes down on the side of YOU - the owner of the PC (unless we're talking corporate PC here which is inapplicable since corps do what they want with a worker's PC anyway) - having control of the DRM and being able to disable any part of it that you deem necessary to do what you want.

      Microsoft obviously is stalling this because Bill Gates wants to control what you do on behalf of his big customers like the music and movie industry.

      The point is that the original TCM specifications said nothing about who would control all this. This document is laying out best practices and specifying that TCM SHOULD be under the control of the owner, not the designers and manufacturers.

      This is good - if in fact it ends up being applied by said designers and manufacturers.

      Microsoft obviously doesn't want it to apply to Vista because their agenda is NOT to apply the recommended best practices.
      • use of proprietary anything.. so the "option" to opt in evaporates for the average citizen and it's again to "forced in".
    • Who is the "owner?" (Score:5, Interesting)

      by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:52PM (#13448309)
      The TCG has resisted defining "owner" for purposes of their spec, despite several requests for clarification.

      Think of it this way: most computer-related "stuff" now has a "licensed, not sold" tag attached. Ask yourself again, then, who has ultimate control unter TCG definitions.

    • Re:TCG Bashing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:52PM (#13448316) Homepage
      Who and what is the owner's policy? If the owner's policy says I can't run what I want without TCG, then that statement is effectively meaningless. I can have a hunk of hardware. If the "owner's policy" is something I make up, then it seems fine.

      Here's how it works... you try to instal some software and IT TELLS YOU what your "policy" must be. If you do not accept that policy then it is impossible to instal and run that software. If you try to read a media/data file IT TELLS YOU what your policy must be. If you do not accept that policy then it is impossible to read that file. If you try want to view a website IT TELLS YOU what your policy must be. If you do not accept that policy then you cannot see the website.

      Under Trusted Network Connect, as documented on the Trusted Computing Group's website front page, your network provider gets to TELL YOU what your policy must be. If you do not accept that policy then you are denied internet access.

      "The use of coercion to effectively force the use of the TPM capabilities is not an appropriate use of the TCG technology." This is exactly counter to /.speek. So what is it? Is this marketing spin? Is it real?

      Well you decide. You are force to "opt-in" or none of the new software will instal. You are forced to "opt-in" or you get locked out of all of the new media files and data files and network protocals and the new e-Mail system Microsoft is working on. And once Trusted Network Connect becomes common... and Microsoft has issues a press release that they are implementing Trusted Network Connect under the name Network Access Protection... well at that point you are force to "opt-in" or be denied internet access.

      But rememer they aren't doing anything wrong and they aren't trying to force anything on you. It is all opt-in and you always get to set the policy on your computer. It's just that nothing works any more unless you do opt-in and you do set your policy exactly they way they tell you to.

      And of course you are always free to turn the Trust system off. Remember the item "any user should be able to reliably disable the TCG functionality in a way that does not violate the owner's policy"? Yep, you can turn it off... however the policy you had to opt-in to, the policy you had to choose to set... that policy had to be that you get locked out of your own files when you turn it off. The software you installed stops working, the various files on your computer are encrypted and MUST be impossible to read or restore, nothing works any more.

      But it's all OK because, as they say over and over, the owner is always in control. It was the owner who decided that his computer would drop deat and lock him out of his own files if he turned the system off. It was the owner who "voluntarily" agreed to these FSCKING INSANE "policies", otherwise he's have been locked out of everything in the first place.

      There... does that clarify why one side of the debate makes it sound seems harmless and optional while the other side of the debate seems to be making apparantly contradicting statements?

      -
    • Insidious Computing is not in any way optional and most assuredly not for the benefit of the public.

      there is a simple test you can do to determine this for yourself.

      ask them why they won't let the "owner" of the machine have access to the encyrption key(s)?

      if it is truly for the protection of the owner, then having the key would certainly allow the owner to decide what is best for themselves.

      the only reason to disallow access to your own property is for the enforcement of DRM and things like remote attestat
    • "Subsequently, any user should be able to reliably disable the TCG functionality in a way that does not violate the owner's policy."

      Owner = copyright owner
      User = computer owner

      The way I believe the article should be read is: The owner of the computer is able to disable any DRM the copyright owner has allowed them to disable.

      Basically, copyright owners will exert more control over their copyrighted works at the expense of your fair use rights; a technological enforcement that, when circumvented, wil

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:30PM (#13447701)
    Trusted Computing Best Practices [nyud.net].

    PLEASE can we stop linking to the entire stupid hierarchy of news.com.com.com.com, zdnet, cnet and other stupid useless sites like that? Schneier is a big boy, he can handle /. - and if not, there's always coral.
    • PLEASE can we stop linking to the entire stupid hierarchy of news.com.com.com.com, zdnet, cnet and other stupid useless sites like that? Schneier is a big boy, he can handle /. - and if not, there's always coral.

      I think we should link to both.

      While unlikely (at CNET), it is possible that a news organization would present both sides of the story in an unbiased fashion, whereas if you just link to Schneier, you'll be getting only his take on it.
  • The DRM factor. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lellor (910974) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:31PM (#13447708)

    Microsoft can only push consumers so far. If their DRM technology is too anti-social they will find that their systems will be rejected on an ever increasing scale.

    Consumers may be sheep, but even sheep can be pushed too far and become dangerous to the handler. Living in a rural area, I've seen that for myself. The same thing applies to people who Microsoft are attempting to push their DRM on. It can only go so far.
    • Re:The DRM factor. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:36PM (#13447745)
      It already is being rejected. At as far as music is concerned. People have voted with their dollars (& pounds, euros, etc)

      Apple's DRM is simple and consistant unlike MSFT's which change per song. Apple has sold over a half a billion dollars worth of songs. The rest combined barely equal a tenth of that.

      If you have to have DRM it has to be consistant and easy to use, and actually have rights not just restrictions.
      • ... of course Apple is selling more music. The iPod is, by far, the most popular MP3 player available, and it doesn't support WMA files, rendering the other services useless for iPod owners.
      • Re:The DRM factor. (Score:5, Informative)

        by mopslik (688435) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:00PM (#13447951)

        People have voted with their dollars (& pounds, euros, etc). Apple's DRM is simple and consistant unlike MSFT's which change per song. Apple has sold over a half a billion dollars worth of songs. The rest combined barely equal a tenth of that.

        I'd warrant that a backlash against Microsoft's DRM isn't what's fueling Apple sales. More likely:

        1. The iPod is THE "wow" music player to have these days
        2. Heavy marketing by Apple
        3. Songs are cheap

        I know a number of iPod owners, an DRM doesn't even cross their minds.

      • Re:The DRM factor. (Score:2, Informative)

        by notdanielp (244035)

        Apple's DRM is simple and consistant unlike MSFT's which change per song. Apple has sold over a half a billion dollars worth of songs. The rest combined barely equal a tenth of that.


        Consistent? Apple reserves the right to change their DRM on songs you've already bought. Wikipedia tracks some of the changes [wikipedia.org] made to iTunes DRM since release:
        "With the introduction of iTunes 4.5, Apple raised the number of machines allowed to use purchased music from 3 to 5. They also cut t
      • You mean like when Apple decides to rip out functionality in it's product and reduce consumers right with every version of Itunes that comes out?

        Coming soon Itunes 8.0. 1 cd burn, no streaming, and no burning of paid music to cd.

        If anything Apple is the posterboy of DRM run amok and a preview of the future where companies reduce your right with every "needed" upgrade. But fine, everyone should just keep posting how its great that Apple implements "consumer friendly" DRM.
    • Consumers may be sheep, but even sheep can be pushed too far and become dangerous to the handler. Dangerous Sheep, Just what part of the sheep are you handling there, son?

      Baaaaad Rancher.

    • by Prophet of Nixon (842081) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:50PM (#13447853)
      I have actually been chased up a tree by an angry sheep.

      Now, why I admit this randomly on the internet, I don't know... In any case, those things are mean.
    • Please, don't mention sheep.

      It's a bit insenstive don't you think?

      Probably is best not to make any comparisons between sheep and people...
    • Consumers may be sheep, but even sheep can be pushed too far and become dangerous to the handler. Living in a rural area, I've seen that for myself. The same thing applies to people who Microsoft are attempting to push their DRM on. It can only go so far.

      If you toss a frog into a pan of boiling water it will jump out.

      If you put a frog in a pan of water and slowly turn up the heat you get frog soup.

      • And when herding livestock, say onto a truck, you don't just put the truck in the middle of a field, pull down the ramp and start herding them on.

        You slowly herd them into smaller and smaller confinements, and by the time they realize they're headed into a "dead end" its too late to turn back.
  • Just a guess (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Xerp (768138) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:33PM (#13447720) Journal
    Out of any software company, Microsoft has the worst security record in history. I wonder if this could have anything to do with it? Just a guess...
    • I would say out of 'any company' Microsoft have the worse security record. In other fields of business (finance, banking, stock market, health, manufacture, aviation etc. etc.) with a record like Microsofts' you wouldn't last in business.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:36PM (#13447747)

    Viruses
    Insecurities
    Spyware
    Trojans
    Adware


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:38PM (#13447754)
    MS is well known for participating in standards committees, only to subvert the standards in ways to keep the competition at bay. Why should anyone expect things be different in this case?
  • Some notes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:39PM (#13447772) Journal
    A quick scan of the bullet points on the first page of the article may reveal why MS may not implement:

    "Security: ...The reporting mechanism should be fully under the owner's control. "

    "Privacy: ...designed and implemented with privacy in mind "

    "Interoperability: ...should not introduce any new interoperability obstacles that are not for the purpose of security. "

    "Controllability: Each owner should have effective choice and control... their participation must be opt-in. "

    Why should MS rewrite all of their business practices based on what their competitors suggest?

    I'm not saying that TGP is a bad idea... I'm saying that it is a bad idea for MS.

    • when the Insidious Computing group denies the owner of the machine their encyrption key, that alone dissolves all the points you brought up.

      when the real owner no longer has the key, then by definition, someone else does. and that someone else has an agenda that is anti-privacy, anti-freedom, anti-property rights.

      they deny you and me, the owners of our respective machines, the key to enable full access to them.

      that is all one really needs to know in order to figure out the destination.

      just an aside, console
      • but are NOT ALLOWED access to them

        Nonsense. They could force open the console and get physical access. Oh, did you mean access in the sense of functionality, or something? They don't have to perform any particular function outside of that which they were sold to do; with a console, they were sold to work as a complete system for the sole purpose of playing pre-approved games, and maybe playing pre-approved movies and music.
    • "Security: ...The reporting mechanism should be fully under the owner's control. "

      Exept the owner is the company you licensed the software from. The user is the person who bought the computer and software license.

      "Privacy: ...designed and implemented with privacy in mind "

      The user at the keyboard doesn't really need to know what's going on when "security" is reporting to the owner (see above). Especially since the user already agreed to let the owner do what they want as one of the conditions of "participat
      • I think if you read the article, you'll see where these points shouldn't be construed the way you have.

        A lot of the parts I left out are ones that refute your analysis.
  • by imunfair (877689)
    I don't really see why Microsoft would want to stall it - assuming it would allow them to stop piracy of their operating system... Maybe piracy really isn't a big factor for them, and developing this technology would cost them more (plus delay the already late release of Vista)

    That said, I'd applaud anyone who successfully fought/stalled/stopped the trusted computing initative - I don't really want someone monitoring me and telling me "No that's wrong, you can't run/do that" or "You can't connect to the in
    • TCI really doesn't concern your everyday user. It is for companies who have to protect highly sensitive information from disclosure by keeping the systems the data lives on secure. Systems handling finances, classified data, etc. all these can benefit from such an initiative. Just think ig TCI had been used a lot of the recent spate of ID thefts might have been prevented because the system would never have let itself be hacked. Of course, this CAN be taken too far. It's best applied in small doses where it
    • This already exists in some situations. My cousin, who goes to LaSalle, was forced to uninstall NOD32 and Outpost firewall to access the net, because they were too "insecure" according to some cisco clean access program.

      What did they require as a replacement? McAffee's security suite.

      I am really glad I'm done with college networks. I think they need to let me decide what software I want to run (or not run) for security of my machine. Turn off the net if I'm spamming or broadcasting viruses, but not because
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        I think in cases like what you cite, it would be really "interesting" to follow the money and learn exactly who is in bed with whom, beyond the obvious.

        And I agree with you totally. So long as a given user's machine isn't spewing garbage, it's none of their damned business WHAT security apps they do or don't run.

        Of course, TC will make it simple to enforce this: run the apps we say, or you won't be allowed to connect to the network. (Read posts by Alsee for what I believe is how things will wind up. http:// [slashdot.org]
  • by NubKnacker (787274) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:47PM (#13447835)
    Does it say anywhere in the document that the participants of the group absolutely have to implement its recommendations in their upcoming releases? No. So why would MS try to delay it's release?

    They've proven it time and again that they can get away with doing what they want not giving two hoots about anyone else's opinion. What makes you think they can't do they same with this even after the document is released?

    This story just reminds me of all that Masonry crap and the time I wasted watching documentaries and crap on them.(Because I was really really bored.) Conspiracy theories....pfft.
  • Microsoft stalling best practices? No...

  • Editors?

    -Jesse
    • Nevermind, I see how the sentence can be, it's just extremely awkward.

      -Jesse
    • I had to read that 4 times for it to make sense. I think this looks a bit better, but still not perfect...

      "Bruce Schneier (of Counterpane Internet Security) suspects Microsoft doesn't want the best practices document 'Design, Implementation, and Usage Principles for TPM-Based Platforms' (recently published by the Trusted Computing Group) to apply to Vista. The reasons are mostly speculation at the moment but Bruce implies further investigation will be forthcoming..."
  • It seems that the Windows (TM) are a little foggy and don't allow a very clear "Vista"(TM) (view) of the inner workings... we might need an XP(TM)-ert to clarify what's going in. If he can find the help of a "Search Assistant"(TM), the better. Just make sure his speech is not clippy(TM).
    • Re:Foggy... (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That was terrible, truly awful...
  • If you want to keep the standards from impacting your business join the committee that makes them and strangle it in delays and horsecrap. Welcome to big business 101. Kinda like Oil guys working with the EPA, or cigarette companies running Health studies.
  • by IPAQ2000 (585706) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @01:58PM (#13447937)
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:08PM (#13448004) Homepage
    I don't get it.

    It's like all the privacy notice boilerplate. There are stories almost every day about companies disclosing information they promised not to disclose.

    It all reminds me of the scene in Dr. Strangelove where the President asks how a rogue SAC commander could have launched a nuclear strike, when only the President is supposed to have that authority. And an air force spokesperson clears his throat and says "It appears that General Ripper may have exceeded his authority."

    Why wouldn't Microsoft just bull ahead? And when anyone complains, Buck Turgidson will say "It appears that Microsoft may not have followed best practices" and everyone will shrug it off, the way they always do.
  • TCG? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mortal-God (878902) on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:21PM (#13448093)
    I didn't know M$ was trying to get into the Trading Card industry. I see it now: "I tap my Bill Gates and send a monopolistic attack at you loose $2bil points." "Yeah well I summon a firewall to block your attack" "oh but my Bill Gates was equipped with Windows so it gets +50 attack points and destroys your firewall" "good, Windows opens you to attack so I send my WinWorm at you, it will take you 2 turns to clean up that mess"
  • The ultimate Big Brother (let's face it, if they can, they will) experiment in the TCG (not that the technology cannot be used for security of course) being one-upped by Microsoft who want to use the technology for their own ends. It's the same thing all the time with Microsoft and bodies of this kind. They join, and perhaps even contribute, then they go away and make their own version that only applies to them.
  • refraining to boil the frog too quickly.

    they don't want us jumping out before it's too late.

    and by us, i mean the folks who haven't a clue as to how Insidious this whole thing is.

    i am also partial to Sinister Computing; it has a nice ring to it.
  • by sysadmn (29788) <sysadmn.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @02:52PM (#13448305) Homepage
    What if MS is stalling not because they don't want it to apply to Vista, but so that their competitors on the committee can't implement software only (TNC) solutions? HP, IBM, and Sun all have DoD certified (B2 compliant) versions of their proprietary operating systems. If MS confuses things so that TPC means (only) Intel's hardware and Microsoft's software, they've frozen out AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris until Vista catches up. (Yeah, I know there are B2 versions of NT - you just can't do much with it.).
  • and so it begins (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte AT drunksnipers DOT com> on Wednesday August 31, 2005 @03:02PM (#13448397) Homepage
    the downfall of "trusted" computing. The group doesn't even trust eachother. How can we even trust a group like that.
  • It's so depressing.

    The sad thing is not that a lot of people don't know what spyware or DRM are, or why they're bad. The sad thing is that a lot of people do, yet nothing is really accomplished. The cnet article is good because it raises many important points about the nature of Vista and trusted computing. And it will sit on that server with no fanfare. This will not be an important story to anyone, newspapers will not pick it up and nor will computing magazines.

    We will get nowhere beyond this arti

  • Is anyone here actually a software developer??? Vista is in Beta 1 NOW, so of course they aren't going to implement any design that was not previously planned. Would any other software engineer expect them to? Of course not! I personally am working on a product that is in Beta and if someone comes to me and tells me that I need to add/change anything, I direct them to the specs for the next release. I mean, come on. An OS is just about as big and complex as software designs get. Do you think Microsoft is
  • Huh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by sunwolf (853208)
    Did anyone else read that as "Trading Card Game"?

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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