The Coming Civil War over General Purpose Computing
Even if we win the right to own and control our computers, a dilemma remains: what rights do owners owe users?
Cory Doctorow writes:
Certainty about what software is on your computer is fundamental to good computer security, and you can’t know if your computer’s software is secure unless you know what software it is running….
Designing “I can’t let you do that, Dave” into computers creates an enormous security vulnerability: anyone who hijacks that facility can do things to your computer that you can’t find out about.
Moreover, once a government thinks it has “solved” a problem with DRM—with all its inherent weaknesses—that creates a perverse incentive to make it illegal to tell people things that might undermine the DRM.
You know, things like how the DRM works. Or “here’s a flaw in the DRM which lets an attacker secretly watch through your webcam or listen through your mic.”