Trusted Computing and Digital Rights Management Clearinghouse

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The Ohio State University

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Presently, security threats from computer viruses to malicious intrusion imperil computer users. To mitigate and counter these threats, a consortium of hardware and software vendors and consumer-electronics manufacturers are implementing “trusted computing” (TC) standards on present and future computer systems. These standards define security policies that can defend computer systems against attacks. However, in their zeal to protect intellectual property, the content and computer industries plan to use TC technologies in ways that will likely infringe upon users’ civil liberties and hamper innovation. Here, details of these technologies and their uses and misuses are explained. An overview of technologies on which TC depends is presented, followed by an explanation of exactly what TC is. Interactions between TC-supported computer hardware, operating systems, and software are explored, as are the potential impacts on civil liberties and the economy. Finally, present and future TC computer systems are analyzed and reasonable policy suggestions are offered. Advisor: Bruce Weide



trusted computing, digital rights management, intellectual property, cryptography, civil liberties, economy