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Re: Confinement (even with TPMs) and DRM are not mutually exclusive

From: Marcus Brinkmann
Subject: Re: Confinement (even with TPMs) and DRM are not mutually exclusive
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 20:37:48 +0200
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.14.0 (Africa) SEMI/1.14.6 (Maruoka) FLIM/1.14.7 (Sanjō) APEL/10.6 Emacs/21.4 (i486-pc-linux-gnu) MULE/5.0 (SAKAKI)

At Tue, 6 Jun 2006 11:13:55 -0400,
Eric Northup <address@hidden> wrote:
> I have been very concerned to see the discussions leaning towards
> abandoning the security benefits associated with the design patterns
> from KeyKOS and its descendants.

It may be well worth being explicit about the "security benefits" you
refer to.  Some apparent "benefits" may (at least by me) be considered
harmful and a security threat.  Of course, being explicit about it may
very well throw us back into the beginning of the discussion.  OTOH,
leaving out the specifics leaves it up for interpretation, which leads
to confusion.

> I think there may be a design which supports both goals.

The design you describe basically is: Use Coyotos, but give the user
more options to configure which program has access to which resources.
Well, I would hope that Coyotos already gives users such options.

Presumably, programs will be able to detect what they get from the
user, so they can simply deny service.  A practical consequence is
that the user stops using the options, because they break the programs
that the user is expecting to work.  That's not a way to ensure user
freedom.  It's similar to java, javascript etc in browsers.  It's fine
to switch them off to increase security, but only as long as they are
not used by the sites one wants to visit.  That's not a recipe for
safe browsing, and in a similar fashion your proposal is not a recipe
for user freedom.


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