This is funny: not like “funny ha ha,” but like “funny ironic” and “funny your weapons are useless against us, dickhead”:
- Plans to build security features into personal computers to make unauthorised digital copying more difficult could backfire by strengthening controversial peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, say US researchers.
….Security measures proposed by the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA), a consortium of software and hardware companies, would help tackle the problem by making copying more difficult. The proposed measures include cryptographic signatures embedded in hardware and software which many observers believe will be used to create new audio and video formats and players that will restrict copying. The plans are controversial because some believe it will take control of a computer away from its user.
But Michael Smith and colleagues from Harvard University in the US say the same TCPA technology could, ironically, be used to make file sharing networks more robust. Cryptographic signatures could be used to verify that clients on the network are trusted thereby preventing an outsider from creating a client designed to disrupt network traffic or to spy on users’ sharing activities.
….Smith says, using open TCPA standards, software engineers could write peer-to-peer software that verifies that everyone on a network is trustworthy. “It would avoid scalable attacks where a little bit of work will let you pull down the network,” he says.
The entertainment industry has already discussed using such measures, along with legal threats to disrupt peer-to-peer networks. Some companies have taken to uploading corrupted or incorrectly named files to these networks to make it harder for people to find music. [New Scientist]