The “trusted” future

The other week, Lawrence Lessig wrote in a Red Herring article titled “Anti-trusting Microsoft” about Microsoft’s Palladium initiative. Basically, he said that we need to try to not be blinded by Microsoft’s past anticompetitive behavior and that the Palladium platform might be less bad than other technology that might be mandated by Congress.

Lessig argues that “Palladium would weaken an argument that Hollywood now pushes: that Congress regulate every machine on the Internet to protect Hollywood’s content.” With Palladium, content will be regulated at the ends of the network (the computer) rather than by routers on the network – which would be the result if Hollywood convinces Congress to go their way.

The article has caused an avalanche in the weblogging community, with many brilliant contributions to the discussion. Donna Wentworth has done an excellent job of collecting links to weblog entries in her Copyfight Weblog (Sep 16Sep 15Sep 13Sep 13 etc). My favorite is the response by LawMeme’s Ernest Miller.

There’s a clear trend towards “trusted” technologies (see Ed Felten’s, Freedom To Tinker, post about how the meaning of the word “trusted” has changed). My current feeling is that it’s not a question whether or not PC’s will become “trusted”, but a question of whether you will still have control over your computer and whatever “content” (programs, music, movies, etc) you have on it.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on September 20, 2002. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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