Trusted Computing

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See also: Digital Rights Management

Aka: "Hardware DRM"

Trusted Computing is an effort by corporations and advocates in the computer industry (TCG: Trusted Computing Group) to provide a security layer in hardware. From an abstract point of view this means hardware limits the freedom software has to opperate. More practical, this hardware can be used to prevent certain malicious software to run on a computer, including:

And other things seen as hazard by the computer industry.

It can also be used to abolish the development of software used to create pirated media, spam and virusses/worms/trojans.

Members of the Trusted Computing platform

The most notable and active members include

Source: trustedcomputing.org/about/members. For a more complete list which includes contributors and adopters see trustedcomputing.org/about/members.

Members of the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance

For a list of members, see againsttcpa.com/tcpa-members.html.

Naming controversy

In the beginning...

Microsoft was among the first companies to implement DRM restrictions in flagship, Windows. Examples include:

  • Signed drivers. Unsigned drivers merely give a warning as of now.
  • DRMed Windows Media Player disguished as a security patch to close a remote vulnerability in the software the patch also included DRM functionality to WMP.

Later, hardware companies started adopting "Fritz!" in their hardware which has hardware DRM functionality. When the discussion was a hot item in the past years, Microsoft said it would develop an OS which made use of hardware DRM. The codename for Microsoft's platform was "Palladium" hence TCPA/Palladium. Later, after months of silence regarding hardware DRM news, a new group was formed named TCG. Microsoft changed its project name to NGSCB (Next-Generation Secure Computing Base).

Various other terms refer to the same thing or an implementation of the same thing, including:

  • TC
  • TCG
  • LaGrande
  • NGSCB
  • Longhorn
  • Palladium
  • TCPA
  • Fritz!

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