Women in Technology

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Weblog:   The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Subject:   It is a reasonable response to DRM and DCMA
Date:   2002-08-16 11:25:59
From:   plorenzen
With DCMA, Digital Restriction Management, Palladium and the Disneyfication of the Internet and Desktop software, it is quite reasonable for people to "Just Say NO." These laws are a reasonable backlash to the restrictions that big business wants to place on the people who pay for the software. I am unwilling to purchase software that I do not control. By control, I mean that someone else has the software keys to remotely destroy my computer without any legal recourse by me. I am unwilling to purchase new software from a company that plans on implementing TCPA. I am unwilling to trust that software to be secure enough that Random_Hacker_23590943 cannot issue hardware and software revocation certificates that can permanently render my computer inoperable: the Palladium and TCPA standards allow such behavior to happen and require the hardware and software to comply with such certificates. If you think it cannot happen, you have not read the standard and understood it.


If opening up Microsoft's software to public scrutiny would lead to the collapse of the internet (as was claimed by a MS official), then we should not be using it at all.


I suspect that this year's computer will be the last computer I purchase that comes pre loaded with MS Windows. I no longer trust the EULAs that come with updates that require me to permit the vendor to install software that they decide to install without my further permissions. I call such things Trojans.


I am not the only programmer/network admin/IT support person who feels this way. Many countries and states also have folks who feel the same about the perceived future of software and hardware.


Overblown? Not yet. The stink this stuff is making has yet to hit the fan. Politicizing software? DCMA, UCITA and DRM did that already. Too late to complain about that.