An article in the online edition of the San Antonio Express [registration may be required] reviews Microsoft's security plans for the next major release of the Windows operating system code named Longhorn. In my view, DRM should be built from the chip up and when Longhorn finally gets here, system security will take a major step forward. Snippets:
Longhorn is the first Windows version to implement Microsoft's vision of boosting security by placing cryptographic keys in special silicon chips that would be built into PCs. Currently, such encryption locks are stored as data on a hard drive. But it is much more difficult to crack a chip.
The security initiative — once code-named Palladium but later christened the Next Generation Secure Computing Base — was announced in 2002 and was quickly attacked by privacy advocates, Microsoft critics and others as a mechanism by which commercial interests might wrest control of PCs from their owners.
Some claimed it would enable strict copyright protection schemes for music, movies and software. It also could restrict the tinkering that has driven computer industry innovation over the years, they said.
But secure startup isn't expected to be as controversial as chip-based rights management. Microsoft has not said, however, how else Longhorn might interact with the chip, though security features are expected that would make it more difficult for online criminals to break into PCs.