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Posted: 2/15/2006 7:36:56 AM EDT
XP is going to be the end of the line for me as far as Windows on any of my personal machines. The DRM bullshit and lack of any compelling improvements over XP was enough. This shit is just over the top.

I'm *VERY* happy with OS X and XP handles all my gaming needs. When games become "Vista only" then I'll just keep enjoying my old ones. Hell, I still can play Doom for hours.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4713018.stm


UK holds Microsoft security talks

By Ollie Stone-Lee
BBC News political reporter

UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files.

Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.

He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions.

The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.

Unlicensed music

Professor Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, was giving evidence to the Commons home affairs select committee about time limits on holding terrorism suspects without charge.

He said: "From later this year, the encryption landscape is going to change with the release of Microsoft Vista."

The system uses BitLocker Drive Encryption through a chip called TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in the computer's motherboard.

It is partly aimed at preventing people from downloading unlicensed films or media.

"This means that by default your hard disk is encrypted by using a key that you cannot physically get at...


"An unfortunate side effect from law enforcement is it would be technically fairly seriously difficult to dig encrypted material out of the system if it has been set up competently."

Guessing passwords

Professor Anderson said people were discussing the idea of making computer vendors ensure "back door keys" to encrypted material were made available.

The Home Office should enter talks with Microsoft now rather than when the system is introduced, he said.

He said encryption tools generally were either good or useless.

"If they are good, you either guess the password or give up," he said.

The committee heard that suspects could claim to have lost their encryption key - although juries could decide to let this count this against them in the same way as refusing to answer questions in a police interview.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office has already been in touch with Microsoft concerning this matter and is working closely with them."

Increased awareness about high-tech crime and computer crime has prompted the Home Office to talk to IT companies regularly about new software.

Government officials look at the security of new systems, whether they are easy for the general public to hack into and how the police can access material in them.

Preventing tampering

On its Windows Vista website, Microsoft says Bitlocker Drive Encryption "provides considerable off-line data and operating system protection for your computer".

"BitLocker ensures that data stored on a computer running Windows Vista is not revealed if the machine is tampered with when the installed operating system is offline," it says.

The system, part of what is called "trusted computing" mechanisms, is designed to stop malicious programs being installed surreptitiously on computers.

The Trusted Computing Group has been working for some years on a hardware-based system which is built into the motherboards of many Intel-based computers.

But most people will not be able to use its features until Microsoft Windows Vista is launched.

Critics say the companies behind most trusted computing want to use digital rights management to ensure users cannot use programs they have not approved.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:42:53 AM EDT
PGP

PGPDisk is what I use for anything sensitive on my PC. I'm fairly secure that there is no magic back-door to the encrypted data. I makes an encrypted file appear as another disk drive where you can save and work on files. Close the drive and it's just a huge gob of encrypted non-sense.

I agree. I'm not signing up for anymore of this trustred computing crap. I'll install what I like, and I'll do as I like with MY data, thank you.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:44:47 AM EDT
Microsoft should tell the UK to F*ck off
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:48:02 AM EDT
Well, if it makes it harder for the gov to read you files, they must change it.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:48:41 AM EDT
The US DOJ wanted Microsoft to do the same thing, but Microsoft (publicly) said no, it wouldn't compromise the OS for the .gov to snoop. Who knows if they went ahead and did it anyhow. Maybe the UK wants a share of the backdoor.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:48:42 AM EDT
What part of Windows hasn't been hacked?


The point being that if a backdoor is put into Windows, it will be hacked. The only sure way to stop hacking is not allow ANY access.

Meaning if Vista comes out with a backdoor, it will likely not sell. What corporation is going to use a program that could grant so much access to outside users?
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:57:31 AM EDT
Shit, I'll likely be using Linux for most of my desktop stuff anyway. Put my music files and such on my Linux server and share the folder out on my network. Fuck that DRM shit.

I might throw a beta version of Vista on the machine I'm going to build soon, just to see what it's about... but I hear it's a fucking hog. A buddy installed and ran it on a machine. At a fresh boot to the desktop, it was using over 600MB of memory! JEEBUS!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:04:40 AM EDT
Tinfoil theory is that MS has put in backdoors for .gov since 95b, how else did all those "trials and investigations" amount to a big fat nada?

I don't beleive it, but I don't doubt it either.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:04:54 AM EDT
Backdoors in vista are GOOD for us. It means there will be programs that get aroudn the DRM controls for us.

As is it, I don't want vista on my PC.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:13:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 9:16:44 AM EDT by LoginName]
England passed a law a number of years ago that made it a crime for not disclosing your password to your encrypted to law enforment and goverment agencies when ordered to do so.

Anyone remember when the Clinton administration was pushing "key escrow" in this country?

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:16:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LoginName:
England passed a law a few years ago that made it a crime for not disclosing your password to your encrypted to law enforment and goverment agencies when ordered to do so.

Anyone remember when the Clinton administration was pushing "key escrow" in this country?




Yes.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:18:01 AM EDT
Got forbid that our right to privacy actually be protected.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:40:30 AM EDT
Ya know, I'm gonna start looking into getting some serious encryption security for my computer, maybe even some biometrics. Then they'll have to guess my password, fake my thumbprint, AND dig through all the stuff on my hard drive. And I'll make all my files be in some obscure text with no provided translation anywhere so they can't even read the start menu. Just to spite any bastards who want to invade MY privacy.

I swear, one of these days they'll start arresting people based on the library books they check out.

Wait- they already have.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 10:00:11 AM EDT
And you think that the backdoor isn't in XP and OSX

For that matter... how much time have you spent looking over BSD and Linux kernel code? X?

Important to remember that anybody can code on an open source project. The final determination on if the code gets incorporated into the release has more to do with the quality of the code than anything else.

When the OpenBSD crew peer reviewed the BSD train, they found something like 400 exploitable bugs. Bugs that may or may not have been intentional.

I tend to think that every OS has exploits placed by programmers and governments.

If you think otherwise, think again.

Look at the recent windows media player bugs. It has the feel of an intentional remote exploit.

Don’t believe me? How about this dude?
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:18:18 AM EDT
Saying you'll never upgrade from XP is like saying that in 5 years you're going to stop using Windows based computers entirely. I'm in the computer business and have been involved with computers in one way or another since the mid 80's. I had clients who swore they'd never upgrade from Win3.1 to 95 because MS was spying on everyone. Guess what? That lasted for about a year or two then they HAD to upgrade, just as you will if you want to continue using newer software. Sooner or later some piece of software you really want just won't run on the older versions of the OS and you'll either do without or upgrade. Same thing with hardware, the drivers will only work under the new OS, so you'll upgrade or be stuck with older hardware.

And the only reason the Mac is seemingly exempt from attack isn't that it's somehow invulnerable, because it ain't. It's because no one bothers attacking it because only a microscopic percentage of the worlds computer users has one. If MS hadn't propped Apple up financially the Mac would have gone the same way as the Atari ST, the Commodore 64 and the Amiga.

Trust me, your info is not safe, never has been and never will be. The only reason no one comes after you is because it's not worth the trouble of a high level hacker, you have nothing they want (no insult intended). If someone with the knowledge, skill and the time wants what's on your computer they'll get it no matter what OS you're running and no matter what safety precautions you take. What one man can make, another can break. It's the same with car thieves, if a good thief wants your car badly enough, he'll get it no matter how good an alarm you've got.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:28:40 AM EDT

technically fairly seriously difficult


That's alot of adjectives for one sentence!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:24:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
And you think that the backdoor isn't in XP and OSX


+1.

Doesn't anyone else remember the shitstorm back in 2000 or 2001, when Microsoft accidentally sent out an unstripped binary (still had variable names in it) of a beta release, and someone discovered that there were two encryption keys in the OS -- one of them named "NSA_KEY"?

Shortly thereafter, China announced that they were going to use their own Linux distribution which they named "Red Flag Linux", and one of their government officials was quoted as saying that control of the OS source code was the modern equivalent of the 1950s' "two bombs and a satellite", i.e., OS source code control was as essential to state security as having nuclear weapons and delivery systems.


Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
For that matter... how much time have you spent looking over BSD and Linux kernel code? X?


For Linux, I don't feel that I really need to, since anyone CAN look at it, and many people DO look at it. If Linux had any built-in government snooping features, someone (whether from Finland, China, the U.S., or wherever) would have been screaming about it on the net, and it would have been removed.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:30:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 3rdpig:
Saying you'll never upgrade from XP is like saying that in 5 years you're going to stop using Windows based computers entirely. I'm in the computer business and have been involved with computers in one way or another since the mid 80's. I had clients who swore they'd never upgrade from Win3.1 to 95 because MS was spying on everyone. Guess what? That lasted for about a year or two then they HAD to upgrade, just as you will if you want to continue using newer software. Sooner or later some piece of software you really want just won't run on the older versions of the OS and you'll either do without or upgrade. Same thing with hardware, the drivers will only work under the new OS, so you'll upgrade or be stuck with older hardware.


*shrug*. The only reason I boot Windows any more is to run MS-Word. And I don't need or want the latest version of that.

I'm looking forward to that new $100 ($200 retail) "kid's laptop" that the U.N. and MIT are pushing out next year. Runs on a little handcrank, no disk drive, just a tiny screen and a USB port on the back. Runs a stripped-down Linux and has something like 1GB of flash memory for storage.

That's EXACTLY what I have been wanting for five years now: a dirt-cheap, lightweight, portable box that I can power anywhere. Stuck on a 12-hour flight? No problem. Sitting on the beach at Pattaya? No worries. At home and the power is out? Who cares?? I can still read my documents, write reports, and maybe play a few simple games.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:35:15 PM EDT
Best not to update Microsoft Antispyware Beta if you use it either. The new version sucks.
It just became Windows Defender Beta and the instructions say it will treat P2P file-sharing programs as if they were spyware and delete them.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:50:08 PM EDT
Uh, just use a simple computer for the internet and another machine for all your regular gaming and app usage. What are worried about people finding?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 4:27:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Misery:
Uh, just use a simple computer for the internet and another machine for all your regular gaming and app usage. What are worried about people finding?



The problem will be that if you want to play recent games, at some point, they'll only run on Vista. Sure, if you only want to play pre-Vista games, more power to you. And if you want to game online...outta luck.
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