Positive arguments against software that "protects" through control, or includes DRM

Police computer protection software has been putting your kids at risk for years, because it is in effect, malware.

Any modification designed to allow others, whether the police, copyright holders etc., to block certain uses of your computer (as in DRM for example), is in effect malware, because there is no way to stop the bad guys using the same mechanism to take control of your computer. All claims to the contrary are false, and I can explain why if you want to know.

This is a fundamental law of computing, so such copyright protection, remote policing, or whatever, software is actually malware that should not be allowed on your computer, and we need to make sure we understand that, because vested interests have already ensured it is going to live in your web browser - all web browsers - not just in DRM protected CD & DVD players, but every device you use to connect to the internet.

That is bad for your security, really really bad.

Lawmakers don’t even understand this, so as soon as you have educated yourself, we need to get together and educate them, and tell them what we want, and stop Hollywood, Major Music Publishers, and especially the police, from making all our computers vulnerable to identity thieves, criminal hackers, blackmailers, and yes, paedophiles.

It’s madness, but it’s real, and DRM has become law everywhere, without most of us realising the implications. Including me.

The article gives a taste of what the police have been doing in the USA, because even they don’t properly understand the risks. In fact this example is even worse, getting people to install software that gathers and transmits their activity, unencrypted, over the internet, and making ridiculous claims such as it would have prevented the Columbine killings, while it actually puts everyone who uses it at risk.

Their problem now of course, is admitting that instead of protecting us, they’ve been putting us at risk. I wonder if they can own up to that.

But software with built in copyright control, or any software that includes code that can prevent your computer from doing anything you might want it to do (like watch a particular DVD or video stream), can be used to take over your computer. And so exposes you to criminal hacking, or gives government the means to centrally control or monitor everything on your computer. That’s not good in a free state, and is all too easy to imagine what certain countries would use that for. But even a free country, with that kind of power at the hands of a government, or an agency, or a malicious individual, we are all put at dire risk of a catastrophe. Now why would anyone knowingly do that? I only hope it’s ignorance.

For more, check out Cory Doctorow on DRM. I hope you’ll check this out because it’s at least as big a story as the Snowden revelations, but has not yet been recognised.

@russell I’ve put back in Strategy because the OP is I believe on topic - please discuss by PM if you disagree. I’m going to move the conversation with Janitor to another topic as he’s talking about something which is off-topic (and the OP). See next:

The purpose of this post is to provide us with ways to defend against those who criticise SAFE because it defeats DRM or enables Copyright infringement etc. The argument being, that the current internet requires people to use DRM enabled HTML5/browsers/apps, and that this is BAD for security, because there is no technical way to do that without also creating a massive security vulnerability (e.g. in the browser) which acts as a backdoor, and that is BAD because it means a hacker or state can use it to control your computer or steal your information. This post is not about whether DRM, copyright etc. are good or bad in principle.


I moved 6 posts to a new topic: Is Cory Doctorow talking about DRM and copyright in principle, or as technically dangerous to implementat

Ahh, gotcha. Yeah, it felt like it wasn’t about MaidSafe (didn’t see any mention of it anywhere in the post). But I see where you meant to go with it. Carry on!

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Okay by now I’m totally exhausted from this, so I’ll be brief:

  1. Please simply ignore those who criticize SAFE
  2. It’s the ISV’s and the Project’s (assuming there may be a reference MaidSAFE browser/player) to build native MaidSAFE apps. Some may include DRM, some won’t.
  3. Faced with a choice users and content providers can pick whatever app they like. Noone can force you to install this or that app, it’s up to you.

@janitor again you have missed the point. Please read what I added to bottom of the OP carefully. This is nothing to do with DRM being added to SAFE (your points 2 & 3).

Your point 1) is untenable. If we don’t answer critics who shout “dark net”, “drugs” and “paedophiles” then that’s how SAFE will be seen by many.

We need to be prepared to rebutt hostile propaganda, and the purpose of the OP is to provide one compelling example of why SAFE is needed, and that is because the advent of DRM in HTML5 browsers and Apps makes the existing internet inherently insecure in massive new ways, on top of what we already know.

We can also point out the same is going to happen with the Internet of Things.

Ergo, SAFE is necessary and good. It’s needed to protect users’ privacy, and to protect them from identity thieves, blackmailers, oppressive government, corrupt police etc etc

Please keep to the OP topic.

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