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Terror attacks usher in copy controlled hardware
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 13:38:14 -0500 (CDT)


By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
Posted: 18/09/2001 at 20:39 GMT

Senator Hollings' SSSCA legislation - which makes copy-controlled
hardware mandatory (and circumventing it illegal) - has received
remarkably little attention since it was revealed ten days ago. No
petitions, no EFF Alert (as yet), and very little public uproar.

But according to Andre Hedrick, who publicly fought attempts to put
CPRM copy controls into the storage format, the Security Systems
Standards and Certification Act provides a perfect platform for the
anti-encryption lobby.

He rates the legislation's chance of success as "very high", and even
higher after the terrorist atrocities last week.

And CPRM, which after the furore earlier this year sidelined for use
in 'removable' media (CF, MMC) only, fits the bill perfectly.

Hedrick is outraged that the PC industry will foot the bill for
protecting Hollywood's assets:

"When you place your wares out in an insecure environment, you must
expect losses. "The last time I checked, when you need a bodyguard,
you have to pay somebody to protect you. They're asking the storage
industry to pay," he says.

Hedrick is concerned that the "Digital Security" aspects of the
legislation will make honest people criminals, he says, and criminals
untouchable. As it stands, the Hollings Bill puts media forensics
beyond the law. "Justice can not be served as one has to break the law
to protect the law," he told us.

Microsoft succeeded in having the media key unique identifier ratified
by the T.13 ATA committee, and although its main usefulness to the
Beast is in providing a seed for Windows Product Activation, it also
contributes a seed for Microsoft's version of CPRM, he says.

So where are the lobbyists?

Jonathan Potter of the Digital Media Association told us he thought
the SSSCA has "no chance" of becoming law.

Unofficially we gather that the Electronic Frontier Foundation views
the SSSCA as a distraction from the main business in hand: the DMCA.
Stanton McCandish told us today that a position paper was in fact
being prepared. Given the hysteria over wiretapping a bill with
'Security' stamped all over looks set to be received more favourably.
It's time to fight the unthinkable.

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