Posts tagged ‘encryption’

Digg joins the good fight against DRM

It seems that users of Digg posted the AACS key (the DRM used in HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) recently. In response to fears of DMCA-based lawsuits, the Digg executives attempted to remove the key from their site. However, so many Diggers fought back by reposting the key that Digg now stands with them and will no longer attempt to remove it. As Digg founder Kevin Rose wrote,

[Y]ou’ve made it clear. You’d rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won’t delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying.

Hurrah! This, coupled with Steve Jobs’ take on DRM (which caused Apple to sell DRM-free music on iTunes), makes it look like industries are thankfully turning against DRM. The whole idea of DRM is laughably otiose; I’m still surprised anyone thought it would work in the first place. “Gee, let’s take data we want users to have, encrypt it, give the users a way to decrypt it, and hope that they don’t watch our decryption process when they run it.” Even without considering the analog hole, this isn’t going to work. If you give someone data in a format that they can use, by definition they will be able to use this data for their own purposes; there’s no way around it.

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A Preposterous Preponderance of Prominent PGP Ponderings

Let me start this out by killing any speculation this post might raise: no, this has nothing to do with work. I am not doing anything related to GMail right now, nor do I know anyone working on GMail. Anything I write here should in no way be affiliated with Google.

Having said that, here are my thoughts: after talking to sneaselcouth about it recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about PGP (a public key encryption system for email). It seems like the vast majority of email users would love to have PGP figure more prominently in their lives. If it were used moderately, we could eliminate phishing scams, and if it were used by almost everyone, we could eliminate spam.

Read on for more information, and my thoughts on how to start such a system →