August 6, 2020

Schoen: Palladium Can Have an "Owner Override"

Seth Schoen argues that “trusted systems” like Palladium can have a sort of manual override that allows the owner to get all of the data on a machine, even if it is protected by DRM.

As Seth points out, the main implication of this is that it is possible to build a system like Palladium in a way that provides benefits to the user but doesn’t give outsiders the ability to lock the user out of some sections of his own machine. If Seth is right about this, then you don’t have to give up control over your machine in order to have Palladium protect your own interests as a user.

This is a pretty interesting argument, but I suspect that there’s more discussion to be had here. For one thing, Seth suggests requiring physical presence (i.e., pushing a button or the like) to use the give-me-all-the-data feature; but physical presence is not enough, as people other than the machine’s owner often get physical access to it. Nonetheless, this is great stuff, and worth reading for those interested in the implications of DRM and “trusted systems”.