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Posts tagged security

Jan 3

Intel’s New SandyBridge Processor and Integrated DRM

Intel’s New SandyBridge Processor and Integrated DRM

Intel SandyBridge Processor

Intel has made a deal with the devil; OK I’m sorry I didn’t mean to insult the Devil, they made a deal with the MPAA. SandyBridge for all intents and purposes looks like a great processor, high performance low cost and worst of all integrated DRM. It was something Intel slipped into the chip when no one was looking; Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), the bane of consumers every where. It prevents you from using media you have legally purchased on different devices. The best example I can give is purchasing a song or video on iTunes then trying to load that song or video on to a non-apple device such as a Windows Phone 7, or Android tablet/phone. So now Intel is going to make every person that purchases a SandyBridge i3, i5 and i7 subject to this DRM. This isn’t the first time Intel tried a boneheaded move like this, it tried it with the Tualatin-Based Pentium III’s with a technology called PSN (Processor Serial Number) but privacy advocates managed to get Intel to remove this feature and it was not carried though to future processors.

This new DRM technology built onto the chip could be used to allow or deny you use of your computer depending on how it is implemented. To support this argument further it is also known that SandyBridge processors have a feature called Anti-Theft 3.0. This technology allows the processor to be disabled even if the computer has no internet connection. It was implemented under the premises if someone stole your computer you could shut it down. Now consider what we have here. Technology where that tracks what you have purchased; probably tracks what your using and technology that can shut your computer down. Hmmmmm…… I smell trouble here. I wonder what would happen if you tried to rip a DVD with handbrake or even tried to install handbrake? Would your computer shut off never to be turned on again or perhaps you might get a nice letter from the MPAA informing you of a court date? I don’t like the idea of all these different technologies on the Intel processors calling home it feels like a violation of our privacy. If I want to spend the time and RIP my purchased DVD to my Android Phone, iPod Touch, or make a digital copy then I should be able to do that and without looking over my shoulder.

Trevor

Sources:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/03/intel-to-launch-insider-movie-service-with-1080p-content-widi-2/

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1934536/intels-sandy-bridge-sucks-hollywood-drm

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/12/18/2230221/Intels-Sandy-Bridge-Processor-Has-a-Kill-Switch?from=rss

http://www.techspot.com/news/41643-intels-sandy-bridge-processors-have-a-remote-kill-switch.html

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