Is trusted computing to be trusted ?

Recently I’ve been reading about and trying to fully understand the full implications of “Trusted Computing” and from what I can understand paints a bleak picture not just for Linux and it’s users but for personal computing in general

The way I understand it hardware and software will become so locked down that running a Linux system or any open source software will be at worst impossible at best very difficult

PC users will be forced willingly or unwillingly to give up control of their computers and what they do with their computers to third party hardware manufacturers and software vendors each with their own agenda

it seems to me (like so many violations of our basic human rights) “Trusted Computing” is dressed up as being in our interests when it’s really another attempt by big business and big government to strip us of our rights, watch what we do and control what we do

It looks to me like “Trusted Computing” will come and almost all things digital will have to comply with it and when it does the knock on effect will be devaststing for Linux and open source in general

Now maybe I’m just paranoid and completely misunderstanding the implications of Trusted Computing and it really is a good thing and in fact in our interests (but something tells me it’s not) so I was wondering if anyone here had any views on this subject

to help me better understand I have a few questions I would like to ask this forum

(1) Is "Trusted Computing a good thing ?

(2) Is “Trusted Computing” or some form of “Trusted Computing” neccessary ?

(3) Is this an attack on our human rights or is it there to protect us ?

(4) What will be the implications for Linux and Open source/free software in general ?


  1. Only if it’s optional

  2. No

  3. Only if it’s NOT optional

  4. Probably (in the long term) non … Linux has a way of morphing around roadblocks … and considering it’s now the most used OS…

Linux aint goin away … end of story … it’s far too big now :wink:

‘Trusted Computing’ is the tip of the iceberg

The following excerpt is taken from a pdf published in 2009, address at the bottom.

Computer keyboards are often used to transmit confidential data such as passwords. Since they contain electronic components, keyboards eventually emit electro-magnetic waves. These emanations could reveal sensitive information such as keystrokes. The technique generally used to detect compromising emanations is based on a wide-band receiver, tuned on a specific frequency. However, this method may not be optimal since a significant amount of information is lost during the signal acquisition. Our approach is to acquire the raw signal directly from the antenna and to process the entire captured electromagnetic spectrum. Thanks to this method, we detected four different kinds of compromising
electromagnetic emanations generated by wired and wireless keyboards. These emissions lead to a full or a partial
recovery of the keystrokes. We implemented these side-channel attacks and our best practical attack fully recovered 95% of the keystrokes of a PS/2 keyboard at a distance up to 20 meters, even through walls. We tested 12 different keyboard models bought between 2001 and 2008 (PS/2, USB, wireless and laptop). They are all vulnerable to at least one of the four attacks. We conclude that most of modern computer keyboards generate compromising emanations (mainly because of the manufacturer cost pressures in the design). Hence, they are not safe to transmit confidential information.

Taken from‎

Interesting thread on this over on the Trisquel forum

‘trusted computing’ means trusted by NSA and GCHQ