Everyone Wants to 'Own' Your PC

Bruce Schneier is the CTO of Counterpane Internet Security and the author of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World.

His recent article for Wired Magazine includes:

When technology serves its owners, it is liberating. When it is designed to serve others, over the owner's objection, it is oppressive. There's a battle raging on your computer right now -- one that pits you against worms and viruses, Trojans, spyware, automatic update features and digital rights management technologies. It's the battle to determine who owns your computer.

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and bruce schneier wants to 'own' your opinions

his recent article for wired magazine also includes FUD that smears the entire anti-virus industry as being in collusion with sony to prevent detection of xcp...

that and other 'manipulations' make me wonder whose interests he's really serving with that piece...

Not FUD

It is not a smear but an unbiased publication of the facts. It was also written about quite a bit over the last year, so I don't want to take too much time here.

A number of anti-virus industry representatives admitted that they delayed detection and removal of XCP because of conversations with the vendor involved. We shoudl all recognize that if someone outside the entertainment industry wrote this malware that not only would it have been detected and removed much earlier, but the perpetrator would have been up on a variety of charges in a variety of countries.

Citizens need to know that they can't blindly trust software vendors, whether it be their operating system, application or their anti-virus or other security software vendor. These are businesses that are protecting their interests and the interests of their shareholders, not the interests of their customers. This is not FUD, but a basic fact of how marketplaces work.


Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

no such thing as unbiased

It is not a smear but an unbiased publication of the facts. It was also written about quite a bit over the last year, so I don't want to take too much time here.

it was written about quite a bit on schneier's blog, if that's what you mean, and of course lots of people reblogged him, but the evidence presented is easily debunked...

for example, the reference to symantec comes from a cnet article that claimed symantec approved xcp, however that article was officially and explicitly corrected to remove that false claim during the course of the discussion that occurred in the comments for schneier's blog post on the subject back in november of last year...

A number of anti-virus industry representatives admitted that they delayed detection and removal of XCP because of conversations with the vendor involved.

no, only one company (f-secure) admitted to actually being in talks with sony, and their product was detecting xcp generically before they'd even heard of it... the nature of their talks were never disclosed, for all we know they could have been engaged in responsible disclosure (something schneier claims to approve of)... it certainly seems too late to avoid detecting it since the genie was already out of the bottle...

We shoudl all recognize that if someone outside the entertainment industry wrote this malware that not only would it have been detected and removed much earlier, but the perpetrator would have been up on a variety of charges in a variety of countries.

if only that were true... jamie butler, co-author of the book "rootkits: subverting the windows kernel", cto of the darpa funded anti-rootkit company called komoku, and world renowned expert on so-called 'rootkits' admits to also writing and distributing one of the most widely deployed 'rootkits' in the world...

Citizens need to know that they can't blindly trust software vendors, whether it be their operating system, application or their anti-virus or other security software vendor. These are businesses that are protecting their interests and the interests of their shareholders, not the interests of their customers. This is not FUD, but a basic fact of how marketplaces work.

claiming, without proof, that symantec and 'others' (appropriately vague when one is feeding the latter 2 pillars of FUD, uncertainty and doubt) avoided detecting xcp because sony asked them not to and thereby implying that they're out to own your pc (not that they might not be trustworthy, but that they definitely aren't) is most certainly FUD...