TCPA could power trusted P2P networking

— 5:51 AM on June 3, 2003

Leave it up to a few kids from Harvard to come up with a potential TCPA application that even the warez crowd should love: trusted P2P file sharing networks that would be impervious to attacks from copyright holders.

Can peer-to-peer networks be made immune from malicious client software written by the attacker? They can if the personal computer industry delivers on its promise of remote attestation. Though this technology was envisioned to thwart pirates, it is exactly what a peer-to-peer system needs to ensure that no client application can enter the network unless that application, and the hardware (not a virtual machine) and operating system it is running on, has been certified by an authority trusted by the existing clients. The trust model may be quite simple: accept only new clients into the network if they are certified by the same authority that vouched for the existing clients.
Personally, I'm not a fan of piracy, whether it's software, music, or whatever. Still, I'd have to admire any P2P application that flipped the TCPA's intentions 180-degrees and ended up facilitating rather than preventing secure, reliable P2P piracy.

Imagine if you will, a secure P2P network whose contents were protected from the prying eyes of untrusted clients. Suddenly the TCPA doesn't look all bad, does it? Of course, those secure P2P networks could be used to share all manner of illegal, immoral, or otherwise universally unacceptable content, so maybe the TCPA is still the biggest evil on the horizon.

Thanks to for the tip.

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