Now there is a new set of specifications out, creatively dubbed TPM 2.0. While TPM allowed users to opt in and out, TPM 2.0 is activated by default when the computer boots up. The user cannot turn it off. Microsoft decides what software can run on the computer, and the user cannot influence it in any way. Windows governs TPM 2.0. And what Microsoft does remotely is not visible to the user. In short, users of Windows 8 with TPM 2.0 surrender control over their machines the moment they turn it on for the first time.
It would be easy for Microsoft or chip manufacturers to pass the backdoor keys to the NSA and allow it to control those computers.
This is going to be an interesting one to watch. The report mentions that Linux cannot use this system and that Apple phased out the chips in 2009 — a good reason not to own an old Mac if you ask me.
The links to the NSA seem to be speculation and hearsay, but I don’t think it is a big leap to make. It’ll be interesting to see the Microsoft response to this… If they even do respond, but Microsoft seems to be taking the negative NSA feelings seriously enough to be fighting to reveal what they were perhaps “forced” into doing.
Either way this stands to be the biggest hit to a U.S. business yet. If it can be proven that the NSA can access those chips directly, then I don’t know why a single person would want to buy such a computer — let alone a corporation or government.
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