[sf-lug] Consumer & admin (was: Possibly interesting data point on jobs postings)
alamozzz at yahoo.com
Sat May 20 14:26:03 PDT 2006
David Sterry <david at sterryit.com> wrote:Your point about the PS3 as a test case is right on target but it leaves
me with one question. How does the open sourceness of an OS affect the ability to develop a secure application for it?
Linus Torvalds has developed the Linux kernel to allow running proprietary, binary-only modules. An interface is provided for this. DRM can be provided as a binary, closed-source kernel module. The problem then becomes how to insure the module is always running. It is a difficult problem, because people can prevent or stop a kernel module from running. If the DRM is built into the kernel, then people can rebuild their kernels to disable DRM. So, having an open-source kernel makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to develop an application that will run all the time against a users' wishes. I think this answers the question you intended to ask, which is different from "How does the open sourceness of an OS affect the ability to develop a secure application for it?" Most open source applications are very secure, even though anyone can look at the source code. But the secureness of a DRM enforcement application isn't really the issue with enforcing DRM; insuring the
DRM application always runs when someone plays digital media is the main issue. DRM is very difficult in any environment, be it open or closed source, free or proprietary.
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