Who Manages Your Rights?

By Michael Miller  |  Posted 2003-06-10 Print this article Print

Rights management for protecting the confidentiality of medical and legal records is absolutely necessary, but lots of people worry that it could go too far.

Digital Rights Management may be the most important computing issue of the decade; its one that is stirring up no shortage of controversy. DRM is defined as software that lets a content owner set specific policies for determining how the content is used, by whom, and for how long. Microsoft recently debuted its strategy called Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB), a framework for enabling online music and movie sales and document protection. But it could limit you to using only the software or data to which someone has given you the rights.

Formerly known as Palladium, NGSCB will divide your operating system into left and right sides. Everyday applications will run on the left side, while applications on the right side will be locked down and accessible only by trusted programs and users.

The right side will include a module that Microsoft calls a nexus. Youll log on to the system with a smart card, and the nexus will authenticate you, communicating with a special chip. Many apps will run as they do now, but those that require rights management will be encrypted. Such a program will be run only with the correct combination of a unique user and the nexus. NGSCB will require a new generation of CPUs and chipsets. Both Intel, with its LaGrange project, and AMD are on board.

To read the full article, go to PC Magazine.


Michael J. Miller is Executive Vice President and Editorial Director of Ziff Davis Media Inc., where he takes an active role in corporate editorial issues, helps identify new editorial needs in the marketplace and shapes the editorial process of every Ziff Davis Media publication.

He joined the company in 1991 as Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine. Under Miller's supervision, PC Magazine has grown to have the largest readership of any technology publication in the world, at 5.9 million readers. He oversaw the redesign of PC Magazine, the launch of pcmag.com and an expansion of PC Magazine Labs, the largest computer testing lab run by any publication.

Prior to joining PC Magazine, Miller was editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, which he joined as executive editor in 1985. Previously, he was the West Coast Bureau Chief for Popular Computing, and Senior Editor for Building Design & Construction.

An experienced public speaker and veteran technology journalist, Miller has become the 'spokesperson' for the technology industry. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including being named to Medill's Alumni Hall of Achievement. In 2002, Mr. Miller was named the number one consumer/computer journalist by Technology Marketing magazine.

Mr. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.


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