Palladium: Control via Thick Server?

Dan Gillmor writes about Palladium, and expresses concern about Hollywood’s pairing with the tech companies. He provides an overview of Palladium:

The basic idea is to wall off a portion of a computer’s memory in a way that lets users run programs that, in theory, can’t be touched by hackers, spies or other bad elements.

This would be achieved through a combination of hardware and software using robust encryption, or data-scrambling, techniques. A Palladium-equipped device would still run existing software and use existing hardware, but in that blocked-off area it would only run programs that met strict rules — programs that effectively had been certified as safe. Again, in theory, it would lock out the kinds of attacks, such as viruses, that cause so much trouble today.

Maybe this is too simplistic a view, but my feeling is that server-based computing could do all this quite nicely. The client need to just an X/GUI Terminal. With LAN speeds of 100 Mbps (and rising WAN speeds), this approach would work well even in homes, and not be restricted to just the offices.

So, here’s a thought for us: lets look at some of the nicer aspects of Palladium and see if we can enable those via our Thick Server.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.