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Intel Goes for Display Encryption 440

StormChaser wrote to us about a new form of encryption that Intel wants to put between the system and digital display. They are calling it High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection, and it would encrypt each pixel as it moved from the main box to a digital display - interesting stuff.
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Intel Goes for Display Encryption

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  • Yet another unneeded encrypted media.

    Now if we write a driver to read these encrypted signals on a Linux display will we get our pants sued off again?
  • HDCP uses a 56-bit key, with individual keys distributed to the various vendors. A violated key could be tracked down and revoked

    I'm sure this was what was claimed for DVD's. One was found, and the rest were crackable.
  • by theCoder ( 23772 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:04AM (#1262590) Homepage Journal
    My question is why do this at all? What's the point? Make people by all new monitors? Prevent people from tapping your video cable?

    I, for one, have this neat little switch, which allows me to have 1 monitor on 3 computers. Will this new encryption thing prevent this in the future?

    I guess they mightbe worried about people hooking their VCRs up to video stream and recording their DVDs, or something. It doesn't seem like it's worth trying to break something that already works. (can you imagine all the tech support problems something like this will generate?)

    Can anyone think of a useful application of this sort of thing?
  • by Anonymous Sniper ( 113827 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:06AM (#1262592)

    Gee, I know plenty of windows users who know what the "Print Screen" button does.

    Yay. Yet another move to remove all consumer rights. You know, here in .au, we little people still have rights. Or at least thats what we're told.

    I find it disgusting that corporations will arbitrarily coorperate with each other to put the collective consumer over a barrel. Pathetic.

    Meantime, What is the supposed justification for encrypting signals i am sending to my monitor? Am i not supposed to be able to access them? Oh, whait, intel wants to be able to control who makes displays, who does not. Who makes video cards, who does not. Perhaps it might be against those in power (obviously the MPAA and RIAA in .us) ?

    A violated key could be tracked down and revoked over a satellite broadcast network, for example

    Doesnt that scare anyone? that they can arbitrarily shut down _my_ hardware because some norweigian pissed off a multibillion-dollar-american-corporation ? Scares me. Lots.

    My 2.2c (inc GST). No Refunds.

  • Anyone remember VanEck Phreaking? I think that was how it was spelled. I actually did a search on the web trying to see if this was true or not, I found nothing. But if it is possible to see what is on your screen by reading the signal coming from your processor then I doubt this would help much. You could probably get the key just by watching how the processor behaves.
  • by 348 ( 124012 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:08AM (#1262599) Homepage
    While the Digital Transmission Content Protection approach provides encryption for digital content as it moves over a 1394 interface, the HDCP is complementary.

    I wonder if the motivation behind this was for the Government market. The military has been looking for a better Tempest style system for a couple of years now. The effort to design and implement this only for HDTV and Flat panels doesn't seem to have a big enough payoff, does it? I don't see the value in the commercial market, especially when the vendors will have to port the standards to accept HDCP.

  • No. The problematic radiation comes from the CRT, and that can not be encrypted, because you would only see noise on your screen. IMHO this is just another-bad-idea(tm), like the DVD encryption. BTW you can protect against eavesdrooping on your screen with very good results by adding a some small noise to the graphics, which is visually almost invisible, but screews up the picture that the eavesdropper is seeing. There are even drivers for MAC and WIN that do this transparently !
  • by XNormal ( 8617 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:11AM (#1262605) Homepage
    is at the very last moment before the information is presented to the user. This minimizes the number of places where the unencrypted data may be intercepted.

    Please note that I am treating it from a purely technical aspect. I will not get into whether content copy protection should or shouldn't be implemented.

    Two issues, though:
    1. Why just 56 bits? the new export regulations specifically exempt encryption used for copy protection from such limitations.

    2. How will this interact with compression?
    Decryption is, by definition, not linear i.e. decrypt(decompress(x)) != decompress(decrypt(x)).
    Here they are talking about decrypting the high bandwidth raw video data

  • My guess is its for set top boxes(pay per view television, internet etc), wasnt DVD cracked because of some unencrypted link in the chain? I doubt its for desk-top computers, unless they are being used as a set top box, surely its easier to tap into the signal from the screen itself than through a few feet of cable. I dont know of a situation where the screen is far from the machine doing the displaying.
  • Ho hum. This will surely stand the test of time (for infinitely small values of t) just like the other copy-protection attempts.
    Lemmesee, will dvd rippers build something that intercepts the decrypted signal or will they go for the software solution and break the crypto? It's just a matter of personal preference, both methods are kinda easy.
    Encryptimg something that eventually will be presented to the user in decrypted form...doesn't this sound fundamentally wrong?
  • Tempest works on both CRT and LCD screens, to answer to first poster.

    The easiest way to foil Tempest is to cut the top 30% out of the picture - it doesn't affect image quality that much, although everything is a little more blurred than normal. The great thing is, you can put other information in the top 30% of the signal without affecting what the monitor shows to you - but to those monitoring you all they see is the top 30%. So run a simple screensaver type program that only writes to the top 30% of the signal, and plan your bomb making in the bottom 70% in perfect secrecy.

    See more here: Ross Anderson's Page at Cambridge University [cam.ac.uk]. Includes special fonts designed for Tempest fooling.


  • HDCP uses a 56-bit key, with individual keys distributed to the various vendors. A violated key could be tracked down and revoked over a satellite broadcast network, for example.

    Is there anyone else who thinks that this is a bit dodgy? It seems to be saying that there will be some kind of two-way connection to the HDCP system, linked to the broadcaster. This raises all kinds of concerns about what the system will be sending them to so as to "secure" the system. I don't really fancy any kind of information flow from my PC saying what I am currently displaying, even if it completely innocent.

  • One way this technology could be "abused" is by companies like Cable companies and DirectTV that would now make it impossible for you view their signal with more than one TV (even if it were the same channel)
    Currently, even with direct tv, you can split a signal _after_ the descrambler and send it to two TVs....
    This way people cant set up sports bars without paying a larger licenseing fee...etc.
  • A violated key could be tracked down and revoked over a satellite broadcast network, for example
    My friends that have cracked DSS systems just don't plug the unit into the phone jack. The system works perfectly (every pay per view channel 24/7) but they stay off RCA's radar.

    Would a satellite hookup be required for the operation of this Intel system or is it just a way of them keeping tabs on you? It seems like a lot of cost and trouble if it adds nothing for the consumer.

    Besides all that, I don't see any real market for this stuff outside of the DOD or DOE. You can pick out the target market because they have aluminium foil around their heads to keep out the alien mind control.


  • From the article:

    "At the Intel Developer Forum here, Intel Corp. unveiled a copy protection scheme that will add a layer of encryption between the system and the digital display."

    If "copy protection scheme" doesn't ring a bell, I don't know what would... :-) Seems as if Intel is looking for new friends, like the MPAA.

  • How is this even a defense against Van Eck phreaking? The pixels are encrypted on their way *to* your monitor, but they're still displayed in the same manner as before, otherwise you wouldn't be able to see what was on your screen. Of course, that doesn't apply to flatscreens, but we're not quite at the point where everyone is buying those yet.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Look this almost certainly won't help against tempest. Ths only encrypts things between the computer and monitor. If that could prevent tempest sorts of attacks so would cable shielding.

    I understand the tempest signal actually comes about from the process of putting the information on the screen.

    Moreover they have provisions to remove compromised keys. What good does this do? If I am an organization devoted to gathering information covertly I am sure as hell not going to tell anyone I have comprimised the key. Only if I am trying to copy signls (or help my friends copy) would I expouse my key knowledge.

    The scary thing is that w/ hardware to hardware encryption and maybe DES they really could make the single hackproof (or nearly so)
  • It's completely futile. Any encryption they implement can be emulated in software eventually. Just as was done with the CSS for DVDs.

    Just imagine the user-interface problems this would cause! Can I do a screen-print? Will it stop a "kibitz"-like application from "sharing" a chunk of my screen?

    What it comes down to is that the only way to succeed in copy protection is to convince your customers that it's in their own best interest not to copy your stuff without your permission.

    • Don't charge outrageous prices.
    • Allow copying with reasonable restrictions.
    • Prove that the money your customers send you will benefit them by continuing to produce new, quality products and/or advancing the state of the art.
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:28AM (#1262639) Homepage
    There's only one use for this, and that's to satisfy the RIAA/MPAA types that it is sufficiently difficult for Joe Bitshift to intercept copy-protected movies and other images and save them as an unencrypted file. There is also a desire to move toward similar encryption to audio output devices as well.

    Remember how one of the arguments in the DeCSS case is that with players which dump the data into the video card frame buffer, you can simply re-digitize the picture to create your own MPEG-1 files? Well, that's what this is all about.

    It has nothing to do with "Van Eck" or "Tempest" radiation, because those read the image off of the CRT tube's electron beam.

    Will drivers for this crap be avaliable for Linux, which requires GPL kernel drivers due to its design? It's possible. An important reason why CSS was cracked is that software implementations of DVD players existed, making it much easier to determine the encryption algorithm. A proper hardware implementation can keep the "secrets" out of the drivers themselves.

    I do see one problem with maintaining sufficient security with this scheme, though. If you get data from an outside source (the internet, a DVD, etc.) which has to be processed before being displayed, all processing steps have to be kept in hardware where only encrypted intermediate data is available to the main CPU. I think this will be sufficiently difficult to maintain (after all, someone has to process those .IFO files from a DVD) that this will in the long run not be feasible.

    Or at least let's hope so.
  • It isn't going to be very useful in reducing compromising emanations. That requires a shielded cable, shielded case and a well filtered power supply.
  • This will not prevent Van Eck interception if a CRT monitor is used, as that is what generates the signals that could be intercepted. No-one intercepts the signals going through the monitor cable, so it is no use against that.

    There is only on possible use for this - Software or hardware producing commercial video/images, which they don't want copied, can be encrypted all the way to the viewing device, so people cannot use screen capture type programs to save what they are watching to disk.

    It provides no advantages for any user (even paraniod ones).
  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:32AM (#1262647) Homepage
    That's what it is - Jeff Bezos is probably in this up to his neck.

    Think about it. Encrypted video will put the same sort of strangle-hold on computer displays that the MPAA is trying to get via DVD encryption. Can you imagine buying your whole PC in a 'region' that will only work with monitors bought there? It goes without saying that you'll need to buy all new hardware. Sort of like the Microsoft upgrade cycle, as applied to video boards and monitors.

    Then of cource, to protect their collective IP, the software will come with 'regional' keys. So you can only buy compatible software here, not there - and at a premium, since the big, bad hackers can't read your encrypted monitor from 2 miles away after they hack into the international Echelon system that doesn't exist.

    So what's Bezos got to gain? Well, after people figure out how duped they've been, they'll buy little software, few monitors, and lots of books! :)

    I'll just have to wait for the encryption-enabled keyboards and mice, so nobody can tap my input either. Then I'll learn to speak Navaho.
  • by alch ( 30445 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:33AM (#1262648) Homepage
    Look at how Liquid Audio (Micro$oft) was cracked - record the digital audio just before it hits the sound card - at this point it it is no longer encrypted.

    Now imagine if the decryption is in the hardware - you would need to physicaly connect to the sound card just after the decrypt is performed. This is out of script kiddy league

    That is the purpose of this - copyright protection to the screen (Audio can't be far away !!)- the only way to record it is using the camcorder or hacking the hardware !!

    Hmmmm.... Picture genetic implants at birth in your eyes and ears !! As you grow older you get new keys to what you can see - only when you are of legal drinking age can you see Beer ads or Bar signs on the street. Can't jump the fence at Disney - my eyes don't have a key to decrypt what I see. Man gotta stop smokin that stuff... hahah

  • by hedgehog_uk ( 66749 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:33AM (#1262651) Homepage
    Have you read the article? It clearly states "The High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection (HDCP) approach encrypts each pixel as it moves from a personal computer or set-top box to digital displays" Displays such as digital flat panels don't convert to a recordable analog signal.

    I would strongly object to anything that prevents me from recording the output from my computer. I fail to see why the link between a video card and a digital display needs to be encrypted.


  • I will not be using this technology. It's primary purpose, as I see it, is to buttress information hoarding schemes such as CSS. It's well known that content scrambling methods such as CSS will fall to a well written program that reads the decrypted information out of the video framebuffer. I see this as an attempt to close that "loophole".

    Since I am morally opposed to information hoarding, I tend to boycott systems that facilitate it. I expect to structure my life in such a way that communications between my video card and my monitor will not need encryption. If this means that some information will not be available to me, so be it.

    This may be somewhat moot since, if they're really using 56 bit DES, the information will not be scrambled for long.

  • The common aphorism is if you can see it, you can rip it. (There are cases when this isn't true, but it's largely true.) This is an attempt to defeat that truism.

    If your DVD player sat on a bus with your vidoe, then encrypted data can be sent to the video without it being available unencrypted for snooping. If your sound device sat on the same bus, you couldn't snoop the audio from your DVD movies or audio (assuming they got their act together and used some *real* encryption.)

    This is the future of Firewire.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • Err.. Not exactly.

    I don't see how a truly unbreakable system (which doesn't yet exist) would encourage the movie studios to release things to the public that they wouldn't have before. I see this solely as a way for the movie studios to be able to charge more to provide essentially the same content as they provide today. Almost every new movie technology that's come out has been followed shortly by an increase in ticket price.

    Haven't they learned ANYTHING from DivX? Forcing people to buy more expensive equipment that has more limitations on what can be done with the data just doesn't work very well.

    I guarantee that HDCP will increase the cost of a digital display. How significantly, I don't know, the spec isn't public yet.

    As someone earlier in this discussion said, there's still the Linux-based display problem. No one in the Linux world was willing to shell out $10000 for the DVD license. I don't see anyone wanting to shell out more money for more restrictions anytime soon.

    I won't be buying or using anything DVD or CD related until the MPAA, DVD "open forum", etc all come to their senses (ie, when hell warms up (See Dante)). Equivalently with Intel's HDCP, I won't be buying a digital display with such encryption technology built in.
  • Once you've milked the 88/86/286/386/486/P5/.../IA64 etc lineage up to a gazillion or so transistors, you have to create a NEW market to dominate. If you can't compete in, say, 3D accels, make a market you CAN compete in. If YOU create the market (Gee, I didn't even know I needed one of those untill the salesman told me how bad off I was!) you make the rules and you own the trade secrets and you got another cash cow. Ingenious!
  • by MrHat ( 102062 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:40AM (#1262663)
    I've been trying to keep my /. posting addiction under control, but I have to reply here -

    Why are you in favor of this encryption "as long as the quality isn't affected"? Normally, engineers create products on silicon that solve problems - you buy these products because you have one of these problems and are looking to solve it. Okay, maybe Quake 3 doesn't qualify as a "problem" per se, but I think this is still a pretty valid generalization. :-)

    Now, an engineering team and large company add cost to your components to implement on-the-fly encryption of your video signal. Does this help solve the problems you originally bought your machine for? No. Are you paying more money for a limitation on what *you* can do with *your* hardware that *you* paid for? You bet. Not only a limitation on your rights, but other companies rights. Suddenly, there could be a DVD-like licensing fee to design and sell a monitor. Want to hack around on your monitor/video adapter in the privacy of your own home? You're probably SOL. It'd be great if the standard would be open, but from what I've seen out of Intel, I don't see that happening. Please correct me if I'm wrong - I'll be happy.

    43rd Law of Computing: Anything that can go wr
  • Remember all these posts on Slashdot that said that you can never successfully protect content unless human eyes and ears become copyright-protection-device-compliant?

    Well, Intel listened, and heard, and we are moving in this direction.

    The idea is very clear: if the video stream is decoded only inside the display, then you cannot intercept it and divert it to make a copy. They would claim, of course, that this is prevent piracy but somehow I think this is all steps toward attaching a meter to our eyes so we pay fore each second we look at something.

  • Tempest detects the EM emitted from the monitor as it displays the screen. Since the stff is still being displayed, Tempest-type equiptment can still read it.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • by RebornData ( 25811 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:43AM (#1262671)
    The main use of this kind of technology would be copy protection. Let's say that the DVD encryption standard is improved to the point that it is unbreakable (hah!), and the only way to watch DVD's is with a legitimately licensed DVD decoder.

    In order for you to watch this DVD, at some point the bits have to be decrypted and put onto the screen in front of you. MPAA and co. are scared that if you're clever enough pirate, you'd find a way to grab those bits between the decrypt and the display.

    This is a pretty reasonable concern if you're an agressive paranoid about copy protection. Assuming the bad guy has a good MP3 decoder, grabbing the bits off of a digital display output for an LCD monitor would give you an extremely high quality reproduction of a movie. With standardization of digital display outputs, there's a potential for someone to legally build and sell a "black box" device for this purpose.

    Thus, the need to encrypt all the way to the LCD monitor. If the decrypt happens inside the monitor, it's much, much more difficult to grab the clean bits.

    Because the holders of the display encryption technology copywrites would only license it to authorized monitor manufacturers, there'd be no legitimate, legal devices on the market which could bypass it. There's no "standard" interface through which the clear signal runs, so getting around the encryption would require reverse engineering of specific monitor designs, and you'd end up with something that only worked for a specific monitor model.

    I wonder when we'll see standards for encryption of audio signals all the way out to the speakers...
  • I suppose this means that whomever controls the standard, controls who can and who cannot enter the graphics or display industry?

    Nowhere does it say what they are trying to prevent people from copying.

  • For once, the US Gov't's own stupid laws can work for us. If they'd intelligently removed the arbitrary 56-bit limit, then we'd have a much tougher beast to deal with. However, consider this:

    The keyspace is only 2^56 in size - the same size as RC5-56. Remember, that algorithm that distributed.net [distributed.net] killed a year or so ago? Now, Moore's Law (and Tom'sHardwareGuide [tomshardware.com]) say that our collective computing power has increased by a few hundred percent since the start of that contest.

    So, let's launch a new contest, then, except this time we'll have:

    1. More willing participants (you directly benefit from the results!)
    2. Much, much faster equipment
    3. A keyspace that is only 2^56/n, where n is the number of monitor vendors who've been issued unique keys.

    In any case, it should only be a few months until we could have the decryption keyspace entirely mapped.

    Now, is that sweet irony, or what? God bless our Congress!

  • by emin ( 149044 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:45AM (#1262679) Homepage
    A lot of people seem confused about the purpose of Intel's encryption scheme. The point is not to provide the consumer a service. The point is copy protection .

    Imagine that Sony wants to sell a movie on DVD. They want you to be able to watch the movie only on your monitor and not be able to copy it for a friend. They sell you a DVD/movie encrypted for your monitor only. When you play the DVD, your computer sends the encrypted data to your monitor which decrypts it, letting you watch the movie. If you copy the DVD and give it to a friend, it won't work on his monitor. Voila, copy protection.

    Another application would be Pay Per View (PPV). Assume that you want to watch a movie on PPV. If PPV just sent you the movie over the internet, you could copy it and give it to all your friends. However, if PPV encrypts the movie so that only your monitor could decode it then you can still watch the movie, but if you give a copy to your friends, they can't watch it.

    As in all copy protection schemes, there is a way to defeat the copy protection. For example, you could hack your monitor to extract the decryption key. However, hardware hacking is complicated and difficult. Sure a few people will have the time and effort to hack there monitors, but most people will just pay for the movie.

    Without taking a position on the ethics/morals of copy protection, I think this is the best copy protection scheme anyone has yet proposed. Once companies start making these kinds of monitors/TVs content producers such as Sony, Paramount, etc. will start producing encrypted movies that can only be displayed by these monitors. If you buy a non-compliant monitor/TV then you can't watch the new movies. If you are anti-copy protection this is something to worry about.

    Pretty much the only flaw I can see in this system is a few brave hackers can extract the decryption key from their own monitors. Then they can buy/rent DVDs or movies and anonymously post the decrypted content to the Internet. Then everyone can grab copies of the decrypted content to play on regular monitors.

    Anyway, I've probably rambled long enough. However, I think this is an important or scary development in copy protection (depending on your point of view). Hopefully I've helped illuminate some of the important issues. By the way, for those people interested in copy protection of movies/DVD I wrote a brief summary about some of the important ideas about a year and a half ago. The paper is at http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~emin/writings/warp.h tml.

    -Emin Martinian

  • Information is freedom! you can't buy or sell freedom!

    No, but it can be stolen...

  • Print screen requires that the OS can read the bits in the clear. Because this is intended for copy protection, it will likely only be used for movies. Which means that the OS doesn't necessarily need to have access to the clear, unencrypted data so that "print screen" will work. The DVD decoder could output encrypted data to be stored in the display buffers and sent as is to the monitor. On a "normal" monitor, it would appear as garbage. On an Intel-licensed monitor, you'd see the movie.

    Of course, this is all speculation, but I'm guessing there wouldn't be a hole that big...
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot.keirstead@org> on Friday February 18, 2000 @05:52AM (#1262688) Homepage
    It seems to me that this spec will die for several reasons. Unless it encrypts all video data exported from the PC, weather it be Monitor, RCA Out, S-Video, etc, it is useles for copy protection. But if they DO begin this encrytion, it will HAVE to be backwards compatable with ALL current Monitors, RCA jacks, etc, or else the vendors won't support it. (Imagine Phillips suddely saying "Anyone who buys our new PH-9000 must also buy an Intel-encryption compatable video card." Yeah, that would go over well...

    Don't sweat it, this whole spec won't work

  • This frightens me - not because of the potential of encrypted computer displays, but of Digital video players piping directly to a digital display suddenly requiring a card to access the signal from hardware you have bought, running a film you have already paid for - with reverse engineering of it prohibited by the same rules the DVD organisation is using against DeCSS.
    Market forces have already seen off the last attempt to produce pay-per-view videos - this could be an attempt to sneek them back in by the back door.
  • Gee, you could just take it one more step and TEMPEST the output of the monitor and record that... This is the same problem we have had all along (give me the fourth word from the third line on page 26). When are these people going to realize that if you can see it at any point then it can be copied?
  • Printscreen? Not likely. The data in your video card's ram is encrypted. This is send (digitally) to the monitor. The monitor then decrypts it in hardware....
  • No, this wouldn't defeat DeCSS. However even without DeCSS it was still possible to capture the video on it's way to the monitor. This would prevent that. I think the intent is to force users of future types of media from using it on 'unauthorized' equipment.

    What I wonder is how they intend to force people to buy encrypted monitors. Why pay extra money for a device that introduces limitations on how and where you use your software/media?

  • I don't think it'll catch on outside of the government.

    All some company has to do is make up some claim about how this improves your monitor resolution and hordes of people will buy it. Plus, all they need to do is make computers that will only work with this. What choice will we have.


  • by acb ( 2797 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @06:12AM (#1262717) Homepage
    DeCSS was the first salvo in what looks like a battle to the death between strict copyright enforcement and the open-source movement.

    The reason there aren't (and will never officially be) any software DVD players on Linux is because the Linux kernel is open-source, and thus not guaranteed to be trusted. With Windows, an evil pirate cannot recompile the kernel to snoop on a process, defeat anti-debugging measures or redirect output to a file. With Linux, if a process has something you want to get out of it, you can always get it, at most by hacking a few extra features into the kernel. This is also why Liquid Audio and such do not and will not support Linux.

    The copyright barons are pushing for end-to-end encryption. One end (DVD drives) is implemented. The other end (video/sound cards) is coming. Needless to say, open-source drivers would defeat the purpose, and the copyright barons would spend billions on fighting them. As for binary-only drivers, the GPL forbids them.

    So it's shaping up into a fight to the death between Linux and copyright control mechanisms. If Linux becomes massively popular before these systems are implemented and popularised, they will not catch on. However, if the copyright barons can get them out the door soon, they will be a blunt instrument against Linux on the desktop. After all, the GPL itself will lock Linux out of being able to access new "copyright-enhanced" hardware. And you can be sure Microsoft will be more than happy to hammer the point home.
  • This is CSS all again...

    Encryption (or more specifically encipherment) has two main aims:

    1. To keep a message secret.
    2. To authenticate the message as genuinely from the author.

    These translate into the video world as:

    1. Only people who (pay to) have the keys can view the content.
    2. Only people who (pay to) have the keys can produce videos.

    Encryption has fsck all to do with copying. The whole point is that you can give the message (or video content) to anyone - you trust your encryption algorithm to be up to scratch.

    | What? you were expecting
  • by Boone^ ( 151057 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @06:15AM (#1262722)

    (New York, New York-AP) The World Wide Web ('Web') today returned to its roots as a text-only medium after Intel's new Display Encryption took effect. Millions of websites were unable to display screen shots of their new products, as well as Open Source projects attempting to garner support for their programs.

    Surprisingly, there was minimal backlash. The first hot spot was from QoS bandwidth ISP providers who suddenly discovered that all high-price accounts were cancelled in favor of 56k modem access again. The other was from within the Billion dollar WWW Sex industry, many of whom were busy running their collections through jpg->ascii converters.

    "This is tight, dude!" a 3 year veteran of AOL from Manhatten exclaimed. "Now all my websites load several times quicker!"

    Not everyone is pleased, however.

    Microsoft, new champion for the working people, has promised to add Encrypted Screen Shot decryption to their new version of Internet Explorer 2000. They're currently evaluating Open Source licenses for the add-on. Taking a page from Sun's License, the M$PL basically states that anyone on a Windows 2000 machine running Internet Explorer 2000 is able to use the code. They feel the code is safe as it is actually source code for the MS Back Orifice II program, but when run through a proprietary Windows 2000-only converter, will suddenly decrypt screen shots.

  • by Pika ( 49094 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @06:21AM (#1262731)
    this is soooo cool!! becuase between my box and my monitor sit a whole quag of midget hackers. they've all spliced into my monitor cable, and capture all the unencrypted video signals. damn the little buggers!! they're too quick to catch, and too smart to trace.

    At least its great that Intel is headed in the right direction. I mean, we all have this same problem, don't we??
  • Well how does this stop me from putting a recording device between the input and the screen, recording the encrypted signal, and then sending exactly the same encrypted signal to the screen again?

    What you're describing is a replay attack, which depends on a cyphertext being valid regardless of context. There are a number of ways of thwarting these. Requiring a timestamp or serial number in the encrypted data, and discarding data with a repeated number, would do. If it's a two-way protocol, of course, it becomes easier. A challenge-response system, in which the monitor issues challenges which the transmitter must respond to, would weed out blindly replayed data. This could be as simple as having the monitor choose part of the next encryption key.
  • There is another potential 'cleartext' hole which would be much easier to hack into and would be portable.
    It is very unlikely the that the 'protected' content is directly encoded into the encrypted monitor driving signals. In other words a movie on a disc would still be encoded as an MPEG stream and not an HDCP stream.
    Software that would want to run a DVD, for instance, would decrpyt the DVD (MPEG) and then re-encrypt it (through the driver or specialized hardware?) into the encrypted monitor driving signals (HDCP).
    Unless these conversions are done in some specialized chip it would be just a matter of disassembling the player software.
    IMHO, it is highly unlikely that there will be such specialized hardware.
  • Separating the decryptor and display is a lot easier if the entire system is not on one solid-state chip. If there's one monolithic blob of silicon between the encrypted signal and the million or so transistors on the display, your only option would be to take apart the display, solder a million or so wires to it and construct a custom digitiser. And you'd be better just pointing a camera at the display in that case.
  • and if you actually printed them out (aside from the bulk and the cost of the paper/toner) that would be one hell of a flipbook...

    Or even better - really neat wallpaper!
  • Gee, I know plenty of windows users who know what the "Print Screen" button does.

    This is actually the way that some of the earlier DVD-rip programs worked. Capturing video memory for every frame. However, it's not a Guarantied way to do things. For one thing, you have the issue of video ports, witch are a special way to reallocate a block of screen space in a different memory aria. With my old TV-Tuner Card, trying to do a print-screen of the TV would get me a big purple square. (Of course, my TV tuner card had raw input anyway, so this wasn't a problem)

    Think about it this way, if there had been no DeCSS, there would be no (encrypted, not all DVDs are encrypted) DVD's on Linux. Presumably, this isn't being done to prevent people from saving the state of their computer monitor, but rather to prevent people from recording copyrighted material. Its possible that there might be a DVDCCA style license for this stuff, so Microsoft could just disable the Print-screen, or something (even going so far as to put the video-port aria into protected memory). They could also allow no open source players at all.

    Of course, if you really want to record this stuff, all you need is a cam-corder. A bright LCD screen will probably record pretty well...

    [ c h a d o k e r e ] [dhs.org]
  • "lets encrypt this; lets force the user to have to reauthenticate to keep using his already paid-for software; lets add extra cost and hardware complexity for no visible [sic] user gain; lets control what you have to look at evertime you bootup; maybe some ads that you cannot block; some strong-arm [sic] licensing tactics to keep you in line, ..."

    sigh - I'm finding my current hardware (and hardware from even a few years ago) more and more appealing to keep. if they put more obstacles in my way, making it less and less attractive to purchase new hardware; hell, I'll just keep my old stuff and that will be that! even my older pentium-1 or k6 system runs bash just fine, thankyou.

    keep up this crap guys and "no more money to intel from Mr. Fnord".

    this is one time that I won't be led to press that SUBMIT button ;-)


  • True, but DIVX didn't have that much corporate muscle behind it. I'd hate to think what would happen if MS, Intel, and the MPAA could force on us if they tried.


  • Competitors are already starting projects to one-up Intel's new encrypted display technology. One company, noting that users can still simply print their screen or otherwise capture the decrypted image, has started developing a computer-eye interface by which the image is transferred by a wire into each eye ball, and is not decrypted until immediately before projecting it onto the cornea. Noting that consumers will easily circumevent this by tapping the eye nerves, or hooking the wires to black-market eyeballs and redirecting the impulses, another company has started plans for a completely secure, information-to-brain point-to-point tunneling protocol (itb-pptp), enforcing copy protection. Special wires connecting all senses to the brain will encrypt those senses and, via a small decryption algorithm planted in the brain, decrypt them on demand. Copyrighted material will never be stored in unencrypted form. The company's spokesperson had no comment when asked their opinion on whether introducing such a technology would spawn seedy hack-parlors by which patients have their brain hacked ('lobotomized') so that they can illegally retain copyrighted information.

    Jazilla.org - the Java Mozilla [sourceforge.net]
  • For this to work the display driver will need to know the 'secret' keys (in order to program them into the hardware - or at the very least it will have to know how to program something magic into the hardware).

    One of the main reasons for the DeCSS fuss is because there are no Linux DVD drivers - primarily I beleive because you can't do this 'I've got a secret I'm not telling you' sort of thing in open source.

    If this piece of rampent stupidity comes to pass we wont be seeing and OS X drivers for these display chips because to do so would be to provide the software that sets up the keys in the hardware. To get around this would require each chip to have its own programmed in unique key which is NOT a cheap prospect.

    I beleive this is nothing more than CSS for broadcast video - I'd guess that keys are probably going to get distributed to set-top boxes by broadcast and you wont be able to view any HDTV unless you have the key-of-the-day/hour/minute for your hardware (will TiVo stop working after an N minute delay :-)

    For those of us looking at stuff on the 'net keys will come from some centralized location (like the MPAA) and Big Brother will indeed be watching.

    This is going to cost a lot in silicon, if the silicon mixes traditional stuff with encrypted stuff in the same frame buffer it's going to cost a lot more (at the very least one bit per pixel - more if you allow overlapping windows because the monitor wont see all the stream and will have to be able to decode every pixel on it's own). In the long run WE are going to be paying for all this infrastructure in the form of more costly display hardware

  • by Hasdi Hashim ( 17383 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @06:48AM (#1262762) Homepage
    Traditionally it has been like this:


    Now they want it like this:


    As any fool would tell you, this would mean the data has to be compressed from an *encrypted* video source. Compression works best if the content is regular as opposed to random, which is exactly what an encrypted source would give you. IOW, i doubt a full-length Matrix will fit on a DVD.

    The best place, as been mentioned many times before in slashdot and advised by RSA would be to compress *and then* encrypt, which would be:


    My guess, in the final draft it would end up like this:

    ---> ENCRYPT2 --> DECRYPT2 ---> DISPLAY

    They'll never do that you say? Mark my words. These people already invested resources and demoed a unit encrypting uncompressed pixel-by-pixel. To throw away their work would make them look bad. It would take a lot out of them not push this technology even if it is costly on the technology end.

    Then again, what do I know. :-P

  • by Paul Crowley ( 837 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @06:48AM (#1262764) Homepage Journal
    Yes. this has been widely demonstrated in academia and other experiments. Two good sources are The Complete, Unofficial TEMPEST Information Page [eskimo.com] by Joel McNamara, and Ross Anderson's Soft Tempest [cam.ac.uk] pages. The latter is particularly mindbending and everyone on /. should give it a read....
  • It's a good thing that AMD is now kicking Intels butt, and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. Otherwise I might worry about this. Who cares what Intel does? Wintel is dead (ok, I'm probably jumping the gun there). Linux will continue to take over the market - first servers, and eventually (3-5 years) the desktop market as well (the exact timeframe is probably wrong, but I'm pretty sure it will happen sometime).

    In any case, Intel has relied for a long time on the fact that Windows runs only on Intel (don't talk to me about those jokes NT/Alpha and NT/PowerPC), and that most people run Windows, ergo most people buy Intel hardware (this being before AMD made good stuff like the K6-3 and Athlons). Not only is AMD making better chips from a techie standpoint, but Intel can't even make enough of their high end chips to meed their demand. So the day is soon coming when AMD makes better Intel hardware than Intel itself (already here), and the major desktop and server OS (Linux) runs on many different architechtures (fairly near future). Goodbye Intel! :)
  • There is absolutely no way this can be used to provide copy protection unless it is forced on each and every consumer. Every consumer who buys a digital display will pay for it. Every consumer who uses any video service other than broadcast will pay for it. No consumer needs it for their own purposes (which is even worse than the Clipper, since some people might actually want that).

    This raises again the need for /. readers to become politically aware, if not active. One responsibility of government is to protect consumers. Content protection is fine. Organizations have a right to protect their intellectual property (like it, or not). But they have no right to control the market in such a way that we have no alternative other than their chosen medium. And the idea that they can remotely monitor the use of a product that I paid for is assinine. If I want to by a 45" digital monitor to use as an aquarium, I can. If I want a 45" digital monitor exclusively for unencrypted use, I had better be able to get one. As long as I can, and as long as most people do, unencrypted content will have to be made available or it simply won't sell.

    So the key here is to stay alert and make sure that this doesn't become the ONLY method (especially, legislated) of viewing commercial content. Give them their niche market in industries that require high security. As long as it has competition in the consumer market, it will fail.

  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @07:09AM (#1262782)
    There was no mention of this for personal computers, just for computers. Given the fiasco over readable numbers in the P3, this would be a fiasco for Intel. For personal uses, this is rather silly.

    Now, a previous poster mentioned military uses. Military installations and overseas embassies, spy rings, etc., might have a need for this.

    IIRC, you can read an image off a CRT from up to 2 miles away, right? I don't think that this applies for Digital systems like HDTVs and flat screens, right?

    While home users aren't interested in security, our government might be. I don't know, is it possible to read the signal off a monitor cable? I would think so. From a distance, I don't know. However, for overseas operations, it is possible to tap the cable (in an embassy with a well placed spy).

    Additionally, for classified documents, there might be a desire to prevent them from being copied. Imagine a locked system (no external network connection, no floppy, no modem, etc) with VERY classified stuff. If someone wants to copy these documents, say, and fly to another country with them, they currently could plug a recording device in and view them. This would prevent that.

    While conceivably they could take photos, this would be easier to prevent and catch. Additionally, it probably isn't too difficult to develop a screen that really can't be caught on film. I'm sure there is a way to play with the signal to screw with that chemical process.

    My guess is that this is NOT a was to make existing video cards and flat screens obsolete, my guess is that this is a system to win a juicy government contract. Even if the increased security is insignificant, it may win a government contract.

  • They sell you a DVD/movie encrypted for your monitor only.

    And what happens when your monitor goes up in a cloud of smoke? Your DVD collection becomes useless?

    Not good.

  • Well, not a solution, but a workaround... Provided that this 'scheme' is not made ubiquitous.

    A quality digital video camera, aimed at the monitor. Yeah, it's lower quality than the HDTV/DVD image that's being displayed... But the content can't be protected if it is to be accessible.

    Just like with the audio encryption that is sure to follow this piece of drivvel. If you can play it over headphones and speakers, you can wrap those into a tape deck... Unless they force you to wear microprocessors in your ear-bud speakers. Ha!

    Point being, if a person is to be able to experience the signal, be it audio, video, whatever - then that signal has to be made analog at some point - and that's where it WILL be 'exposed' from whatever encryption is used.

    I'd like to see the MPAA/RIAA try to force the government to force the population to have digital sensory pick-ups and decoders implanted in their skulls. That's how far it will have to go, to keep their precious IP/content 'safe'!

  • As a point of information, from what I can tell, the encryption and decryption is done in hardware. This being said, there would be absolutely *no* CPU cycle loss due to this
    process. Nonetheless, I see absolutely no purpose of this. Why in the hell do they want to encrypt the video signal? Anyone have any good reasons or are you all as bewildered as

    Very simple to "prevent piracy" in their minds. This is because they want tight restricted control of content. Basically if you are a content author you should take the "secure" intel solution over your competitor's solution. That screws you if say you want to run anything other than Intel at all. Don't believe me just look at the DVD situation.

    This is essentially just another means of control and appeasement of various veto groups nothing more.
  • by barleyguy ( 64202 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @07:33AM (#1262809)
    Besides all that, I don't see any real market for this stuff outside of the DOD or DOE. You can pick out the target market because they have aluminium foil around their heads to keep out the alien mind control.

    The market for this is people who aren't aware that they even have it. All they know is that they bought a computer with a kickass movie player (It was only 599.00 at Sam's Club...) and there's this funny looking cable between the monitor and computer. This keeps their friend the techie from buying the same cheap computer and copying movies.

    I think this whole thing is a completely stupid idea. If you can watch it with your eyes, you can copy it. Period. They transfer old films to videotape that way, and then you can digitally remaster them and make them look really good. So what's the point? There really is none, other than keeping low level Joe-Bob-Suzy consumer copying to a minimum.
  • No I really don't think so. Why raise prices to combat or prevent piracy? Most figures that are seen are projected analysis of possible revenue and nothing more at all. What should be said is that preventing piracy will encourage people to raise prices even further because there then isn't any other possible way to get what you are offering unless you or someone you want to sell that thing is offering it.
  • by jonathanclark ( 29656 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @07:40AM (#1262815) Homepage
    Two issues, though:
    1. Why just 56 bits? the new export regulations specifically exempt encryption used for copy protection from such limitations.

    Think global. Not all countries have the same legislation as the US. Also 56 DES decoder chips are much cheaper to make then 128-bit counter parts. That's a pretty high-bandwidth stream to decrypt if you are looking at 640x448x32bit at 30fps.

    2. How will this interact with compression?

    A very good question. It would seem they would need to do the mpeg macro-block decoding in the monitor which is a very freaky idea. That means the monitor needs some video memory of it's own.
    There is no mention of this in the article. This would make the monitors quite a bit more expensive.

    One other issue I thought of is image scaling and clipping. Suppose you want to run the DVD in a window, how can you scale the bits if they are encoded? Or if the window is obscured by another window you have to clip at pixel boundaries not macro-block boundaries. Monitor supported overlays could do this, but again more cost in the monitor - basically the monitor needs it's own video card with video memory. In which case, why have one in the PC as well?
  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @07:41AM (#1262816) Homepage
    Wow, the idea of occular implants came to me too.
    Closely followed by an image of Tipper Gore masturbating at the very thought of finally being able to protect the children of America from all the smut out there on the internet.

    Imagine cochlear implants, keyed just so that they cut out briefly when they decode a 'naughty' word.

    Imagine, keys that enable you to view porno only being available when you turn 18... For a fee.. A porno tax. And filing an application for the keys puts you into an FBI database of potential trench-coat mafia members.

    Imagine that after a vegetarian gets elected to a higher office, (or better yet, appointed to the Purina board of directors) you are no longer allowed to enjoy the taste of bloody meat.

    Where's a brilliant sci-fi writter when you need him to write another techno-dystopian novel? Hey Katz! Why don't you write something useful for a change?
  • Tempest works on both CRT and LCD screens, to answer to first poster.

    pretty grim

    The easiest way to foil Tempest is to cut the top 30% out of the picture - it doesn't affect image quality that much, although everything is a little more blurred than normal. The
    great thing is, you can put other information in the top 30% of the signal without affecting what the monitor shows to you - but to those monitoring you all they see is the top
    30%. So run a simple screensaver type program that only writes to the top 30% of the signal, and plan your bomb making in the bottom 70% in perfect secrecy.

    I think a great many people already do something to foil tempest monitoring now. I looked at the official military documentation on creation of tempest proof structures and constructs. If you have a shielded enough location you can get away with it.

    Since most people are in fact (not all) work out of basements which usually are below ground and surrounded by high density concrete you can be pretty sure that unless the FBI is behind the door to your basement that you are safe.
  • this will probably be hard to do in practice,

    IANAEE (I am not an electrical engineer) so take this with a grain of salt.
    If it's an LCD panel, it could be nearly impossible to decode, because the decoder and the display driver could be in the same chip package. There would be no exposed contacts between the encrypted input and the half million or so wires going into the LCD matrix.

    If it's a standard CRT there must be a point where the decoder puts out analog R/G/B signals that feed the picture tube. You could hook something up to that and convert the signal to NTSC or PAL to feed a VCR, or digitize it into unencrypted MPEG. There would be a loss of quality in the digital -> analog -> digital conversions, though.
  • NOT TRUE This is weak FUD. Windows is JUST as hackable as Linux. The kernel mode portions actually have better documentation than Linux. Ref. all the device driver writing books for Windows compared to Linux's one.

    In the places where you're meant to hack them (i.e., to write your own drivers). But there are undocumented portions. Some Windows binaries are written in such a way to make debugging impossible without a hardware ICE debugger. (And if the DeCSS decision is precedent, you can bet that you'll need a special licence to own/use such debuggers in future, much as you need a locksmithing licence to legally own lockpicking tools.)

    Under Linux, you can always change the kernel under whatever program is running. Under Windows, you can write some DLLs, but the kernel itself is fixed. And while you could hand-disassemble it and diddle the machine language, most people aren't so masochistically bloody-minded.
  • by jms ( 11418 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @08:05AM (#1262836)
    They want to encrypt it to prevent you from recording it.

    The real purpose of the DMCA is to eliminate the fair use provisions of copyright law by technological means.

    Fair use doctrine says that you can record a video broadcast, so you can watch it later, or skip the commercials.

    The purpose of this technology is to ensure that there is no place in the video chain where the video signal is available in an unencrypted code, so there is no place where you can insert a VCR.

    The DMCA will make it illegal to bypass the video encryption, so no one will be able to legally manufacture an HDTV video recorder without the permission of the encryption cartel, and you can be sure that all "authorized" recorders include content management codes, so that you can only record when the broadcaster turns on the record-enable bits.

    - John
  • um, actually, I believe that Linus has decreed that bianary-only drivers are ok -- I suppose a way of getting hardware to work that you can't get to work any other way...

    and I think that they can keep everything that matters in hardware -- of course, it's going to cost us. lots.


  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @08:11AM (#1262845)
    The keyspace is only 2^56 in size - the same size as RC5-56. Remember, that algorithm that distributed.net killed a year or so ago?
    The DeCCS legal proceedings are already hammering home a very important point - it doesn't have to be GOOD encryption to be EFFECTIVE encryption.

    A small group of people will always have access to whatever data is out there no matter what its protection system is. I believe the industries made up of IP holdings already understand and quietly acknoledge this.

    What they don't want is the masses to have that same access. The masses generally can't do it themselves and require those select individuals to provide them with tools. To get those tools out to the masses, the tool-makers require distribution channels that are open to the public (be it commercial in nature or not).

    It all comes togeather with the DMCA. Bad encryption or not, the DMCA makes it a crime to circumvent copy protection mechanisms. Under the threat of legal action, there goes your public distribution channel. Bad encryption has done its intended job.

    One might argue that DeCCS is under scrutany and no matter what its final legal standing ends up being - its still out there. You can get copies of it. Genie is out of the bottle and there's no putting it back. Which is true. The Code is Out There.

    But developers will have to avoid using illeagal code. If its illeagal, "products" (again - commercial or not) can not be based off of it. If they are, they become the tools of an underground subset.

    Once again, bad encryption has kept data out of then hands of the masses. Its done its job.

  • by rmstar ( 114746 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @08:15AM (#1262846)
    O hell, they are going for the full ticket in controlling information. There is no other purpose for that than this, 'cos TEMPEST is not going to be blocked by that. They want to control it, and they want it badly.

    Ok, I'm going to say something trying to understand the other side of the coin:

    Artist, and by extension, companies that distribute works of art, are used to have a certain amount of control over their work. There are many reasons for that, and most have nothing to do with a future edition of the gestapo.

    For instance, the control over who is listening your music is important because you don't want it to get 'burnt out' too quickly. It is part of the job to see where you play, where you publish, when, and on what scale, what pricing it has, etc.

    I'm saying that this is a traditional way of doing it and that there are lots of people more than used to do things this way. I'm NOT making a judgement about the circumstance.

    A lot of the effect that a work of art produces in its audience would be lost if that control is gone. This one is not quite obvious unless you realize that a good portion of the art part of the business is about comunication, not about fullfilling your needs as a consumer. So even if you take away the money aspect out of the equation, there might be reasons to copy-protect a given material. YMMV, but I also think it is a legitimate decission to try to make money, even shiploads of it, out of your work of art.

    So the reasons behind copy protection will not stop existing soon. I'm sure that we can expect the conflict to escalate further and further, and puting the open surce concept in complete oposition to copyright might result in something we don't want.

    So please think a little bit.

    It is a most unhelpful circumstance in this discusion that art and technical/scientifical knowledge end up in the same lot. They don't have the same function in society and thus should not be legislated in the same way.



  • "There's something happenin' here
    and what it is ain't exac-a-ly clear"


    actually, this won't encrypt your monitor, so people can still walk around with a big antenna and take a look at the radiation streaming off your monitor...

    of course, it would probably protect against van eck phreaking, would it not? I believe the place where the bytes are snarfed from is the nice, big, transmitting cable to your monitor (or the nice single set of wires that serve the same purpose, in a laptop). if you integrate the display chip with the encryption chip in an LCD, you'd be SOL. probably the same thing for CRTs, but it would be harder...



  • Did anyone else notice that this announcement was timed for release the day after the deadline for comments on excemptions to the DMCA provisions had passed?

    Thus, no one will have commented on this important development.
  • The right place to put the descramler... is at the very last moment before the information is presented to the user. This minimizes the number of places where the unencrypted data may be intercepted.

    Flash to the future: 2112 AD

    In other news today, the DVD CCA, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Business Software Association, and the NSA have announced a joint project to ensure the entertainment industry can continue to offer high-quality, unoffensive, properly-rated material to America's law-abiding population.

    The project creates a technology where all forms of entertainment (both movies and television) are fed directly into the brain's sensory areas, bypassing the eyes and ears completely. The technology also incorporates an encryption module, alleviating the need for all those messy key-cards, retina scans, and DNA samples currently required to watch a home movie.

    "This is a great leap forward in consumer copyright protection!", said AOL-Microsoft-IBM-AT&T chairman Bill Gates, speaking from his life suspension tank in Redmond, WA. "No longer will we have to worry about those hackers stealing our quality entertainment and software, raising prices for law-abiding citizens.

    Congress has already enacted a law requiring all citizens to have the implants "installed" within six months. It also authorizes the Amalgamated Regional Militias to search all homes to ensure legacy players without the new features are destroyed.

    The device also includes a real-time, wireless network connection, to allow automatic update of software and encryption keys by the MPAA's Central Facility. Rumors that the connection also transmits all sounds and images back to the NSA for monitoring have been firmly denied.

  • I don't know about the company you keep, but I'm pretty offended by organisations that assume that I can't be trusted to follow the spirit of copyright law, so I must either purchase additional "services" whose only function is to prevent me offending (copy protection schemes) or must pay a tax to compensate for my alledged dishonesty (levies on blank recording media).
  • This was posted to slashdot a couple of months ago, and I'm terribly frustrated that I can no longer find it.

    Perhaps somebody else with better search chops than I have will find it. In any case, the previous commenter posted a list of attendees of two conferences that have been held to define and promote this standard.

    Basically, everybody was there. The big computer manufacturers, the movie studios, all other content providers.

    This is not a small, isolated effort. It is not just a government-sales only program. This will be everywhere.

    For you people who say that you'll never upgrade -- well, perhaps you won't. But there will be more and more of the media unavailable to you. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    It will be interesting to see what comes from this. After the DeCSS fiasco, the players will try to do a higher quality encryption. Sadly, all of the protocols that I can imagine to do this kind of player-encryption securely involve real-time transactions with secure servers -- which basically will give over your ability to view things to third parties, even after you've 'bought' the media. Obviously, it would be possible to monitor and cross-reference everybody's media habits as well -- completely destroying privacy.


  • I don't think this technology is even meant for computers... Probably more for digital TV's and DVD players. It's a content protection tool... One of the ways that a DVD could be copied would be just to hook the DVD player to a VCR, press play and record, and there you go... A lower quality movie... but a copy none the less.

    If you try it with an encrypted signal, you can't record movies that way. You only get an encrypted stream. The DVD player would just send encrypted data) to the TV which would decode there, rather than how currently, the DVD does the decoding itself.

    That's the only feasible use for this technology... It's useless for computer users... How many of use care than the signal going from the video card to monitor isn't encryped? How many of us would care if it were? It wouldn't stop coworkers from looking over shoulders, people with binoculars peering through windows, hidden cameras, etc...

    Just because it's from Intel does not mean it's meant for the PC world... IMO, at least.

  • Absolutely! I plan to do this very same thing if this scheme goes through. Of course, once parts start to fail after a few years, it becomes a problem...

    BUT WAIT! If a few smaller companies recognize that most consumers won't want this technology, they might develop their own monitors/vid cards/sound cards, or simply buy (by then) obsolete patents on 1280x1024 analog monitors and cards and the like and improve upon them.

    If enough of these theoretical rebel companies offer their products at signifigantly lower prices, the Encryption Cartel would be in trouble.

    Which brings me to an important point: What is Creative's stance on end-to-end encryption? Being the dominant sound card manufacturer out there, if they don't go along with all this, this scheme for controlling playback of content could be in trouble.

    Please forgive my disjointed writing style. It's friday afternoon and I'm really stressed out.
  • Here on my desk, connected to my computer, I have an excellent monitor. The picture is huge, but not so big that I have to push it to the back of my desk; it handles high resolutions; and it protects itself against refresh rates it can't handle (if you try to use a resolution/refresh-rate combination it can't handle, instead of displaying a screwed-up picture and possibly damaging itself, it just blacks out the picture). It's also touch-sensitive, though I prefer a mouse, so I don't use that feature.

    This monitor must have cost well over a thousand dollars, and it is worth every penny. My company must have had it several years now, as well.

    If the MPAA decides to become even more paranoid and adopt this "encryption," my excellent and very expensive monitor will become obsolete.

    Of course, I don't watch DVDs at work. I don't even have a DVD drive in my office computer. But I'm sure there are plently of home users who do watch DVDs and have purchased big monitors specifically for that purpose.

    The monitor is one of the most expensive parts of a home computer system, sometimes comprising as much as 30% or more of the price. Are we supposed to buy "new" monitors" Well... Probably not, because we have "old" video cards and "old" DVD decoding hardware and software. But will they become greedy enough to make us upgrade?

    Now, an engineering team and large company add cost to your components to implement on-the-fly encryption of your video signal. Does this help solve the problems you originally bought your machine for?

    Hell, no! This is a solution looking for a problem. I'm sure it's possible to take the output from the pins on a video cable and transform and massage it into a usable NTSC, PAL, or SECAM signal you could tape with a VCR. You could also find a way to route this signal into another computer via a video-capture card. But is this a rampant problem for the movie industry? No! Could this be a problem in the forseeable future? No! Downloading of 1GB movies over ubiquitous broadband lines, yes, but this? No!

    The only way they can make it work is by convicing the public that they can get better picture quality or a better viewing experience with this technology. But, to the public, it will be just a more expensive version of technology that already exists with no benefit for the consumer.

    This is a very bad idea, indeed. I hope the movie and computer industries see the problem. If people have to buy new, expensive, monitors just so they can watch these damned copy-protected movies and these new expensive, monitors might not have all the features of their old, expensive monitors (that still work perfectly), and might not be of the same quality as their old, expensive monitors that they paid so much money for, then this venture will surely die.

  • Hmm, you could replace the board where the chip sits with a board that looks identical to the chip, except rather than have it output to an LCD matrix, make it go a piece of custom hardware that reconstructs the pixels into a single bitstream.

    I imagine any decent computer engineer could pull this off. The expensive part is designing the board and getting it manufactured, but probably within the budget of most criminal piracy operations.

    But then again, IANAEE, so there may stuff I'm overlooking.
  • Important: No one has asked this question at all yet, and I think it is valid.

    Intel is planning on selling the chips that would go into your monitor and decrypt the signal; that's how they plan to make money. Now, what if I reverse-engineer their product and release my own chip that decrypts the signal?

    Will it be breaking a copyright protection scheme?
    Will it be illegal according to the DMCA?
    Will it be illegal according to the UCITA?
    Will it be illegal for me to compete with Intel?

    I find this questions as applied to my country's new laws quite disturbing. As we all know, this situation would be exactly the IBM PC one. Except now, everything is being made illegal by ignorant laws, written by big corporations with armies of lawyers.

    Assuming that the world comes to it's senses, and releasing a competing chip is legal, then what about releasing a sort of LinMonitor. Much like a WinModem or LinModem, the LinMonitor would do all the decryption in software, and even make your old monitors work with new, encryption-only video cards. This would present even more competition for Intel!

    Would this be illegal also?
    What happened to the Bleem case, which is strikingly similar?
    Is this now breaking copyright protection?
    What makes this different from DeCSS?

    So how 'bout it? Is Intel just using the law and their lawyers to buy their way into a monopoly by making any competing products illegal? Do I have to come up with a 117th reason not to like Intel? What do you think?

  • ...or even a million fingers, won't keep water from evaporating from the reservoir.

    As with the Processor Serial Number, Intel seems to mistakenly believe -- or perhaps their marketroids have been trying to fool media companies into believing -- that you can control access to information once you've put it into the user's hands. Of course, that's silly. It's too easy to jigger the hardware, crack the encryption, reverse-engineer the software. It will be no problem to crack open a "copy protected" monitor and extract a decrypted video signal in short order.

    The article says, " A violated key could be tracked down and revoked over a satellite broadcast network, for example." Of course, this is silly. It'll only take a few hours to crack the next one! And will consumers tolerate the notion of large corporations reaching into their homes to disable their equipment? Sure.... In the same way they turned out in droves to buy DivX players and movies.

    I feel like asking Intel and the media moguls: "Ed Gruberman, have you learned nothing from the lesson of DeCSS? Of DivX? Of the Processor Serial Number? Boot to the head! [beagleweb.com]"

    Perhaps, in time, Intel will becoome enightened [beagleweb.com] about this. But I'm not counting on it.

    --Brett Glass

  • In OpenGL, there's a few functions for copying the framebuffer from one place to another (such as glReadPixels() and glCopyPixels()). There's no guarantee that the framebuffer as displayed on the screen will be available in a screencapture, and the framebuffer is typically only available to the process which owns the OpenGL context (though, as usual, this is implementation-specific).
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [nmsu.edu].
  • Maybe thats their goal.
    Intel tried to compete in the Video card market and failed. Maybe they are trying to move into the market again but from the other end.

    I could see an Intel chipset that had a video out, not as an agp slot, but as a cable connector, that would connect up to the monitor with an 'Intel Only' vid card inside of it.

    They can promote it as a new standard of video security, and incidentally remove competition, all from your good friends at Intel.
  • Presumably, this isn't being done to prevent people from saving the state of their computer monitor, but rather to prevent people from recording copyrighted material.

    The problem is, it won't stop with movies. Next will come the new 'improved' acrobat reader that sends the encrypted pdf directly to the screen. Eventually, some software producer will decide that their tradmarked, patented, and 'protected by hired goons' (TM) look and feel should be further protected by sending the UI in encrypted form.

    The companies who create all of this expensive crap and then force the consumer to pay for it all are the very same companies who will gladly cut the life of a product in half or make it impossable to repair in order to save $0.05 worth of parts because "the consumer demands lower prices".

    As usual, this technology will harm the typical consumer while the big time bootleggers will still be in business because they can afford the time and energy needed to tap the LCD electronics and read off the unencrypted image.

  • While its beyond the Comment period, its still well within the Reply period.

    Read the guidelines and reply
  • by Crixus ( 97721 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @09:44AM (#1262913)
    The reason there aren't (and will never officially be) any software DVD players on Linux is because the Linux kernel is open-source, and thus not guaranteed to be trusted.

    The copyright barons are pushing for end-to-end encryption. One end (DVD drives) is implemented. The other end (video/sound cards) is coming. Needless to say, open-source drivers would defeat the purpose, and the copyright barons would spend billions on fighting them. As for binary-only drivers, the GPL forbids them.

    This is just one of many ways that huge corporations which embrace closed standards can get rid of linux. We were all afraid that MS would mount (no pun) some sort of campaign to defeat linux.. perhaps even releasing their own version, but with decisions like this they won't have to.

    If linux isn't compatible with ANY of the hardware on the market due to closed standards such as these, who will want to run it? How could it possibly survive?

    It gets worse.

    With Microsoft about to spend millions this year (like 150) on MSN advertising to crush AOL, and AOL already having 10's of millions of users AND the infrastructure for high speed connectivity to boot (cable companies, etc..), are the days of the smaller non-proprietary ISP's numbered? And if they die out will too linux? Sure, we might see an AOL port to linux, but MSN seems unlikely (and I don't want EITHER). So what good is the next killer desktop OS without THE killer app, THE NET?

    And it seems to me there's little we can do about any of this.

  • "The point is not to provide the consumer a service."

    That is the point of all business. Sure this copy protection my have other applications, but don't try to stuff it down the consumers' throats.

    Jazilla.org - the Java Mozilla [sourceforge.net]
  • When movie studios and other people feel like they have a secure medium, that will open a whole new world of offerings that we haven't even dreamt of yet.

    Some sort of thing where you just press a button on your remote and you get to see the movie? And they just charge $3.00 on your credit card? Believe it or not, it's available now and it's called pay per view. On a DSS system it looks pretty good, and on DSS w/ HDTV it will look great.

    We will be offered those things one way or the other, because there's a ton of money to be made by offering it. All end to end encryption will get the consumer is ripped off.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @10:00AM (#1262922) Homepage
    This proposal has been around for a while, and now it's happening. It's part of a coordinated plan by the entertainment industry to put real teeth in copy protection. And it's going to work, because in the end, most of the hardware sold will have extensive copy protection features built in.

    It's not just computers, either. It's for TV sets [dealerscope.com], too. The plan is for the interface between the cable TV box and the receiver to become IEEE-1394 with decryption in the monitor. Thought you could record digital TV? Not for much longer.

    It's not just decryption, either. There's a watermarking [ibm.co.jp] and revocation feature, so that if unencrypted pirated content is played on a compliant monitor, something will happen that will make the viewer very unhappy. That's part of the backup system, so that even if you crack the encryption, you can't play the content on uncracked hardware. The watermarked data is a low-bandwidth, highly redundant signal hidden in the video, so it's really hard to remove. It might even survive copying with a camcorder.

    It's not just content, either. There's the "handshaking", so approved boxes won't talk to unapproved boxes. So you can't have any "unapproved" boxes connected to your system, or maybe on your LAN. Ultimately, either you have a system that's 100% protected against copying, or you have a custom-built standalone cracked system that can play cracked content in a nonstandard way.

    Bottom line: if this technology had been in place earlier, it would have prevented the creation of the cable TV, VCR, and video rental, industries. It may kill the Internet audio and independent set-top-box (Tivo, Replay, WebTV) industries. It may stop user-programmable computers from doing anything with commercial content. Especially ones running open-source systems.

  • Imagine cochlear implants, keyed just so that they cut out briefly when they decode a 'naughty' word.

    Eventually, a hacker group will figure out how to disable the censorship function and will then be able to have private conversations even when shouting in the library by speaking in a code language consisting entirly of "&^$^%$", "*$^", and "^@%#!@*!". Lip reading won't be an issue, but the other patrons would wonder why little black spots keep dancing in front of 'their' 'eyes'

  • It has nothing to do with "Van Eck" or "Tempest" radiation, because those read the image off of the CRT tube's electron beam.

    Actually it could. While the protection against video cable signal leakage may not be the intended effect, it is relevant. Van Eck phreaking can be used on any leaky signal. See this [jya.com] article by Peter Smulders about Tempest and RS232.
  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Friday February 18, 2000 @10:46AM (#1262941)

    I really doubt that preventing piracy is their only or even real goal here. First of all, since this scheme won't do a thing to prevent big copy-houses from pirating, it can't prevent the vast majority of piracy or kill off their illegitimate competition.

    The real goal here seems to be the removal of fair use rights from consumers. The movie and music industry leaders must be some kind of evil geniuses. Since they can't have fair use rights completely removed through legislation, and they can't remove them through technology, they were able (with the DMCA) to combine the legal and technological approaches to effectively end fair use. This puts them in a position to make more money through various pricing schemes and pay-per-play style charges. If the customer cannot legally exert any control over the content that he has purchased, then he will be forced to pay more or go without.

    Since this flat-out violates the original intent of copyright, it should be illegal. Unfortunately, the original intent is not much defense against the billions of dollars that the movie and music industries can throw at the government. They have effectively been granted monopoly rights to content for longer than any of us will likely be alive, and consumers will receive no benefit from them having this absolute control over the content, even after the sale. We've been sold out by our government. Plain and simple.

  • Actually, most of the big-time commercial piracy goes on in other countries like China where the MPAA has no legal recourse. They can't do much about piracy over there unless the foreign governments want to cooperate, which they usually don't want to do in any meaningful way.

    That still means that this scheme will do little to stop piracy, but a whole lot to remove the rights of consumers.

  • 1. Why just 56 bits? the new export regulations specifically exempt encryption used for copy protection from such limitations.

    From the look of things in court right now, they don't need to use more than 56 bit encryption. The fact that there is any encryption at all apparently makes it illegal to circumvent it. If the person plans to circumvent it in the first place, then it won't matter much what kind of encryption they use. It won't be good enough. They can just make more criminals out of people this way. We needed a few more jails around here anyway. They'll be full of hackers as well as drug-users soon.

  • I was afraid display encryption was going to happen sooner or later. If it catches on, it could be a real blow to content creation because you may end up having to license software to be able to create content.

    However, I don't see any reason why cryptographic hardware like that can't have open source drivers: as long as the hardware itself is secure, it can rely on open source software to establish a secure channel to whatever Internet server or other device it wants to talk to for verification.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan