Thursday, December 15, 2005

The end of anonymity on the Internet?

The slogan for MSNBC is, if memory serves, "we're the lowest-rated cable news outlet!" The following, near-hysterial description of the "Trusted Platform Module" possesses all the intellectual rigor of a calculus contest with Jessica Simpson as judge:

...over 20 million PCs worldwide are equipped with a tiny security chip called the Trusted Platform Module, although it is as yet rarely activated. But once merchants and other online services begin to use it, the TPM will do something never before seen on the Internet: provide virtually fool-proof verification that you are who you say you are...

...once you’d registered yourself and your computer with an Amazon or an e-Bay, they’d simply look for the TPM on your machine to confirm it’s you at the other end...

Uhmm, suuuuuuuuurrrrrre. Let's see... I routinely use at least four machines to access the Internet. And, on any given day, I might use someone else's machine (say, my Dad's computer) to shop or surf. So Amazon is going to not let me order because I'm not on my "trusted platform"?

The odds of this happening are about the same as MSNBC beating Fox News in the Nielsens.

MSNBC: The end of anonymity on the Internet?

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