Trusted computing comes with a warning

Thursday, 17 April 2003, 11:50 AM EST

On Wednesday, three companies that sell products and services aimed at securing corporate computers and data told attendees at the RSA Conference 2003 here that trusted computers would help businesses secure their systems. However, the praise came two days after well-known cryptographers warned an audience that trusted computing could put the keys to their information in someone else's hands.

"This key-based infrastructure leads to market dominance and lock-out and allows others to treat you computer as theirs," said Whitfield Diffie, a top encryption expert and chief security officer for Sun Microsystems. The lesson: "Hold the keys to your own computer."

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