For critics, safe PC feels like a jail

Tuesday, 1 July 2003, 1:13 PM EST

Your next personal computer may well come with its own digital chaperone. As PC makers prepare a new generation of desktop computers with built-in hardware controls to protect data and digital entertainment from illegal copying, the industry is also promising to keep information safe from tampering and help users avoid troublemakers in cyberspace.

Silicon Valley - led by Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. - calls the concept "trusted computing." The companies, joined by International Business Machines Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and others, argue that the new systems are necessary to protect entertainment content as well as safeguard corporate data and personal privacy against identity theft. Without such built-in controls, they say, Hollywood and the music business will refuse to make their products available online.

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