The Fallacy of Trusted Client Software

B. Schneier

Information Security Magazine, August 2000.


Controlling what a user can do with a piece of data assumes a trust paradigm that doesn’t exist in the real world. Software copy protection, intellectual property theft, digital watermarking-different companies claim to solve different parts of this growing problem. Some companies market e-mail security solutions in which the e-mail cannot be read after a certain date, effectively “deleting” it. Other companies sell rights-management software: audio and video files that can’t be copied or redistributed, data that can be read but not printed and software that can’t be copied. Still other companies have software copy-protection technologies.

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.