Chips are down

时间:2019-03-07 04:16:07166网络整理admin

By Duncan Graham-Rowe THE prospect of a European trade ban on Intel’s Pentium III processor came closer last month. At the centre of the debate is a report by the European Parliament’s Scientific and Technological Options and Assessment group. The report threatens to ban the chip. STOA is worried about the personal serial number (PSN) that Intel has built into its PIII chips. So far only PIII chips have this number. Designed to make e-commerce secure, the serial number could let other people monitor your electronic transactions (New Scientist, 6 February, p 6). Civil liberties campaigners felt that the FBI might snoop on people’s private transactions. Intel reacted to these concerns by turning off the PSN in Pentiums in March. But STOA’s report argues that the PSN could be copied because the number is buried in the chip. A cloned PSN would enable criminals, such as drug dealers, to operate under someone else’s name. Caspar Bowden of the Foundation for Information Policy Research says the chip is a threat to privacy. “Without prompt action from the European Parliament, unique PSNs may become a de facto industry standard before proper consideration can be given to the privacy risks,