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Encrypted Media Extensions

Encrypted Media Extensions are a new standard being pushed by the W3C with Google and Microsoft backing the standard while not even wanting to provide Mozilla with the information necessary to even implement the feature.

Essentially, it is a DRM (Digital Rights Management) standard being pushed by the W3C in order to stream videos while trying to prevent the end-user from being able to save the video content or to stream it without an authorised program which opens a number of questions and doors which are better left closed.

For instance, even if the EME runtime is encrypted and a binary blob, the video frames passed to the browser could theoretically be dumped thus, saving the video data in a way in which the program does not desire which would have to be fixed by restricting what the browser can do along with the freedoms of the plugins.

There is one way to fix many of these problems at once however, which is.. Rootkit.Rootkit is frequently seen as one of the most evil kinds of malware as it is much harder to detect and to remove than, conventional trojans and viruses which is quite the terrible precedent to set.

You might be thinking.. They wouldn’t use Rootkit, Would they? Well, Sony has already tried using Rootkit in the past in order to enforce DRM which raised quite the scandal and so, there’s already a precedent set of an organisation using Rootkit in order to enforce DRM measures which is a terrible situation to end up in.

With Rootkit, unauthorised programs can be stopped from calling the DRM runtime which in itself would be a huge impact on competition in the browser market as a single body would have control over what browsers are allowed to access the runtime and it would have a number of other capabilities as well.

In the case in which Rootkit is not used, the EME DRM wouldn’t be a too hard measure to bypass as you could just run a modded version of a browser which supports it and such which defeats the whole object of the DRM which is to restrict what the users can do with the streamed media.

It’s incredibly surprising that an organisation which is about furthering the Open Web would even think of passing such a standard which stands in direct opposition to the Open Web and shouldn’t even be something which they consider doing in the first place as the topic of DRMs in the web is better left to plugins like Flash rather than, it being a full solid standard in HTML 5.1.

If you liked this article (the article, not whatever stupid ideas that the W3C is trying to push) then, feel free to link back to this page, to share it with your friends or to discuss it on my forums.

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