Le no-no

Will Morton macavity at well.com
Mon Jan 31 14:47:57 PST 2005

	He might be talking about the TCPA chip on the Thinkpad:


	Pretty sweet piece of kit, but based on an open standard IIRC so dunno  
how natsec could apply here.


On 31 Jan 2005, at 21:30, Tyler Durden wrote:

> Huh? There are IBM laptops with dedicated crypto chips? Although I  
> don't claim to be any kind of an expert, I think this has to be wrong.  
> Anyone know any different?
> What may exist is some kind of FPGA crypo code, but even that I doubt.
> (There's also the logical problem that the article writer seems to  
> have missed: When one company buys another company they don't just buy  
> that company's inventory and stuff, they buy the intellectual  
> property. Who gives a crap if they own the chips if they also own the  
> algorithm.)
> -TD
>> From: "R.A. Hettinga" <rah at shipwright.com>
>> To: cryptography at metzdowd.com, cypherpunks at al-qaeda.net,  
>> osint at yahoogroups.com
>> Subject: Le no-no
>> Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 22:48:18 -0500
>> <http://www.redherring.com/PrintArticle.aspx? 
>> a=11201&sector=Industries>
>> RED HERRING | The Business of Technology
>> Le no-no
>> The U.S. trips up a simple plan between IBM and Lenovo.
>> January 28, 2005
>> Homeland security is a cornerstone of the Bush Administration. But  
>> does
>> halting the IBM-Lenovo deal make the United States any safer? The  
>> Committee
>> on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has decided to
>> investigate the threat presented by the sale of IBM's personal  
>> computer
>> business to China's Lenovo Group.
>> Industry observers want to know what it is about this deal that irks  
>> the
>> feds. "I don't know," says Jeff Moss, CEO of Black Hat, a computer  
>> security
>> consulting firm. "It could be the loss of any manufacturing  
>> technology, any
>> kind of proprietary technology that IBM had; but the Chinese could  
>> take a
>> laptop apart themselves, too."
>> Besides, most personal computers are already made in China-PC  
>> production is
>> extremely commoditized, perhaps as much as transistors. "It is quite a
>> stretch [to say] that the sale of the PC business to Lenovo would  
>> threaten
>> American security," says Baizu Chen, a professor at the University of
>> Southern California's Gordon S. Marshall School of Business. "Some  
>> senators
>> want to make a noise. Eventually, this will pass. It's just transfer  
>> of
>> ownership."
>> One concern may have to do more with location than technology. The
>> Washington Post quoted a member of the U.S.-China Economic and  
>> Security
>> Review Commission-a Congressional panel created to watch commercial
>> relations between the U.S. and China-as saying that Chinese computer
>> experts could use an IBM facility in North Carolina as a base for
>> industrial espionage.
>> While the U.S. Treasury Department wouldn't confirm or deny the  
>> launch of
>> the 45-day probe, IBM, which will still hold an 18.9 percent stake in  
>> the
>> business, says it has filed the required notice with the committee  
>> and is
>> cooperating fully. The company is confident in the process and  
>> outcome. One
>> would hope so, given that the deal is worth $1.75 billion in cash,  
>> equity,
>> and assumed debt.
>> Where are the red flags? The U.S. government must demand action if a  
>> deal
>> impacts domestic production needed for projected national defense
>> requirements, or the capacity of domestic industries to meet national
>> defense requirements, or the control of domestic industries by foreign
>> citizens. The sale of IBM's money-losing PC unit doesn't quite cut it.
>> It could be an issue of pride, say some-or perhaps cryptographic  
>> chips, say
>> others. "Some of the IBM laptops have built-in cryptographic chips,"  
>> says
>> Pete Lindstrom, research director for Spire Securities. Mr. Lindstrom
>> points out that if the intellectual property associated with  
>> cryptography
>> is sold to a foreign country, one could potentially transfer a strong
>> cryptographic capability to another country.
>> But IBM is a multinational company, with employees across the globe.  
>> Would
>> it really be so hard for someone to access such information? In the  
>> end, it
>> all comes down to whom you trust. Legend Holdings owns the majority  
>> stake
>> in Lenovo, and the Chinese government controls a large chunk of  
>> Legend. A
>> few years ago, Global Crossing wanted to sell its telecommunications
>> network to Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa. It almost did-until the  
>> stepped in. But that's a story IBM executives would rather not think  
>> about.
>> --
>> -----------------
>> R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
>> The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
>> 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
>> "... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
>> [predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
>> experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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