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V.T. Eric Layton

Microsoft tells FTC Repair poses a Cyber Risk. It doesn’t.

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As for Microsoft’s contention about the TPM being jeopardized by repair – I’m not sure what they’re getting at. There’s nothing inherent in repair or the things called for in right to repair laws like providing diagnostic software, diagnostic codes, schematics and replacement parts that puts the integrity of the TPM or the trust model it anchors at risk. Nor does the TPM require that the devices it secures remain pristine: using the same hardware and software configuration as when they were sold by the OEM.

After all, TPMs are in Dell computers. Dell makes diagnostic software and diagnostic codes and schematics available for their hardware and I haven’t heard Microsoft or anybody else suggest that a TPM on a repairable Dell laptop is any less secure than the TPM on an unrepairable Microsoft Surface.

In fact, Microsoft itself has been promoting the TPM while putting its Windows operating system and Office software on TPM enabled desktops and laptops that allow owners to add, remove and service hardware and software components with abandon. At no time did the company suggest that changing the configuration of the system undermined the security of the TPM.



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