I have accidentally obtained the update from Windows XP that gives me Trustworthy Computing. I have some questions about it and I hope someone here will be able to answer them.

1. What is done to my computer if something is discovered on it? Are the files simply deleted? Is windows disabled? Is my hardware damaged? Is there a notice before the punishment is dealt?

2. What kind of files are they looking for? I know MP3s are one kind, but I have none of these. I am concerned about my small collection of NES and SNES roms. I'm also worried that non-microsoft alternatives may be considered piracy as well (Microsoft isn't known for being honest), such as my Firefox, my Thunderbird, and my dual-booted Linux.

3. Will my computer be used to scan and attack my family's computers over the network? What about in my Thunderbird address book?

4. Are posts I make such as this one monitored?

5. Should I delete my private txt journal documents on my computer or will they not be looked at?

6. Will my computer slow down during the scan?

7. Does this update leave me more vunerable to adware/viruses/spam?


8. I have a microphone connected to the computer. Will the update monitor conversations I have near my computer using this microphone?

Exactly what update are you talking about? I've not run across any of this yet.

Can you post a link to the update you've downloaded?

I do not have a link to it. It was on Windows Update. It was a critical update, so I downloaded it without reading about it.

I've never heard of it doing anything like that. If it was doing any of the things that you mentioned; as it stands now, that'd be against the law.

If anything, it would try to make sure that if you downloaded any DRM (Digital Rights Management) enabled music/files, that you weren't subverting any copy-protection measures set in place by those files. But, I wouldn't worry much about any of those other concerns.

If you're really concerned that something like this might be happening with your system, then put it behind a Linux or BSD-based hardware router, and run a sniffer on it. That will tell you if anything's going on. Heck, that's a good idea for any Windows machine!

Hey, what a doozy of a question! I suspect you've been watching too many movies and/or listening to too many 'conspiracy theories' :D

There's nothing remotely like what you describe in Windows or any of its updates. The Palladium (Trusted Computing) thingy never got off the ground, and any hardware/software mechanisms which might com into play in future to address the issues of piracy wouldn't go to anywhere near the extent you describe anyway. There are 'certificate checks' built into Windows Media Player at present, but they can be disabled if you choose.

The worst case scenario would be that your system would detect illegally downloaded files and refuse to run them, but that technology isn't in place (or even possible) just yet.

My advice would be to simply get on with using your PC and stop worrying about 'Big, Bad Billy' spying on you. It doesn't happen!