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Remote “Kill Switch” coming to Intel-based PCs

Remote ‘kill switch’ added to Intel’s newest processor

Jason Douglass

Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processor can be remotely disabled by a hardware/software combination known at Anti-Theft 3.0. Systems can be disabled over 3G networks, even while the OS is not running. Even when the hard drive is replaced, the critical systems will still be terminated.

At first this sounds great: if an owner loses a laptop it can be remotely disabled to ensure no sensitive data is compromised. But essentially we are giving up control of our computers and putting that control in another’s hands.

With the Patriot Act in place and and legislation like the ‘kill switch’ bill, many of the rights we took for granted are threatened. It is well within reason to fear this type of technology as it could be used as a means of control and censorship.

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