One of the things making today’s Twitter headlines was the supposed release of the HDCP 'master key' – a key that allows the hacking of any HDCP-protected content for any HDCP-protected device. Currently, there’s not a lot of information about this discovery, not even who discovered it or how it was discovered. Engadget first reported the news, citing both a Twitter post by the user IntelGlobalPR:
Master HDCP key released: http://bit.ly/aM84GD (please mirror and RT!) #drm #hdcp #defectivebydesign
The site describes the key as "a forty times forty element matrix of fifty-six bit hexadecimal numbers", not that that’ll mean a lot to most of us. Something that does mean something to the average-Joe is that this discovery, if factual, will have huge consequences for the film industry. Currently, most purchased HD content requires HDCP DRM-technology on both ends of a user’s setup, such as a Blu-ray player and an HDTV, or it won’t play. With this technology, individual HDCP keys can be banned in the event that they’re compromised. With HDCP itself now potentially compromised, less-ethical users may soon be able to easily bypass HDCP entirely, ending the authorities’ current HDCP kill-switch powers.
I’ll end on a poem that I once read, as it seems appropriate: "If you build a better mousetrap and put it in your house, soon enough, you’ll find that Mother Nature has built a better mouse."