Intel to introduce processor with remote kill switch

Intel logoIntel is preparing to launch its Sandy Bridge processors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The most interesting thing about these new processors is the kill switches that are built into them.

Sandy Bridge is the code name for Intel’s processor configuration and it is the successor to Nehalem.

According to an ITBusiness.ca article, David Allen, director of distribution sales, North America at Intel said that although Sandy Bridge is now shipping to Intel's distribution and equipment partners, Intel Premier partners are the only ones that can purchase it before the general release date, which is scheduled to coincide with CES.

“This is our first microprocessor where we have one billion transistors on a single CPU like this,” Allen said. “Now we've built in more thermal capabilities and performance enhancements. With Sandy Bridge, we'll still have the naming conventions for Core i3, Corei5 and Core i7.”

The new performance capabilities are improved graphics, faster processing and “improved” security and trust features designed to keep the whole computing experience more secure.

That is if your definition of secure resembles the anti-theft technology that Intel has built into Sandy Bridge. Allen told ITBusiness.ca that users no longer need to worry if their laptop gets lost or stolen because with Sandy Bridge it can be shut down remotely.

However, most victims of laptop thefts probably worry more about getting their computer back than they do preventing unauthorized use of Internet porn on their computer.

Is that what computer consumers really want? Kill switches on everything that could allow them to be taken off the information superhighway with one "accidental" stroke?

Sure, Intel boasts about how their new microprocessor will also help businesses create more efficient data systems using cloud computing, but the kill switch thing just seems to stick out like a red flag and it’s just brushed over in most news outlets so we’ll just have to give some attention to the issue right here.

First of all ITBusiness.ca probably isn’t the most visited technology website on the face of the planet, but the four people who were nice enough to leave comments share the same concerns that I have. They feel it’s unnecessary and that it’s another totalitarian device for micromanaging government types to put in their tool chests.

It used to be that Big Brother operated covertly and its spy devices were secretly installed so that public didn’t get worked up into a furious rage. Well they operate in the open now, and another major corporation is making it easier for the political elite to set up one big surveillance state.

Americans used to fear the theoretical Big Brother police state that the immoral usage of technology threatened to unleash on the public. Now, not only do they not fear it, the corporations they all know and love are successfully convincing them that they need this techno-fascism; and the people are buying it.

We all pretty much know we live in a societal tracking grid, couldn’t Intel at least have come up with a way to track your stolen laptop with a Global Positioning System (GPS) so that the authorities could at least attempt to recover it for the theft victim?

Laptops aren’t cheap you know. Instead of a kill switch Intel could have went with a Lo-Jack type system. Putting a kill switch in their new processors makes it seem like they want to disconnect you from information at their discretion.

Tags: CPUs, Intel

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