Early today, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body publicly announced its intention to publish Encrypted Media Extensions (EME)—a DRM standard for web video—with no safeguards whatsoever for accessibility, security research or competition, despite an unprecedented internal controversy among its staff and members over this issue.
EME is a standardized way for web video platforms to control users’ browsers, so that we can only watch the videos under rules they set. This kind of technology, commonly called Digital Rights Management (DRM), is backed up by laws like the United States DMCA Section 1201 (most other countries also have laws like this).
Today, the W3C announced that it would publish its DRM standard with no protections and no compromises at all.
Under these laws, people who bypass DRM to do legal things (like investigate code defects that create dangerous security vulnerabilities) can face civil and criminal penalties. Practically speaking, bypassing DRM isn’t hard (Google’s …