On May 7, Assistant Professor Alex Halderman will petition the U.S. Copyright Office to grant an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would allow researchers to study the potential security risks of digital rights management (DRM) technologies. DRM is widely used by publishers to prevent copyright infringement, but there is growing evidence that the technology can cause risks for consumers by weakening the security of their PCs. Halderman and other scientists want to understand and mitigate these risks, but the DMCA prohibits the circumvention of DRM – sometimes a necessary step in investigating and correcting the problems – making this type of security research difficult to conduct.
For more information on Prof. Halderman's petition for exemption, see:
U-M News Service press release, May 4, 2009
Prof. Halderman's research spans applied computer security and tech-centric public policy. He is interested in software security, data privacy, electronic voting, digital rights management, and cybercrime, as well as technological aspects of intellectual property law and government regulation.