Given the name of my weblog, I may not in a strong position to make fun of technologists' classical allusions, but I suggest that the Microsoft engineer who came up with Palladium go and read Robert Graves' 'the Greek Myths'.
The Palladium was a statue built by Athene to memorialise her friend Pallas, who she accidentally killed during a tournament. Perhaps this is Microsoft's memorial to the open Internet?
One of the claims they make:
Controls your information after you send it . Palladium is being offered to the studios and record labels as a way to distribute music and film with �digital rights management� (DRM). This could allow users to exercise �fair use� (like making personal copies of a CD) and publishers could at least start releasing works that cut a compromise between free and locked-down. But a more interesting possibility is that Palladium could help introduce DRM to business and just plain people. �It�s a funny thing,� says Bill Gates. �We came at this thinking about music, but then we realized that e-mail and documents were far more interesting domains.� For instance, Palladium might allow you to send out e-mail so that no one (or only certain people) can copy it or forward it to others. Or you could create Word documents that could be read only in the next week. In all cases, it would be the user, not Microsoft, who sets these policies.
This is the crux of the hubris. This is about trusting computers more than people. The Palladium hardware/software in the reader's computer becomes your trusted counterparty, not the person reading the document.
Anyone not running Palladium will not see your document at all. While this may be very attractive to Bill Gates, given what his emails have shown of his plans when read out in court, most of us have different needs.
We are more concerned about persuading people to read our thoughts than preventing them, and through bitter experience we trust people with our inner secrets more than computers.