On owning a 128-bit number

This week we saw the trouble a number of sites, including Digg, ran into when the key to decrypting HD-DVD discs was cracked and posted all over the web. Now the site Freedom to Tinker has posted an applet that lets you claim your very own 128-bit number which they use to encrypt a recently penned haiku, giving you the freedom to decrypt using taht key as your heart desires. Mine is

3E EA 1E 84 24 C3 7E C0 25 2E 07 B1 0B 4D 95 DB

But it stands to reason that these keys have been around as long as 128-bit encryption has been around. Some time earlier in this decade, we probably used it in primitive VPNs or some PGP encryption, which could stand as some form of prior art. The idea that the AACS owns that key is ridiculous. Why aren’t they using something like 512-bit encryption when most commercial firewalls are already using cheap ASICs that can do AES512? Well, I imagine they are trying to cut corners and save by making a cheaper player – and this is what they have purchased for that cheapness.