FSF/GNU Petition against UEFI Secure Boot

Secure Boot should be Restricted Boot

Secure Boot should be Restrict­ed Boot

The folks over at GNU have a peti­tion up regard­ing UEFI Secure Boot.  Before those of you who don’t read my com­put­er tech­ni­cal arti­cles flip away: con­sid­er that this is very impor­tant and that I will try to min­i­mize the tech­ni­cal details.  At the very least, please go sign the peti­tion which states, in part, that you will not buy or rec­om­mend buy­ing any com­put­er that incor­po­rates this technology.

What is UEFI Secure Boot and Why Do I Care?

In sim­ple terms, Secure boot is a tech­nol­o­gy that pre­vents any unsigned oper­at­ing sys­tem soft­ware from run­ning on a com­put­er.  Advo­cates will tell you this is for your own pro­tec­tion.  When you hear a phrase like this, you should be appro­pri­ate­ly scared and angry in equal mea­sure.  What’s actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing is that Microsoft, Apple and hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers are col­lud­ing to pre­vent you from run­ning any oth­er oper­at­ing sys­tems on that hard­ware oth­er than ones they have approved.

Secure Boot Locks Your Computer

Secure Boot Locks Your Computer

The most fun­da­men­tal thing to rec­og­nize here is that there is an orga­nized cam­paign by many dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions to wrest con­trol of your com­put­er that you paid for from you.  It would be far more con­ve­nient for them if you could only do things that they allow you to do.

You can already see this on a num­ber of small­er devices.  The i-things are quite famous for this.  You can only run soft­ware that you buy at the i-store on the i-things.  You can’t run anoth­er oper­at­ing sys­tem.  You can’t run unap­proved soft­ware.  What they give you is a very shiny cage in which you can only do the things they approve.

I don’t believe it.  How do I STOP Secure Boot?

The tech­nol­o­gy of Secure Boot is already built into many devices.  At this point all we can do is stop the spread of secure boot to PC-class hard­ware.  Unless some­thing dra­mat­i­cal­ly changes, we’ve already lost the bat­tle with i-things.  New PC-class hard­ware with secure boot is only now emerg­ing on the mar­ket, however.

Start by Sign­ing The Peti­tion.  Pay atten­tion to what the FSF has to say.  Read Slash­dot and Groklaw reg­u­lar­ly (they cov­er these issues well).  Con­sid­er join­ing your local EFF.

Most of all and most cringe wor­thy, start car­ing about the tech­nol­o­gy they’re feed­ing you!

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2 Responses to FSF/GNU Petition against UEFI Secure Boot

  1. Aimee Gilbert says:

    Just what this world needs … more peo­ple try­ing to pro­tect us for our­selves … hey, Big Broth­er, let us decide our own fate, eh?

  2. TimeTraveler says:

    How’s that peti­tion going ? Per­haps instead of try­ing to kill the stan­dard you should have embraced it. Its a self ful­fill­ing prophe­cy the blame rests on the FSF.

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