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