FSFE’s goal is to ensure that the owners of IT devices are always in full and sole control of them. This fundamental principle is recently being challenged by “Secure Boot”. For maintaining sustained growth in the development and use of software, the broad availability of general purpose computers is crucial. Today FSFE’s published an analysis on the topic.
FSFE’s goal is to ensure that the owners of IT devices are always in full and sole control of them. This fundamental principle is recently being challenged.
With a function called “Secure Boot”, which will be deployed in computers starting 2012, manufacturers of IT hardware and software components are striving to get into a position where they permanently control the IT devices they produce. Hence such devices will be “secure” from the manufacturer’s perspective, but not necessarily from the owner’s point of view: The owner can be treated as an adversary. By preventing uses of the device which the manufacturer does not intend, they can control and limit what a general purpose IT machine (e.g. a PC, laptop, netbook) may be used for. In case of IT devices with internet access, they can alter these usage restrictions at any time without even informing the device owner. As a result, IT manufacturers at their will can take away common rights owners of products usually receive.