Tuesday, October 25th 2011

Controversial Windows 8 Secure Boot Feature: FSF Issues Rallying Cry

The controversial new Secure Boot feature in Windows 8 has been covered here before, but now the Free Software Foundation have issued a public statement warning about likely restrictive implementation to lock out competition, pretty similar to the arguments currently being levelled against it. They are also giving people a voice to protest against this, in the form of a petition. They say quite fairly, that it can be used for good, if the option to use it is completely with the owner of the computer. However, it isn't much of a stretch to see that the option to disable it is likely to simply be removed from the user, thus locking out the competition, mainly Linux: This could be a feature deserving of the name, as long as the user is able to authorize the programs she wants to use, so she can run free software written and modified by herself or people she trusts. However, we are concerned that Microsoft and hardware manufacturers will implement these boot restrictions in a way that will prevent users from booting anything other than Windows. In this case, we are better off calling the technology Restricted Boot, since such a requirement would be a disastrous restriction on computer users and not a security feature at all. Click here to see the full public statement and sign the petition and here for a more detailed explanation of the issue by the FSF.
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49 Comments on Controversial Windows 8 Secure Boot Feature: FSF Issues Rallying Cry

#1
Neuromancer
Pretty sure it is because of the grub based BIOS loading to use OEM SLIC activation

(In otherwords away to beat the windows pirates)
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#2
[H]@RD5TUFF
I thought they said that there will be a way to disable this.
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#3
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: [H]@RD5TUFF
I thought they said that there will be a way to disable this.
That's just the point, it's likely there won't be and we're all f*cked. Just read the FSF public statement and then read the more detailed one, if you want to know more. There's also the original article to read that I posted.
Posted on Reply
#4
qwerty_lesh
by: Neuromancer
Pretty sure it is because of the grub based BIOS loading to use OEM SLIC activation

(In otherwords away to beat the windows pirates)
which if turns out to be so will only serve to encourage more slic injected bios hacks to be commonly used.
Posted on Reply
#5
Melvis
This should be illegal far as im concerned!!
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#6
1c3d0g
Richard Stallman is hit or miss, sometimes I agree with the guy, but sometimes his views are just too extreme for me. I can't say I agree with him here.

M$ has explained pretty thoroughly the motivation behind their decision for a secure boot. I also applaud them for taking security seriously with Windows 8.

I think the FSF is really walking on thin ice here. Unless they can come up with some solid arguments, they're going to alienate a lot of people away from their cause.
Posted on Reply
#7
Neuromancer
by: qwerty_lesh
which if turns out to be so will only serve to encourage more slic injected bios hacks to be commonly used.
hah hah hah

I see what you did there ;)
Posted on Reply
#8
qwerty_lesh
by: Neuromancer
hah hah hah

I see what you did there ;)
LOL you noticed my sig eh? :roll:
Posted on Reply
#9
Neuromancer
If "more slick/SLIC" was in your sig than yes :) heh heh
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#10
m4gicfour
As I said before, so long as the Off switch is a required part of the specification, and the specification specifically states that the operating system may not disable features if it's turned off (or more specifically that the OS cannot disable features if secure boot is disabled, software is installed, and secure boot is re-enabled. I.E. The operating system may not disable features if it detects that it or other OSes were installed outside of a secure boot enabled, signed installer) then it's a non issue.

Otherwise it's a potential cash grab.
Posted on Reply
#12
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: qubit
That's just the point, it's likely there won't be and we're all f*cked. Just read the FSF public statement and then read the more detailed one, if you want to know more. There's also the original article to read that I posted.
Possible =/= likely Just FYI.
Posted on Reply
#13
Neuromancer
I wont get my panties in a bunch over this.

I am not a Linux supporter, I appreciate that there are those that are, but despite having to deal with Linux/Unix (HPUX) and even OSX in my PC background, I just am not a fan. Linux today might be a different story but even a couple of years ago it was still laggy, slow, not winHW friendly. Then again I though Vista was great except for a little network sharing issue I had, and had even WORSE problems with windows 7 and that new networking crap. Then again I had a legit copy and had been running it since 2004. (I should have never stopped beta testing)

However I am thankful those guys do exist that keep a watchful eye out. I wish I had the skill and tenacity. I am also hopeful that this is straightened out and is disabled by default so we do not have another shitstorm of non-issues.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
by: Neuromancer
Pretty sure it is because of the grub based BIOS loading to use OEM SLIC activation

(In otherwords away to beat the windows pirates)
^ that


it'll be hacked anyway.
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#15
Neuromancer
by: Mussels
^ that


it'll be hacked anyway.
I thought the same damn thing. Before it is even released it will be cracked.
Posted on Reply
#16
[H]@RD5TUFF
I really hope there is a workaround soon.
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#17
TRWOV
There is a workaround built in.
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#18
xBruce88x
if it was programmed by a human, chances are another will eventually find a way to undo it or change it to suit their needs.
Posted on Reply
#21
semantics
by: Mussels
^ that


it'll be hacked anyway.
Not much of a moral argument, sorta like saying shouldn't be speeding limits people speed anyways doesn't mean it's not a bad approach just means it's not full proof. That being said we will have to wait and see what happens with the feature pre judging out rage does help though in telling them what to do.
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#22
theJesus
by: semantics
Not much of a moral argument, sorta like saying shouldn't be speeding limits people speed anyways doesn't mean it's not a bad approach just means it's not full proof. That being said we will have to wait and see what happens with the feature pre judging out rage does help though in telling them what to do.
People still have morals these days? That's so archaic.
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#23
3volvedcombat
Think about the almost NONmoral attitude everything starting to take now, talk about a fair world to live in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again to even implement that thought with Windows 8, is a step in the WRONG direction completely and fully.

It's just no fair @ all.

****How about If I had the position and power, I lock any of you out of anything, your not going back till your in my favor, no question's asked. :cool:

People see things in a light perspective honestly to the subject in hand, but in all fairness this world used to be small and things like this really did not get threw and the people expressed it and were listened to.

So even if a Walled Garden, or Blocking mechanism are implemented like this and expressed on a corporate/to-user level, its still personal no matter what. That's what people forget. TILL IT GETS so bad they will have unnecessary powers, almost reminds me of amazing U.S.ofA. Government.

Great to see some fight, Just hate the overall decisions light or huge that are being allocated in today's world.

by: theJesus
People still have morals these days? That's so archaic.
^^That is why people are getting so FUCKING weak. Weak....
Posted on Reply
#24
Fx
signed.
Posted on Reply
#25
Derek12
But would this affect to BIOS based computers or only for UEFI ones? This wasn't me clear :confused:, or would Windows 8 ban BIOS computers?
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