The incoming Secureboot/Restrictedboot war

For those who aren’t aware of this, FSF (Free Software Foundation) has been running a campaign for the last few months about Microsoft’s malicious Secureboot initiative (which FSF calls restricted boot). Given the mostly Microsoft friendly corporate IT environments out there, I think this is one topic on which most employees should be very aware.

A nice summary of the issue can be read up at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/18/fsf_windows_8_campaign/

Apparently, Microsoft is practically arm-twisting OEM manufacturers to implement Secureboot to be able to install Windows 8 on their systems - it is a Windows 8 requirement. And most Windows loving IT departments around the world are only too eager to go ahead with this just to be able to install the “latest and greatest” from Microsoft. Combine this with a decree … umm … “security” policy to never remove Secureboot from office laptops, and you can be rest assured that Linux will never be found on business laptops ever. (Speaking on security policies, how come these IT folks never admit that Windows itself is their biggest internal security threat, is something I could never understand )

This would be a good time for you to send this message to similarly interested friends working out there, so that they can encourage their IT departments to not fall for this DRM/anti-Linux trap.

Here is the official FSF campaign page: http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/

If you read carefully, you will find that FSF’s main issue is not just the secureboot spec itself, but rather how it gives OS/manufacturers a way to lock you out of your own hardware.

If this becomes mandatory, you will never be able to install Linux and other FOSS OS on even computers you buy yourself. You will never be able to reuse old computers for barebones Linux server installs and the like.

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