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FSF Criticises Ubuntu For Dropping Grub 2 For Secure Boot 296

sfcrazy writes "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published a whitepaper suggesting how free operating systems can deal with UEFI secure boot. In the whitepaper, the foundation has criticized the approach Canonical/Ubuntu has taken to deal with the problem. The paper reads: 'It is not too late to change. We urge Ubuntu and Canonical to reverse this decision, and we offer our help in working through any licensing concerns. We also hope that Ubuntu, like Fedora, will actively support users generating and using their own signing keys to run and share any versions of the software, and not require users to install a key from Canonical to get the full benefit of their operating system.'"
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FSF Criticises Ubuntu For Dropping Grub 2 For Secure Boot

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  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @12:18PM (#40517901)
    You can now, yes. But remember the big push for Secure Boot is from Microsoft. A company with a long history of using every dirty and underhanded trick in the book, including a few of their own invention. I do not trust them: Today they only make it enabled by default, but in a few more years they may take away the capability to disable it entirely.
  • Atom (Score:5, Informative)

    by mdmkolbe ( 944892 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @12:49PM (#40518207)

    they may take away the capability to disable it entirely

    They already are taking it away on ARM based systems. "On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. ... Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems" (page 122 of Windows Hardware Certification Requirements [microsoft.com])

  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @01:19PM (#40518541)

    AMD commited last year for all their products to support Core Boot:

    http://blogs.amd.com/work/2011/05/05/an-update-on-coreboot/ [amd.com]

  • by Soluzar ( 1957050 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @01:19PM (#40518551) Homepage
    They always tried to shut down vendors of modchips during the PS2 era. They often succeeded too. Many of the retailers from back then were stomped under the Sony jackboot. There wasn't any online to speak of back then, and they still maintained that modchipping was a criminal act.
  • by ZankerH ( 1401751 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @01:29PM (#40518679)
    Because modcips were used for running illegally copied games in the large majority of cases.
  • by rot26 ( 240034 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @01:48PM (#40518923) Homepage Journal
    You DO know that the first amendment doesn't apply to private organizations, right?
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @02:58PM (#40519723)

    Linux has gone mainstream on the Mobile devices... GNU/Linux hasn't.
    Linux is the kernel.
    GNU/Linux, Android are the Operating Systems that use the kernel.

  • by T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @05:04PM (#40521283)

    The biggest is the fragmentation, of well, everything. The UI is different for every distro, every version, and every update

    Only someone who hasn't done years of work on Microsoft systems could seriously claim this as a drawback for Linux. How many different GUI toolkits in its various OS versions is Microsoft up to now? 4? 5? It probably depends on how you count...

  • Re:The FSF (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Monday July 02, 2012 @05:33PM (#40521579)

    Except it isn' 'Microsoft's secure-boot solution', it is the Trusted Computing Groups secure-boot solution. Microsoft is a 'promote'r of TCG, but so is AMD, Intel, Cisco, IBM, HP, Fujitsu, Juniper, Infineon, Wave, and Lenovo.

    Microsoft has been a hard-driver behind ALL of this.

    Move down into the 'Contributor' category and you add dozens more companies, including Red Hat, Accenture, AMI, Dell, Freescale, Toyota, Hitachi, General Dynamics, Sony, Seagate, Western Digital, etc.

    And you'll find that promoters have way, way more say than most Contributors, once you get inside these groups.

    Surely you don't think that all those companies are interested in Trusted Computing just because Microsoft is insisting on it, do you?

    Generally they're all assholes when it comes to restricting users. Microsoft just happens to be an 800lb gorilla.

    Secure boot is just one little link in the chain of Trusted Computing.

    Indeed, a chain secured by a lock you won't have the key to.

    It is the first test that FOSS is facing with regard to the upcoming changes in computing. There will be many more to follow. If FOSS wants to remain relevant in the coming age where owners demand tighter control over their data they are going to have to figure out how to adapt.

    FOSS is explicitly being excluded in these situations. All of these "solutions" require some 3rd party to be trusted and for the entire platform to be geared to work AGAINST the user, who is treated like the enemy rather than the party to be protected.

    Now, there is nothing that is incompatible with the ideas of 'open source' and the ideas of 'trusted computing'.

    Of course not, but that would imply that 'trusted computing' put the user in a 'trusted position.' The vast majority of current applications do not. The user is completely untrusted and given a little sandbox to piddle around in.

    There is absolutely no technical reason that Red Hat, or SuSe, or Ubuntu, can't provide a 100% FOSS solution that is trusted. The only thing that could hold them back is putting ideology first.

    Or the fact that a FOSS solution that is trusted is pretty much 100% antithetical to the concept behind FOSS, especially when you've effectively TiVOized everything by locking it up and not giving the user the key.

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