*countable infinities only

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Jun 18 19:44:24 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM, Chris Murphy <lists at colorremedies.com> wrote:
> On Jun 18, 2012, at 10:05 AM, Matthew Garrett wrote:
>> 2) Government. If a large enough set of national governments required
>> that secure boot be disabled by default then we could assume that
>> arbitrary hardware would work out of the box. It's unclear to me which
>> laws you think the vendors would be breaking, but I'm not a lawyer.
> In the current U.S. (and likely EU as well) political climate, i.e. extreme ignorance of computing, fear of real and imaginary infrastructure vulnerabilities, and desire to make out with all things with the word security, there is in my estimation no chance Secure Boot nor the Windows 8 hardware requirements will be perceived as being anti-competitive.

Certainly if you subtract Microsoft's desktop monopoly from the
equation the more likely legislative direction would be towards
_mandating_ secure boot, without user installable keys, in products
sold or marketed in the US just like we see with video recorders and
macrovision.  Or at least, that probably wouldn't be a tremendously
uphill battle for someone who wanted to lobby for it, precisely
because of the climate you've outlined.

The implication that such legislation was a bought and paid for
outright land-grab market over to monopolists would probably be the
only effective argument against it— because everyone is blinded by
words like "cybersecurity", so arguing that we don't need to take
user's control of their computers away for cybersecurity won't work,
and varrious narrow exceptions for "research" and "education" will
silence the majority of the special interests who would otherwise

Part of the reasons that emotions can run high here is that this is
all happening in the context of a general change in computing devices
with long term human right implications, issues far beyond the ease of
installing a single distribution. As software mediation becomes more
critical in people's lives control over that software is being further
restricted. Can free software survive as something that preserves
individual rights as it becomes increasingly beholden to large
publicly traded companies for basic usability?  As technically skilled
people we're all taking part in building the future— but what future
will it be?

Hopefully not this one: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html

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