05.26.13

Techrights Advises UEFI Forum to Withdraw ‘Secure’ Boot Support

Posted in DRM, Tivoization at 1:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UEFI logo

Summary: Short synopsis of a long discussion with the UEFI Forum regarding ‘secure’ boot

We don’t always speak to figures of authority in pursuit of reform, but when we do, it is rather productive (pardon the meme). OIN is a good example of this. Last year, UEFI criticism began as a ‘feature’ of UEFI, namely ‘secure’ boot, was put to use by Microsoft, which basically misused it for anticompetitive reasons, making it hard to boot GNU/Linux.

“Security was not the main outcome of UEFI ‘secure’ boot being put in place.”The UEFI Forum got in touch with yours truly, setting up an interview for exchange of thoughts and ideas. It was productive because a consensus we reached was that ‘secure’ or Restricted Boot in UEFI has no purpose (or little purpose) other than to serve or facilitate business models of corporations, at the expense of customers. It is akin to DRM and TiVoization and it is hard to defend the inclusion of this antifeature, for reasons we covered here before . It was a one-hour conversation mostly with the president of the UEFI Forum, who is a technical and humble man. I politely made suggestions for UEFI, focusing on freedom aspects, and there was no lack of subjects to discuss (including patents). After an hour had lapsed we decided to call it a day (it was Friday night and I was already late to meet some friends at a local pub), but the mutual sentiment can be described as amicable. I accepted the invitation hoping it would lead to progress, not friction. The phone conference focused on questions pertaining to UEFI, with clear focus on the negative aspects, i.e. areas of improvement. In it were UEFI spokespersons Mark Doran, UEFI President, and Michael Krau, UEFI Forum’s Industry Communications Working Group (ICWG) Chair. A lady called Christine was there also, but she did not participate in the technical discussion; she had helped set it all up.

To summarise some of the key points, it was agreed that ‘secure’ boot only gives UEFI Forum a lot of negative publicity. Other issued were raised, but none else got the same amount of coverage, I had not prepared notes, mostly because the goal was to focus on freedom and not to deviate from that. UEFI Forum’s President was understanding. He said I was asking the right questions and did acknowledge that some of my concerns were legitimate (the conversation was recorded with consent from them, but it is not for publication).

Security was not the main outcome of UEFI ‘secure’ boot being put in place. They agreed to some degree. That’s why it was productive as a lengthy debate.

Towards the end, emanating from the conversation were the following tips and links, prepared and sent by Christine, who had also been on the conference call. She wrote:


> Thank you for taking the time to speak with us to address your questions
> regarding the UEFI Forum. If you have any additional questions or need
> information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
>
>
>
> For your reference, I’m including a link to an abstract of the
> presentation
> http://www.linuxtag.org/2013/de/program/freitag-24-mai-2013.html?eventid=6
> referenced today by Mark Doran, President of the UEFI Forum, and
> delivered by Matthew Garrett at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin. The
> title of Garrett’s presentation is “Making UEFI Secure Boot Work for Linux.”
>
>
>
> During the call, Mark also suggested that you might want to view the
> repository of information pertaining to UEFI at Tianocore.org
> http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/tianocore/index.php?title=Welcome,
> a community site surrounding the open source components of Intel’s
> implementation of UEFI.
>
>
>
> And following are links to the three Intel YouTube videos Mark
> referenced about UEFI Secure Boot configuration:
>
> · Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAnlhkbMang – Enabling
> & Disabling UEFI Secure Boot. Instructions for setting up a system with
> UEFI Secure Boot to dual-boot between Microsoft* Windows* 8 & Ubuntu*
> 12.10.
>
> · Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwlbf1VRJ60 -UEFI
> dual-boot setup with Microsoft* Windows* 8. Instructions for setting up
> a system with UEFI Secure Boot to dual-boot between Microsoft Windows 8
> & Ubuntu 12.10.
>
> · Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAnlhkbMang – UEFI
> dual-boot setup with Linux* (Ubuntu* 12.10). Instructions for setting up
> a system with UEFI Secure Boot to dual-boot between Microsoft* Windows*
> 8 & Ubuntu* 12.10.
>
>
>
> Again, thank you for your time, and please let me know if I can provide
> you with additional information.

To go along with ‘secure’ boot is to help endorse what sure has become a threat to booting freedom, not just to choice. The conference did not alter my mind in any way on this topic. The key point, as was made abundantly clear to them, is that ‘secure’ boot does a major disservice to UEFI by giving it bad reputation — an inevitability when a convicted monopolist like Microsoft perturbs UEFI for non-technical reasons.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Gravatar

    It sounds like it went well and established that you are all on about the same page. I hope they didn’t persist in the myth about it helping security though. Did that come up?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mark Doran believes that DRM is about overcoming broken business models, not security; when challenged on security of ‘secure’ boot he mostly accepted my arguments and could not counter many.

  2. lozz said,

    May 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Gravatar

    Maybe, we should call EUFI “secure boot”, phantomware.

    We used to have vapourware, where M$ would claim to be developing startling new software that never eventuated.

    UEFI actually exists but does nothing to support its claimed purpose of improving security.

    Its only purpose seems to be an attempt towards making things more difficult in installing dual boot systems on M$ computers.

What Else is New


  1. Living in a State of Constant and Never-Ending Fear Will Harm Software Freedom

    "Freedom" or "liberty" may seem to have been co-opted by extreme right-wing and COVID-denying (or COVID-minimising) elements, but at the moment we do stand to lose many "tech rights" (in the name of "protecting" us)



  2. [Meme] Mozilla's 2020 Vision

    Mozilla does not seem to understand that proprietary Azure and proprietary GitHub won't offer Mozilla a way/path out of the mess it's in



  3. Techrights Done With Maintenance For Now, Will Resume Posting at a Higher Publication Pace

    With a few new features added to the site we can finally resume normal operations (more articles per day)



  4. Moving to Phones Won't Liberate Users

    A so-called 'phone' (or 'smart' phone) with Linux under the bonnet isn't freedom; it's a branding war being won, but principles are being abandoned



  5. Links 29/10/2020: LibreOffice 7.0.3, Linux 5.9.2, NVIDIA 455.38 Linux Driver

    Links for the day



  6. Links 29/10/2020: Istio 1.6.13, Krita 4.4.1 and PyPI Key-Signing Ceremony

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 28, 2020



  8. Links 28/10/2020: Linux Dropping WiMAX Support, Istio 1.7.4, Ubuntu is “Hirsute Hippo”

    Links for the day



  9. Linux Foundation (Men for Monopolies) Once Again Hijacking Women's (and Minorities') Voices for Public Relations

    Diversity and tolerance are absolutely essential, but those who preach or lecture us about it most loudly (their financial means or privilege enable media reach) set a bad example and are mostly opportunistic hypocrites who perpetuate the status quo



  10. In a State of Flux Due to Maintenance and Improvements

    For the first time since summer of 2019 we're investing time and effort improving the site in a number of ways



  11. Links 28/10/2020: Torvalds on Succession, PyTorch 1.7.0

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Stealing the Competition

    After the fall (and fail) of CodePlex Microsoft decided to grab the Linux Foundation and most Git-based projects (through GitHub) — a strategy even Microsoft can learn to love



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 27, 2020



  14. Links 28/10/2020: FreeBSD 12.2, NixOS 20.09 and WordPress 5.6 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  15. Taking Our Efforts to the Next Level in an Increasingly Proprietary and Hostile Web

    Web users are being repressed by mechanisms of mass manipulation, control and restrictions; the Web may not be going away any time soon, but architectural and topological issues need to be overcome (the sooner, the better)



  16. Read Techrights Without a Web Browser

    Any text editor can now be used to read Techrights, owing to a daily bulletin we've set up and will maintain every day



  17. [Meme] Torvalds Assimilated

    People belatedly realise that Microsoft’s plan for Git (and for Linux) isn't for the betterment of those projects but for Microsoft monopoly



  18. Links 27/10/2020: FuguIta 6.8, Fedora 33, Red Hat Satellite 6.8, KDE Plasma 5.20.2 and GStreamer 1.18.1

    Links for the day



  19. Site Changes Ahead of Anniversary

    We’re making some changes to the presentation and function of the site — changes that will become more prominent over the coming days



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 26, 2020



  21. Links 26/10/2020: rpminspect 1.2, Open Source Hardware Certification and LibreOffice Conference

    Links for the day



  22. Links 26/10/2020: Debian "Bullseye" Artwork, Fwupd 1.5 Released

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] Satya Na-DL

    Microsoft has shown its real priorities (just before the weekend when many people might not notice)



  24. Jonathan Wiltshire and Debian, Falsified Harassment Claims, Tiger Computing and GCHQ

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  25. Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

    Links for the day



  26. The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

    "Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking."



  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 25, 2020



  28. Links 25/10/2020: Kodi 18.9, ScummVM Android Love, Cutelyst 2.13

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Captain Zemlin and Neil McGovern's Ugly Legacy in GNOME (His Predecessors Work for Microsoft Directly Now)

    The Linux Foundation is already ‘sold’ and Microsoft Tim‘s interview with Neil McGovern, published a few days ago, was rather revealing (comments on the article/interview were also harsh)



  30. How Microsoft is Still Worse Than Google

    "I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts