EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

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 this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  2. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  3. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  4. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  5. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  6. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  7. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  8. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  9. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  10. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  11. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  12. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  13. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  14. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  15. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  16. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  17. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  18. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  19. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  20. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  21. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  22. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  23. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  24. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  26. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  27. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  28. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  29. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  30. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts