03.28.14

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Mark Shuttleworth With a Beard Starts Sounding More Like Richard Stallman

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Richard Buranov Shuttleworth
Photo from Space Facts

Summary: Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains that his beard is grown as a political statement while he orders the elimination of ACPI, which is favoured by the world’s biggest back doors proponent, the NSA (and GCHQ)

Mark Shuttleworth is a fascinating and charismatic man. At a very young age, equipped with Free software, he was able to make his dreams come true and he is still very good at business [1]. In recent years many tried to portray him as a greedy exploiter — a narrative we rejected and fought back against. As a man who grew up in South Africa, he is aware of discrimination (sometimes to the extreme) and now that he lives in the UK he must be seeing some of the same symptoms, which is why he is growing a beard [2] (to make a statement).

“If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).”To be politically expressive sometimes contradicts and interferes with business. Just look at what’s being done to Mozilla right now. We are not going to entertain the politics of intimidation and blackmail (into conformity, by threatening one’s job and free speech), but a lot of readers may already know what we refer to. Either way, earlier this month, in response to NSA revelations, Mark Shuttleworth made it quite apparent that surveillance software like Skype won’t return into Ubuntu’s front page (in the Web site) any time soon. Shuttleworth seems to be grasping the fact that we are moving in a bad direction in technology, where surveillance and back doors are becoming somewhat of a norm. Earlier today a reader send us this news link [3] about US legislators wanting to require back doors not just in phones but also desktops/laptops (call it “Back Doors by Law”). This is seriously messed up!

Now, taking into account monopoly abuser‘s promotion of UEFI, which enables remote destruction of computers (the NSA helps validate this) we should definitely avoid it. Given what Amazon does with the CIA, we should avoid it too, not put Amazon spyware inside Ubuntu (in my job I was writing puppet config files to remove this spyware from hundreds of federated desktops). On the bright side of things, despite Canonical supporting Amazon and UEFI, Mr. Shuttleworth now declares war on ACPI [4], which is deemed a proprietary security threat (possible hijacking or remote bricking, like UEFI). There was press generated to that effect thanks to Mr. Shuttleworth [5-7], raising awareness among many.

Shuttleworth is not typically techno-political, except perhaps when it comes to software freedom. So his stance on ACPI is hopefully the start of more such stance changes. If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Vendors “looking seriously” at Ubuntu – Shuttleworth

    Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said that he is “very confident that large manufacturers are looking seriously at Ubuntu as the new open platform of choice”, following the recent announcement that it is working with two small players – bq and Meizu – to bring the first smartphones using the platform to market.

  2. Here’s why Mark Shuttleworth is growing beard

    “There is a slightly serious angle to beard. One of my colleagues was stopped and held by transport police in UK. He was questioned for hours. There was no justification to it and so while he was leaving, he asked them the reason and they said it was the beard. This is disgusting. A society should be civilised enough to not judge people on the basis of how they look.”

  3. Feds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers

    The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers according to a new legal proposal that was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

    If passed as currently drafted, federal authorities would gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. It would also apply in cases where that computer is part of a larger network of computers spread across multiple judicial districts. In the United States, federal warrants are issued by judges who serve one of the 94 federal judicial districts and are typically only valid for that particular jurisdiction.

  4. ACPI, firmware and your security

    If you read the catalogue of spy tools and digital weaponry provided to us by Edward Snowden, you’ll see that firmware on your device is the NSA’s best friend. Your biggest mistake might be to assume that the NSA is the only institution abusing this position of trust – in fact, it’s reasonable to assume that all firmware is a cesspool of insecurity courtesy of incompetence of the worst degree from manufacturers, and competence of the highest degree from a very wide range of such agencies.

  5. Linux Bugs but Proprietary the Threat Says Shuttleworth
  6. Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI
  7. Proprietary firmware poses a security threat, Ubuntu founder says
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