Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Tightens the Screws on Linux, Just as We Predicted All Along

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Mar 15, 2024

More pseudo-lingo-mumbo-jumbo fake security and misleading acronyms from people who attack BSD and GNU/Linux users:

Pull EFI updates from Ard Biesheuvel

More control (by Microsoft) over users is not greater security but a giant gaping hole.

THIS week we noticed Microsoft Michael saying "Linux 6.9 Makes A Change To Satisfy Microsoft For EFI x86 Shim Loader Signing" (Phoronix), so we traced it back or narrowed it down to the raw source, courtesy of Ard Biesheuvel from Google (previously ARM, Linaro, TomTom, and Philips Research).

Sompi (Sami Tikkanen), over in IRC, is very much alarmed by what they're doing. He wrote his own operating system and he can see what those lock-downs mean to people like him, or even to Linux users who wish to make (or modify) a kernel. It seems like the Bill Gates-connected Linux Foundation is making Linux for Microsoft and when they speak of 'security' they mean Bill Gates and Microsoft in control. Do we want these criminals in charge of our GNU/Linux machines? Should we trust them, ever?

Apropos, this week the OSI is pushing GitHub to us, courtesy of Microsoft-funded staff. Microsoft money can buy anything, even many board seats. It results in GPL bashing. They dislike sharing; they promote hoarding. They just "harvest" humans for free labour and then sell it for a fee.

We recently wrote about how Mr. Lunduke, who had come from Microsoft, played down GNU/Linux usage soaring. Yesterday we saw yet more Microsoft spin: "Has Windows Subsystem for Linux Helped Linux Gain Desktop Market Share?

No. Complete nonsense. This is Windows, not Linux, so if anything it would lower the measures of "Linux" and WSL users would be seen as Windows (connection source associated with the IP address). Aside from that, very few people bother with WSL. It failed.

We don't want to even link to that ridiculous piece. It would amplify Microsoft's spin.

Watch the chaos in Windows and Microsoft in general. Business Insider has just published "Microsoft insiders worry the company has become just ‘IT for OpenAI’" - a topic that we discussed in IRC earlier on. Instead of fixing Windows, which keeps breaking itself, they just shove "Copilot" prompts everywhere in an effort to hide the stagnant interest in chatbots. Or the falling market share of "Bing". Or the layoffs, which included many Bing staff. Then there's Microsoft's epic debt levels (the US debt in general is accelerating again - the biggest monthly debt bump since October!).

How many people has Microsoft laid off this past year? Over 30,000? The so-called "Tech" industry in general has perhaps double the number of layoffs that it is disclosing because of HR tricks like "voluntary" departures, ending of contracts, temping etc. The corporate media won't say that because it would cause a panic and "hurt" "the market" (that is, rich people's Wall Street gambling spree).

Anyway, this brings us back to UEFI.

Microsoft always wanted to curtail if not openly vandalise adoption of GNU/Linux. Locking machines down to Windows - and Windows only - is an open secret. This is what Microsoft wants, sans the resultant backlash.

"When UEFI was a new thing," Sompi told me some hours ago, "the microsofters were always assuring everyone that the end-user will be able to turn the "secure boot" off or change the keys. Now they are very open about it that the user can NOT change the keys, and are instead shipping a closed-source Microsoft-signed "shim" for loading Linux "securely". If the users really could change the keys, then that "shim" would not need to exist."

It was always just fake security.

"And that shim can only load Linux," Sompi added. "No other kernels or operating systems" (like the one developed by Sompi; it's a GPLv3-licensed kernel, made in Finland; latest release was 3 days ago).

They won't allow anything other than what Microsoft approves. "And I saw that coming," Sompi said. "Many people saw, but were ridiculed..."

Or worse... threatened. Mr. "shim" is threatening his critics and their family too. Even this year...

"I think I already have difficulties in distinguishing threats from ridiculing," Sompi said. There's a lot more in IRC today (logs due out tomorrow, but there is scrollback).

The bottom line is, the lock-down worsens. IBM plays a role in that, as does Google. I covered this in a video 2 years ago (War on General-Purpose Computing).

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