1. 23
  1.  

  2. 11

    There’s a collective of quixotic Mexican software developers and users that is quite active. I wonder why is it that FSF’s philosophy with its exhortation to viciously defend freedom resonates so well in some parts of Mexico. It was those groups, which congregate on the Hackmitin[1], Hacklab Autónomo and Rancho Electrónico that helped Jacobo Nájera with his legal proceedings against Secure Boot.

    I went a couple of times to the Hacklab. It’s an interesting place. At the time, it looked like they were squatting in an abandoned building and they looked like Hollywood hacker stereotypes. If it weren’t for the proliferation of hardware with Debian and Trisquel logos, their appearance make you would think these were just ordinary anarchist punks. In a way, that’s what they are, except they are technoanarchist punks, and obviously not completely anarchist as they know how to work with the legal system. They were very left-leaning, distrustful of all corporations, completely aligned with FSF philosophy; radical, feminist, and fiercely protective of their rights.

    I rather miss that scene. I haven’t found quite something like it here in Canada.

    I hope Nájera manages to get somewhere, but it seems like a hopeless fight against MSFT, the one that is really ensuring that installing the OS of your choice is impossible. The whole “security” thing is a sideshow; the real goal here with “Secure” Boot is to make it harder to install unlicensed copies of Windows.


    [1] (“mitin” in Spanish is from English “meeting” but has left-leaning political connotations such as protests and marches.)

    1. 4

      I wonder why is it that FSF’s philosophy with its exhortation to viciously defend freedom resonates so well in some parts of Mexico.

      I suspect it’s because much of Latin America has deeper roots with leftist politics, and Free Software hems closely (if not explicitly) to much of the same underlying philosophy. I’m more disappointed it doesn’t resonate with the majority of the tech crowd here in the states. Instead, the reactionary “Open Source” movement is the cultural juggernaut, often with an explicit rejection of Free Software. I’d love to get involved with what they’re doing. Granted, my Spanish is mediocre at best. I do like this bit from your second link though (at the bottom):

      NO NOS ENCONTRARÁS EN FACEBOOK

      1. 1

        I hope Nájera manages to get somewhere, but it seems like a hopeless fight against MSFT, the one that is really ensuring that installing the OS of your choice is impossible. The whole “security” thing is a sideshow; the real goal here with “Secure” Boot is to make it harder to install unlicensed copies of Windows.

        Or you enroll your own keys, sign your own kernels, and remove the OEM provided ones. Or enroll the keys of some other entity you trust.

        Secure Boot is a tool. That’s all it is. Properly used, it can be a major boon in preventing rootkits at the bootloader and kernel module level.

        1. 4

          That assumes you can add your own keys. I don’t believe that’s possible on my current laptop, though I haven’t investigated extensively. I can do it on my desktop, but I feel that that’s likely a rarity.

          1. 5

            Microsoft mandates that for a computer to be sold with OEM Windows 10, you must be able to configure the chain of trust. If it doesn’t do that, it’s buggy firmware. (completely unsurprised with OEMs)

      2. 1

        Thanks. I’ll be sure to check that secure boot isn’t on my next laptop!

        1. 1

          Does anyone know if SecureBoot can be disabled on a Lenovo Thinkpad x260? I’m currently shopping for a new laptop, and this one is at the top of my list, exactly because I’ve had such a good experience installing free operating systems (Debian GNU/Linux and OpenBSD) on an older model, the Thinkpad x60.

          1. 2

            Yes. Some people are already running openbsd on the x260 (8260 wifi works in -current, x11 is not accellerated yet, though).