interweb freedom

(formerly Stop Usage Based Billing)

Even before Bill C-11 Passes: Microsoft introduces the TPM from Hell

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on March 1, 2012

Heads up From the Free Software Foundation:

FSF red graphicIn December, Microsoft apparently conceded to public pressure by quietly updating the Windows 8 logo certification requirements with a mandate that a desktop computer user must be able to control (and disable) the Secure Boot feature on any Windows 8 computer that is not based on ARM technology. This looks like a victory for free software users, as it will allow a person to install GNU/Linux or other free software operating system in place of Windows 8.

But, this is no time for celebration, because Microsoft has also added a treacherous mandate for makers of ARM-based computers — such as a tablets, netbooks, and smartphones — requiring them to build their machines with Restricted Boot technology.

Such computers are designed to lock a user into only being able to run Windows 8, absolutely preventing her from being able to install a free software operating system on her computer.

Since smartphones and tablets are some of the most commonly used computers, it’s vital that we get straightforward and clear information about this threat out to the public.

Gnuu line drawing

Already know what this is about? Then take action now:

  • Raise awareness and have fun while putting pressure on Microsoft and computer makers by entering the
    Restricted Boot Webcomic Contest.
  • Winning submissions will be featured on the front page of fsf.org for a month.
  • Entries must be submitted by March 17th by emailing campaigns@fsf.org.

Sign the statement “Stand up for your freedom to install free software.”

Who owns what?

If Microsoft was giving us computers, netbooks, smartphones… sure, absolutely they would have the right to do this. But they are selling us these devices. That means we own them.

Canadian DMCA graphic by laurelrusswurm

If the Canadian Government passes Bill C-11, the so-called “Copyright Modernization Act” which criminalizes circumvention of digital locks, it will certainly encourage manufacturers to rush to slap digital locks (TPMs, DRM) on all devices bound for the Canadian Market. If it becomes illegal to circumvent such measures that infringe on our property rights, this will just be the beginning.

Would you go to jail to put free software on your computer?

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One Response to “Even before Bill C-11 Passes: Microsoft introduces the TPM from Hell”

  1. […] to grant permission to convert proprietary formats into free formats, or else it would be illegal. Microsoft’s current policies indicate any such permission would be unlikely, but even if it did, the tools to circumvent the […]

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