Free Software Foundation rails against Windows 8 Secure Boot

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has started a campaign against the Secure Boot feature in Windows 8.

Microsoft continue to insist that the feature is intended to keep unwanted and potentially malicious software off a system by preventing unauthorized binaries to load during the boot process.

The FSF believes however that this technology could be abused and simply be used to not allow users to load certain free software.

“We are concerned that Microsoft and hardware manufacturers will implement these boot restrictions in a way that will prevent users from booting anything other than Windows,” wrote Matt Lee in a post on the FSF website. “In this case, a better name for the technology might be Restricted Boot, since such a requirement would be a disastrous restriction on computer users and not a security feature at all.”

Lee suggests that users should keep their ability to decide whether they want to enable or disable boot restrictions and there should be a way that will allow users to install a free OS.

“Computer owners must not be required to seek external authorization to exercise their freedoms,” Lee wrote. If Windows 8 will prevent users from installing a free OS, Lee believes the result may be “complicated and risky measures to circumvent the restrictions”, and the ” popular trend of reviving old hardware with GNU/Linux would come to an end.”

Stay tuned here for more on Secure Boot.

This issue will continue to evolve as more and more companies call foul on Microsoft.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

    I wonder if the true reason is the effects on the industry if Windows sheds the outdated image of being unstable and insecure once and for all.  After all, if it comes preinstalled and is as safe and stable as any other OS, why would anyone replace it?  I think FSF has a reason to be afraid.  Initially I think manufactures will allow the unlocking of the system, as time passes and users are happy with MS and dont replace it, the manufacturers will not put it into the EUFI.  Then the only Linux machines will be those hand built machines.  I think this also makes sense, when you buy a complete system, you are already paying for windows, so replacing it with something free doesnt make so much sense.  Now I am taking a position that will likely anger Linux users so go ahead and let into me.  In my opinion Windows has been fairly stable and secure since Windows 2000 when users compute properly.  but MS has improved it in every iteration since.  Windows detractors still use the worn out mantra, but seriously, would enterprises continue to use something if it had security and productivity issues?