[Linux-Biella] Restricted Boot webcomic contest winner announced]

vallini.daniele a bilug.linux.it vallini.daniele a bilug.linux.it
Ven 6 Lug 2012 08:19:24 CEST

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Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2012 16:10:56 -0400
From: Free Software Foundation <info a fsf.org>
To: Vallini Daniele <vallini.daniele a bilug.linux.it>
Subject: [FSF] Restricted Boot webcomic contest winner announced

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Thursday, July 5th, 2012 — The Free Software
Foundation (FSF) today announced the winner of its Restricted Boot webcomic
contest. The winning entry comes from Erik Steinmann, and will be featured on
the front page of FSF.org for the month of July, in addition to being used in
other materials published by the organization. Since the comic is freely
licensed, the FSF is encouraging others to share it on their own sites as well.

In the Fall of 2011, the FSF issued a statement to computer makers, urging them
to reject Restricted Boot technology, concerned that Microsoft's Windows 8
certification standards would impose rules preventing users from installing
free software operating systems on most computers. Thus far, over 30,000
confirmed individual signatures have been added to the statement, titled "Stand
up for your freedom to install free software." Twenty-five organizations have
also expressed their support.

Then in December, Microsoft apparently conceded to public pressure by quietly
updating the 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 looked like a
victory for free software users, as it meant a user could install GNU/Linux or
another free software operating system in place of Windows 8. But, Microsoft
also added a treacherous certification 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, the
FSF launched the Restricted Boot webcomic contest to collect materials that
could be used to "raise awareness and put pressure on Microsoft and computer

"I'd like to thank everyone who submitted an entry to the contest, as well as
our panel of judges. With over 30,000 signatures to our statement and over a
dozen high-quality submissions to our contest, I'm confident our message that
Restricted Boot is a mistake has the attention of Microsoft and computer-makers
alike. Now we need take the next step of turning this support into tangible
results," said Joshua Gay, FSF's licensing and compliance manager.

The FSF also recently published a comprehensive assessment of the issues posed
by both Secure Boot and Restricted Boot for GNU/Linux and other free software
operating system distributions at www.fsf.org/campaigns/
secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/whitepaper-web, specifically addressing
announcements made by Fedora and Ubuntu.

The panel of judges included Chris Webber, Rob Myers, Jason Self, Benjamin Mako
Hill, ginger coons, Aaron Williamson, and Richard Stallman.

Restricted Boots -- it's for your safety

Creative Commons License This work by Erik Steinmann is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

About Secure Boot vs Restricted Boot

When done correctly, Secure Boot is designed to protect against malware by
preventing computers from loading unauthorized binary programs when booting. In
practice, this means that computers implementing it won't boot unauthorized
operating systems -- including initially authorized systems that have been
modified without being re-approved. This could be a feature deserving of the
name, as long as the user is able to authorize the programs she wants to use,
so she can run free software written and modified by herself or people she
trusts. However, 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. In this case, we are better off calling
the technology Restricted Boot, since such a requirement would be a disastrous
restriction on computer users and not a security feature at all.

  • Statement opposing Restricted Boot:

  • FSF Secure Boot recommendations for free software operating systems:

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer
programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom)
software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants --
and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of
software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important
source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can
be made at http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts

Joshua Gay
Licensing and Compliance Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942 x20 licensing a fsf.org


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