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Re: [tor-talk] Indirect Tor question
Well, why don't you write your own bios?
On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Chris <tmail299@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > We are not concerned about the price but rather we are concerned about
> > freedoms to share change etc the source code to suit our needs. Furthmore
> > some of us are very paranoid.
> Rightly so.
> > Also why can't u make a open source bios?
> Is that sarcasm or do you genuinely not understand the difficulty of the
> problem? It is a complicated issue. To start off there are only a handful
> of companies which produce a BIOS and they work AMD, Intel, etc. That is
> then licensed to manufacturers. There is coreboot (a free software BIOS)
> although without the support of the likes of Intel/AMD its near impossible
> to port to a given system. There are other problems. Most of the funding
> for coreboot is from the server arena. There not concerned with desktops
> and laptops. Which means it's all the more difficult/expensive.
> It's best summer up as a non-trivial issue. A computer is not designed by
> a single person or entity and relies on many different parties to produce.
> There are significant financial and technical hurdles to releasing a
> system with a free software BIOS. Google (a huge corporation
> comparatively) has attempted to do it and had much difficulty/resistance.
> > What are u hiding from us?
> We aren't intentionally hiding anything.. but we also don't have the
> source to our own product. At least not all of it.
> > Your NSA backdoor!
> There may be a backdoor. The challenge is to find it and work towards its
> removal, or find millions of dollars to fund something that is validatable
> and NSA-free.
> > Sent from my Android so do not expect a fast, long, or perfect
> > On Sep 9, 2013 2:53 PM, "Chris" <tmail299@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >> >> I'm wondering about any and all similar tor-based systems wherein
> >> there
> >> >> is ANY portion that is not opensource.
> >> >
> >> > Scrutiny is a good thing. I suggest using the vrms tool to find
> >> non-free
> >> > software.   Parts of this non-free software may come without
> >> > source code being available. From a quick curious look into the Tails
> >> > source code greping for "nonfree", I found "firmware-linux-nonfree".
> >> >
> >> > There may be more good reasons to add such packages than against
> >> adding
> >> > such packages. (Because not adding those may result in such poor
> >> > hardware support, that there aren't enough users in the first place to
> >> > even theoretically provide anonymity.)
> >> ...
> >> >
> >> > The development version of Whonix (we'll probably make a new release
> >> > soon) includes a check using vrms (while building from source code),
> >> > which provides safety against installing non-free software.
> >> >
> >> > (Tails aiming to be run on hardware may not be so easily be able to
> >> drop
> >> > all non-free packages. It's much easier for Whonix when aiming at
> >> > Virtual Machines - I am not saying this solves the problem - it leaves
> >> > the user alone with the decision to install such non-free packages on
> >> > the host.)
> >> I don't usually chime in on the Tor-talk list although my company is
> >> following Tor / supporting Tor / Tails, etc. We have been working with
> >> the
> >> FSF and other entities to improve the availability of free software
> >> friendly hardware and get the companies designing various pieces to
> >> release the complete set of code. It's a lot of work. Check out
> >> fsf.org/ryf.
> >> In any case I thought I'd chime in because it's what I work on.
> >> In any case while you won't find a 100% free x86 system you can avoid
> >> dependence on most non-free firmware. ThinkPenguin (I'm the founder &
> >> CEO)
> >> has a catalog of hardware of which 100% of the catalog is compatible
> >> with
> >> 100% free distributions. That is all core features should work on any
> >> device / system (wireless, sound, ethernet, USB, graphics, etc) without
> >> any non-free firmware. The BIOS in the laptops and desktops are non-free
> >> and there is undoubtedly non-free microcode all over the place (probably
> >> the biggest problem that is unknown to the masses which needs solving).
> >> The solution to the hardware problem is to focus on increasing demand
> >> for
> >> free software friendly hardware and using that demand to get concessions
> >> from the large cooperations designing the chipsets. I'm not a big fan of
> >> reverse engineering and feel it is in large part a loosing battle. RMS
> >> sparked my attention at 2013 LibrePlanet with a speech he gave. He
> >> talked
> >> about the difficulties of reverse engineering and the need for the
> >> community to design hardware from scratch (essentially). It may seem
> >> unrealistic right now due to cost, the lack of expertise, and how far
> >> behind anything would be once it reached the market although I think the
> >> only thing really holding such projects back is a scattered community.
> >> We
> >> have this community that hasn't shown it's willing to put its money
> >> where
> >> its mouth is. People too concerned about saving a dollar here or there.
> >> Fortunately there is a whole large set of new and less tech savvy users
> >> who care getting on board all the time. They aren't afraid to spend a
> >> little extra. I think from that such challenges may be overcome. If
> >> there
> >> is any hope it probably lies with them.
> >> What I'd still like to see is more people thinking about how we can get
> >> more people concerned about free software friendly hardware (and
> >> software;
> >> ie Adobe Flash, etc). Right now most companies advertising "Linux"
> >> compatible hardware I'd advise avoiding. The ones who aren't advertising
> >> it seem to be more in tune with cooperating on the release of code (HP
> >> is
> >> a good example; great job on code releases, but never advertise Linux /
> >> GNU on the package). Good PR doesn't make up for the lack of code either
> >> (NVIDIA/AMD w ATI).
> >> What is extremely disappointing to me is that some of our smaller
> >> competitors aren't helping the situation any. There are things they
> >> could
> >> do easily and aren't. For instance shipping with free software friendly
> >> wifi cards. Even if your going to offer systems with a non-free
> >> dependent
> >> graphics chip (because of performance advantages) there is no reason you
> >> can't ship with a free software friendly wifi card.
> >> --
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