Can you Trust your Computer?
“…There are proposals already for US laws that would require all computers to support treacherous computing, and to prohibit connecting old computers to the Internet. The CBDTPA (we call it the Consume But Don’t Try Programming Act) is one of them. But even if they don’t legally force you to switch to treacherous computing, the pressure to accept it may be enormous. Today people often use Word format for communication, although this causes several sorts of problems (see “We Can Put an End to Word Attachments”). If only a treacherous-computing machine can read the latest Word documents, many people will switch to it, if they view the situation only in terms of individual action (take it or leave it). To oppose treacherous computing, we must join together and confront the situation as a collective choice…”
‘Trusted Computing’ FAQ
“The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is an alliance of Microsoft, Intel, IBM, HP and AMD which promotes a standard for a `more secure’ PC. Their definition of `security’ is controversial; machines built according to their specification will be more trustworthy from the point of view of software vendors and the content industry, but will be less trustworthy from the point of view of their owners. In effect, the TCG specification will transfer the ultimate control of your PC from you to whoever wrote the software it happens to be running. (Yes, even more so than at present.)
The TCG project is known by a number of names. `Trusted computing’ was the original one, and is still used by IBM, while Microsoft calls it `trustworthy computing’ and the Free Software Foundation calls it `treacherous computing‘. Hereafter I’ll just call it TC, which you can pronounce according to taste. Other names you may see include TCPA (TCG’s name before it incorporated), Palladium (the old Microsoft name for the version due to ship in 2004) and NGSCB (the new Microsoft name). Intel has just started calling it `safer computing’. Many observers believe that this confusion is deliberate – the promoters want to deflect attention from what TC actually does…”
I have been suspicious of Windows for about 10 years. It is THE most insecure OS there is, slightly better than walking naked down the street in the winter. What are my choices? Well, for one… the MacOS is a Linux based system and would at the very least not tie into the Microsoft/Google/NSA/FBI group of corporations. The best choice to remain free of tampering would be a distribution of Linux like Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mint, or Fedora. To be blunt, they are a little bit of work to set up in order to replace the function of Windows or Mac if you are a designer/photographer/musician. On the other hand, for most people’s use, one would only need to apply your mind no more than to reinstall Windows or the MacOS. If you need a machine for basic things like email, web surfing, etc… Ubuntu would be a very low stress and easy setup. In order to de-fear this process I have decided to offer anyone free technical assistance – within reason, and to the limit of my own technical experience – to assist new users in the process of getting clear of Windows. To be able to surf without potentially sharing your activities with Google and MicroBorg is worth a few hours of applied learning. Frankly, if a few hours of one’s time isn’t worth considering vs. the consequences… well..