Re: GPLv3 Position Statement

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Wed Sep 27 2006 - 19:05:04 EST

On Thu, 28 Sep 2006, Alan Cox wrote:
> Actually some of the smarter ones wired it to the SMM indications in the
> chipset so that only BIOS controlled SMM management code can do the
> update and that does checksumming or basic very crude crypto type
> checks.
> Fortunately the thought of a slammer equivalent that erases the firmware
> isn't something most vendors want to risk their stock price and business
> on.

Amen to that.

I'm pretty convinced that some companies sometimes go to unreasonable
lengths in their fear of liability suits (but in their defense, it's not
like the US legal environment isn't encouraging it), but I think a lot of
people end up doing things like that our of very basic prudence.

Not because they are "evil" or even mean anything bad at all, but simply
because they have their own reasons to believe strongly that people must
not upgrade their hardware.

Most technology people may _want_ to upgrade their hardware, but when you
look at all the spyware "upgrades" people get on their windows boxes, you
can certainly understand why there are reasons for things like strong
crypto upgrades with secret keys even quite apart from anything like the

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