[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[libreplanet-discuss] Orwell revisited

From: Robert Vogel
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] Orwell revisited
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 13:42:49 -0500

Last week it was news that a Philadelphia school used a laptop camera to
photograph a student in his home. The school provides all of its
students with Apple laptops. 

There was not a lot of follow up to the least so far. Some
details are at this web site:

So here are questions that naturally arise after reading the story:

These are all off-the-shelf Apple computers. Right ? I happen to own
one, and, although I am certainly not a student, I question who else
could turn on this feature ? Knowledgeable hackers ? Corporate or
government agents ? Not to sound too paranoid, but this is probably easy
to do for someone who knows how.

Laptop cameras (as well as cellphone cameras and others) are
incorporated in many other computer brands. Are they also remotely
accessible ? I bet they are.

Advice to the student was: put masking tape over the camera. But this
avoids the deeper issue: How many back doors are there in home or other
computers ?

I digress. Have you been following the merger talks between Diebold and
ES&S ? Combined they can control 70% of the voting machine market in the
U.S. If you think this is ok visit

Free Software is a partial solution to these problems. It is open for
inspection, modifiable, and therefor trustworthy. It is not a complete
solution though, because features like DRM can be hidden away in
proprietary firmware.

That's why I tried to persuade the FSF that it is important to define a
machine that is completely free... and to bring it to market. Such a
machine needs an open bios such as Coreboot, and various components
should also be cleansed.

It should be a high priority project. Would it be legal ?


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]