The revelations of Ed Snowden have done nothing to soften the stance of the NSA’s of this world. Indeed, we have simply seen the necessary authority cemented in place by the required legislation, often justified by some false flag terrorism or talk thereof. No surprises here.
But what has been interesting to watch is the growing efforts of those technologists who recognise that freedom from this is an individual matter and are working hard to provide a range of tools to make this possible. I have discussed this in the past. They see that free, open source software is key to this. Open source is critical because, in my experience, most software developers find it difficult to set out to break what they have created in the way that passionate, highly skilled external testers will do.
It’s like thinking about your home security from the point of view of keeping people out, when the focus of someone trying to break in is exactly that – how do I break in? If you reflect for a moment, you will see they are actually quite different perspectives.
These initiatives continue to progress and – critically – are becoming very easy to use; something they have not been.
Now, the Purism Librem 15 has extended this to hardware. The first high-end laptop that respects your freedom and privacy, they claim.
One outcome from the Snowden revelations is the broad realisation that you cannot put your privacy and security in the hands of large corporations. Do not confuse the allegiance they express in their marketing with the allegiance they may actually display in how they develop their systems. I’m talking here about Microsoft, Apple and the hardware vendors such as Dell, HP, etc.
The Purism Librem 15 is the first high-end laptop in the world that ships without mystery software in the kernel, operating system, or any software applications. Every other consumer-grade laptop you can purchase comes with an operating system that includes suspect, proprietary software, and there’s no way for you to know what that software does.
The reality is that unless every aspect of your kernel, operating system, and software applications are free/libre and open source, there is no way to know that your computer is truly working in your best interest. Purism is the first to solve this problem.
This is not for the everyday PC user (e.g. GNU/Linux based operating system) but for those who see security and privacy as being worth the effort, for whatever reason. I wish Purism every success.