FSF Issues Statement Against Intel's Management Engine (ME)
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 10 June 2016 at 06:11 PM EDT. 18 Comments
GNU --
The Free Software Foundation is a bit late to the party, but have finally come out publicly against Intel's Management Engine (ME).

For years already free hardware enthusiasts around the Coreboot/Libreboot scene have been upset over Intel's blobbed-up ME code. The FSF on Friday wrote a public statement over the matter.

Posted to the FSF blog, "...At this time, developing free replacement firmware for the ME is basically impossible. The only entity capable of replacing the ME firmware is Intel and its OEM partners. And, since the ME is a control hub for your machine, you can no longer simply disable the ME like you could on earlier models, such as the Libreboot X200 laptop. This means that if in the future we want more hardware that can achieve Respects Your Freedom certification, we will need to make it a "High-Priority" to support the work of those who are getting GNU Libreboot and 100% free system distributions running on other architectures, such as ARM, MIPS, and POWER8."

Pretty much the same pains being voiced by many over the past few generations of Intel hardware and making it next to impossible to have a 100% free system down to the firmware. The AMD situation isn't much better with AMD no longer shipping open-source AGESA code and their plans for Coreboot/Libreboot on Zen not yet being clear.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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