It All Boils Down to Encryption

Aug. 22, 2020 [technology] [proprietary]

When a program is compiled, the resulting binary is effectivly encrypted. It cannot be reconstructed without the source. This is the application-level version of deploying cryptography against its users.

A vendor, or any other party, maintains full-spectrum power over their users when combining;

  1. Vendor-controlled network encryption - one cannot see what an application is passing through one’s NIC, since you do not control the keys.
  2. Vendor-controlled content encryption - conventional DRM.
  3. Vendor-controlled storage encryption - see: Apple locking local user data to hardware cryptography.
  4. Vendor-controlled firmware encryption - UEFI “secure” boot, Intel ME, AMD PSP, cryptographically signed whitelisted hardware, etc.
  5. Vendor-controlled application/operating system encryption - textbook definition proprietary software, also necessary to facilitate the enforcement of items 1. through 4.