Force internet connected devices to be rented

Date: 2016-10-22 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Perhaps the end game is internet connected devices become leased rather than purchased outright (even your IoT light bulb). Consumers are forced to pay an ongoing fee and ISPs give the devices away to lure customers in. Devices expected to last a long time (e.g. TVs) are not allowed to ship Internet connectivity directly but must do so via USB add ons that can be replaced (vendor locked of course). Only giants (e.g. Google, Amazon) are allowed to ship direct to consumers under penalty that their devices have to be periodically patched and must auto update.

With this, the choice not to update the firmware is ripped out of the customer's hands. ISPs have an incentive not to let their networks participate in attacks and actually ensure updates make their way to customers so they actually pass updates for hardware they provide on to consumers.

A secondary effort is made to ensure everyone is forced to keep changing (e.g. by using a Linux-eseque upgrade all at once system for protocols). Soon old devices struggle to connect to the internet at all due to the never ending technological changes. All the updates burn through a limited amount of flash rewrite cycles thus creating planned obsolescence or forcing the customer to purchase a new USB key with the latest firmware on it. At best you can buy an auto-updated device for "legacy" devices but they're never allowed to connect to the real Internet only some faux house internal one.
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Matthew Garrett

About Matthew

Power management, mobile and firmware developer on Linux. Security developer at Google. Ex-biologist. @mjg59 on Twitter. Content here should not be interpreted as the opinion of my employer.

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