I recently came across Purism and was impressed with its goals of freedom, privacy, and security. The ability to physically turn off varius hardware is something I have wanted for a while now. In studying Purism laptops I noted that they will make use of Qubes OS. I found that Qubes OS’s use of compartmentalization is really amazing and cutting edge.
In studying Qubes OS, I also learned about Joanna Rutkowska and her concept of a ‘Stateless Laptop.’ Hopefully I don’t bastardize this too much, but the concept essentially suggests ripping out the bios and built-in stateful memory from computer hardware and moving it to a read-only ‘trusted stick.’ She also proposes adding hardwired switches to devices such as those that Purism has incorporated into the camera, mic, wifi, etc.
Rutkowska’s proposal would vastly improve on the security of our devices. Purism makes a good start but stops well short of Rutkowska’s proposal. Purism currently does not attempt to achieve a ‘Stateless’ implementation (and therefore leaves us with devices that are less secure than they could be) albeit more secure than they would be without several of Purism’s features.
While the initial collaboration between Purism and Rutkowska sounded very promising, Rutkowska has recently tweeted that
“I’ve been trying to engage Purism into making more trustworthy laptops for months. Sadly they seem to prefer launching new products and PR.” Rutkowska Tweet
So here’s my question: Does Purism intend to develop a ‘stateless laptop’ and if it does, what steps are being taken toward that end and what does the timeline look like?