So recently I was given a security scare where I thought my laptop might have been compromised with user-level malware. I immediately, trusting my hardware, tried to kill the internet, but subsequently learned my notebook was still online, and that the killswitch I was given was entirely ineffective. That is, I am perfectly able to connect to my LAN, use bluetooth, and access the internet regardless of what orientation I set the switch to. The specific reason I bought this machine was its privacy and security guarantees, and one of those was the ability to turn off my laptop’s radio hardware when it didn’t need to be sending messages. While I also, thankfully, was able to determine I wasn’t hacked, I am justifiably disappointed.
I don’t know if the switch was broken over the course of my the last ~6 months, or if it was broken when I got it. All I know now is that I am making this post on that very same laptop, while the OS is supposed to be physically unable to use my wifi card. This is the sort of basic, ground-zero security feature that should practically guarantee what it says it does. I think it’s important that I let other people know about this problem because they might also be doing security critical work and they ought to be reminded to test their hardware.