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Author: KatolaZ
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] new freedesktop "standard": /etc/machine-id
On Sat, Mar 09, 2019 at 09:05:20AM +0100, marc wrote:


> But what really blows me away is that these ids exist on
> Debian to begin with. I had been under the assumption that
> free systems are built according to the needs and desires
> of their users, and few users go "what I really need in this
> day and age is less privacy".

Mark, I think you are probably shooting the wrong bird here. Host ids
have been around for the best part of the last 40 years in the unix
world. And I am not talking about proprietary unix. The syscalls
gethostid/sethostid were introduced in 4.2BSD (ca. 1983), at Berkeley,
and are supposed to support unique host ids across all the unix
installations. The gethostid syscall was even standardised in POSIX.

Most of the implementations (including Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc.)
are keeping or have kept the hostid in /etc/hostid or in
/var/adm/hostid, and all of them have to respond with something
sensible to the gethostid(2) syscall. This has absolutely nothing to
do with distributions, unless a distro maintains a separate set of
patches to modify the behaviour of the gethostid syscall in the kernel
and of the gethostid libc function.

In any case, there are dozens of ways to identify a host and a user
with very good accuracy, even across reboots and even when it travels
through different locations, so the cure is to make sure that no
unwanted usage of this information is made by the software you
run. And the only guarantee for that is that the code is free and open



[ ~.,_  Enzo Nicosia aka KatolaZ - Devuan -- Freaknet Medialab  ]  
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[       @)   http://kalos.mine.nu ---  Devuan GNU + Linux User  ]
[     @@)  http://maths.qmul.ac.uk/~vnicosia --  GPG: 0B5F062F  ] 
[ (@@@)  Twitter: @KatolaZ - skype: katolaz -- github: KatolaZ  ]