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Author: Jaromil
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] new freedesktop "standard": /etc/machine-id
dear Karl,

On Fri, 08 Mar 2019, karl@??? wrote:

> Jaromil:
> > any thoughts about this new systemd-made thing that freedesktop
> > immediately "standardized" (whatever is their procedure for that,
> > likely smoking cigars among old-boys or so)
> > https://www.freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/machine-id.html
> ...
> . It doesn't say "why".
> Why should I (we) provide a means to uniquely identify my systems ?
> I don't need it. Is it for
> - the nice though not useful concept, yes we reinvent things you know
> - the ongoing trend for more surveillance from the authorities
> - the ongoing trend for more surveillance from the advertising firms
> - the ongoing trend for more surveillance for "copyright" reason
> . It says "This ID uniquely identifies the host."
> - on the lan I can just as well use hostname or the primary ip-number
> - on the internet I use the fqdn or the ip-number
> The uniqness part will fail without someone guarantying the uniqness.
> Do we have an "IEEE handling out oui's" - for machine-id's ?
> Even if there were some IEEE, pci- or usb-consortium handling out vendor
> parts of the id's, there is no guaranty for uniqness since that
> number is just what's the local admin fancies, or is it for
> "tamperproof" hardware, something oppressive regimes would like.
> And I have seen pci cards with the wrong vendor part: "the programmer
> left and we don't have the code so we cannot change it" as the vendor
> put it.
> > AFAIK chromium started checking it and its absence on Devuan Beowulf
> > is reported as an error, so we may have to work around this.
> Isn't that a bug, the above man page says:
> It should be considered "confidential", and must not be exposed in
> untrusted environments, in particular on the network.
> Why would a network centric program need this unless it wants to
> expose it ?
> > but first things first: do we want /etc/machine-id? and how?
> In my view it falls in the completely unnessesary or the potentially
> dangerous group.
> I don't want it.

while I'm still catching up with reading all the thread, I think you
make a concise and straight to the point argument with which I
wholeheartedly agree. Thanks, to you and all others providing insights
on this issue.

I also don't want it and I think having such a machine-id is not just
a technical, but also a political decision, as you pointed out.

for the record, my /etc/machine-id follows:



  Denis "Jaromil" Roio      https://Dyne.org think &do tank
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