I will try to explain again and give you the benefit of the doubt once, although I suspect it may just extend this conversation into the indefinite future.

What do you mean by ensuring security? Who is your oponent? What is the threat? What are you trying to achieve?


I will divide this into two separate sections:

[1] *Regular Joe*

If I stop running Windows, format my harddrive, install Trisquel, and start using Trisquel, can I not reasonably assume that Microsfot is now unable to perform whatever abuses they used to be able to perform through their proprietary operating system? Does that not apply to every other program?

Free software allows you to do your computing in freedom, by ensuring you have four basic freedoms. These freedoms allow you to run the program as you wish, to share it, to study how it works and change it, to share your changes so others can benefit from them. These freedoms DO NOT guarantee that a program will not be abusive or violate your privacy, etc., but it gives you and others the possibility to detect it and to defend yourselves against this. You, and all other users, can have control of the program.

I hope so far I have been clear. It is not an all or nothing deal. Assuming that your system is potentially unsafe against an unknown adversary through specter or meltdown or whatever else, is unrelated to whether you have an abusive relationship with Microsoft through the Windows OS (in my example). Likewise, I can easily stop most other owners of proprietary programs from abusing me.


[2] *International Man of Mystery Joe*

By the sounds of it, you are trying to protect yourself against some sort of powerful state actor. Further, you seem to believe this powerful oponent is out to get YOU, targeting you specifically. Either this or you assume somehow that this powerful oponent is somehow simultaneously exploiting all computer users through spectre or meltdown or ME, or everything at once (??).

If you're worry is that you are being targetted by your local intelligence agency or the NSA or something like that, really, my advise is to minimize your use of computers for whatever it is that you want to keep private. Further, I would speculate that operational security is much more important than whether you've run ME cleaner on your computer (though I suppose it wouldn't hurt either).

My guess is the Trisquel forum is not the ideal place to find a thorough knowledge to evade such an adversary.

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*Conclusion*

While I'll give you the benefit of the doubt as stated in point #2 (What do I know, maybe you're Edward Snowden, though I hope not), for any other security concern, you should really develop a threat model and mitigate against that.

There is no perfect security.
There is no total privacy.
There is no way to simultaneously defend yourself against all possible threats all of the time and lead a functional life.


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