I'm pleased to be part of the inaugural group of security professionals standing up for the rights of technology owners to repair, re-use, fix, modify, and enhance the many modern products they buy, use, and depend on for work and personal use. Securepairs.Org is our voice on this critical architecture and public policy item, which has cybersecurity, operational, and resiliency considerations for every technology user.
Modern history shows that tinkering and “modding” have been core to the growth of the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley, Route 128, Research Triangle Park and around the world. Indeed, maker-spaces and hackathon events are popular events for high school and college students across the country that motivate our youth to keep the nostalgic 'hacker' spark alive and pursue grassroots technology innovation with an eye on improving the future.
Unfortunately, from internet devices to appliances to farm equipment (to name a few!) the ability of customers to tinker with such products, or obtain repairs and service from third parties, is under threat by vendors seeking to further control all aspects of these items -- including long after a customer purchases them. Based on how this issue has evolved in recent years, it's become a concern that spans the cybersecurity, law, policy, and resiliency domains, among others. Further, it ignores the fundamental desire, nature, capability, ingenuity (if not also need for) humans to be able to do for themselves in order to improve their condition -- and thus ignores history.
As security professionals, we recognize that the freedom to repair, fix and tinker is core to the advancement of the technology industry. We also recognize that it is indispensable if we are to not only realize new products and services, but also keep them secure from hackers, criminals and other sophisticated adversaries.
Citizens across the country are working to enshrine the right to repair their personal, home and workplace electronics in law, Securepairs.Org is about giving the cybersecurity community a voice and a seat at the table. As others look to cast repair and tinkering in a negative light (sometimes using misleading claims and justifications) we seek to inform the public that the Right to Repair is critical to effective security and resiliency through objective, rational insight based on our extensive professional experience in these areas.