A post submitted by CGI member MIke.
Let us start with the Intel® Management Engine.
At https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine .
"The Intel Management Engine (ME), also known as the Intel Manageability Engine, is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel's processor chipsets since 2008. It is located in the Platform Controller Hub of modern Intel motherboards.
The Intel Management Engine always runs as long as the motherboard is receiving power, even when the computer is turned off. This issue can be mitigated with deployment of a hardware device, which is able to disconnect mains power.
Intel's main competitor AMD has incorporated the equivalent AMD Secure Technology (formally called Platform Security Processor) in virtually all of its post-2013 CPUs."
"The subsystem primarily consists of proprietary firmware running on a separate microprocessor that performs tasks during boot-up, while the computer is running, and while it is asleep. As long as the chipset or SoC is supplied with power (via battery or power supply), it continues to run even when the system is turned off. Intel claims the ME is required to provide full performance. Its exact workings are largely undocumented and its code is obfuscated using confidential Huffman tables stored directly in hardware, so the firmware does not contain the information necessary to decode its contents."
"In 2007, Intel, AMD, Microsoft, and PC manufacturers agreed on a new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification. This is an industry-wide standard managed by the Unified Extended Firmware Interface Forum, and isn’t solely driven by Intel. UEFI support was introduced to Windows with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows 7. The vast majority of computers you can buy today now use UEFI rather than a traditional BIOS."
About half way down at https://www.howtogeek.com/56958/htg-explains-how-uefi-will-replace-the-bios/ .
"The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of partition tables of a physical computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive, using universally unique identifiers, which are also known as globally unique identifiers (GUIDs). Forming a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum-proposed replacement for the PC BIOS), it is nevertheless also used for some BIOS systems, because of the limitations of master boot record (MBR) partition tables, which use 32 bits for logical block addressing (LBA) of traditional 512-byte disk sectors.
All modern personal computer operating systems support GPT. Some, including macOS and Microsoft Windows on the x86 architecture, support booting from GPT partitions only on systems with EFI firmware, but FreeBSD and most Linux distributions can boot from GPT partitions on systems with either the BIOS or the EFI firmware interface."
-Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and universally unique identifiers, which are also known as globally unique identifiers are interesting terms athttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table .
"A universally unique identifier (UUID) is a 128-bit label used for information in computer systems. The term globally unique identifier (GUID) is also used.
When generated according to the standard methods, UUIDs are, for practical purposes, unique. Their uniqueness does not depend on a central registration authority or coordination between the parties generating them, unlike most other numbering schemes. While the probability that a UUID will be duplicated is not zero, it is generally considered close enough to zero to be negligible.
Thus, anyone can create a UUID and use it to identify something with near certainty that the identifier does not duplicate one that has already been, or will be, created to identify something else. Information labeled with UUIDs by independent parties can therefore be later combined into a single database or transmitted on the same channel, with a negligible probability of duplication.
Adoption of UUIDs is widespread, with many computing platforms providing support for generating them and for parsing their textual representation."
At https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universally_unique_identifier .
About that silly "spy" balloon...
You cannot escape technology. That is why they worked so hard to kill the magic on this planet and replace it with tech. The only way out now is to kill the technology. They expect that move. It will be interesting.
And it's on your phone.