The Intel Management Engine is a tool that ships with Intel chipsets, purportedly to ease the job of system administrators. But in reality, it is another restriction on user freedoms, imposed by a company, and used to control your computing.
The Management Engine (frequently abbreviated as ME) is a separate computer within Intel computers, which denies users control by forcing them to run nonfree software that cannot be modified or replaced by anyone but Intel. This is dangerous and unjust. It is a very serious attack on the freedom, privacy, and security of computer users.
At first, it was designed to help system administrators and other employees to remotely manage computers, and was advertised as a computer feature for business customers.
Over time, Intel imposed the Management Engine on all Intel computers, removed the ability for computer users and manufacturers to disable it, and extended its control over the computer to nearly 100%. It even has access to the main computer's memory.
It now constitutes a separate computing environment that is designed to deny users the control of their computer. It can even run applications that implement Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). See Defective by Design to learn why DRM is bad.
Because of Intel's attack on users' freedom, to avoid being denied freedom, privacy, and security, computer users wanting to use a machine with an Intel processor must use older computers with no Management Engine, or whose Management Engine is disabled.
Whenever companies follow Intel's path, we will need to design our own hardware to keep being able to escape such attacks on freedom, by ensuring that users can run fully free software on it. This will also create the necessary building blocks that will enable users to benefit from hardware freedoms in the future, when manufacturing technologies are easily available to end users.