Chris Randall, over at his excellent Analog Industries blog, recently posted about an upcoming change in OSX 10.8 (“Mountain Lion”). OS 10.8 will introduce a new feature called Gatekeeper, which is being promoted as a method of protecting the user from downloading and running malicious software.

As part of this new “protection” system, Apple has created a new certificate program for software, Developer ID, that will allow developers to mark their software/plugins with an official seal of approval. In OS 10.7.3, there is a preview of the Gatekeeper function, and apparently an alert window will be displayed if you try to install any software that doesn’t have an official Developer ID:

Many developers are worried that this is the first step of Apple restricting all software on OSX, with the App Store eventually becoming the only source of software for the Mac (and with Apple taking 30% of all software sales for the Mac). This is a sinister prospect, but what if the real goal of Apple is worse…far, far worse?

The idea of needing a particular identification mark in order to buy or sell a product can be found in the Book of Revelation:

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his.” – Revelation 13:17

Is Apple’s Gatekeeper program a way of protecting users from malware? Or is it the first step in a blatant power grab to control all software on the OSX platform? Or…is it one of many steps designed to hasten the onset of End Times?

The choice of the apple for Apple’s logo is starting to seem less…innocent. Newton’s apple, or forbidden fruit?

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Cupertino to be born?