Re: Assertions that ME is a backdoor
There are only two ways that the ME can access the network:
(1) It can have its own networking stack and access to the network hardware.
(2) It uses some sort of "shim" into the Operating System.
In case (1) simply using a non-Intel network compatible adapter would "fix" the issue since it is unlikely that Intel will include drivers for "Tom and Jerry's Network Adapter" in their ME. Then of course there is the problem of arbitrating multiple access to the network adapter.
In case (2) simply not installing the "shim" in the Operating System would "fix" the issue.
Of course, case (1) is necessary if you want to be able to have access over the network by the ME when the Operating System is not "Operating" because in case (2) if the Operating System is not Operating neither is the "shim" that permits communication to occur.
So it is not a "secret back door" in the manner of Billy Barr's backdoor. It is a frontdoor that requires quite a lot of deliberately chosen moving parts in order to "make work" and it is extremely easy to make "not work".
In fact, I would suspect that it would be somewhat difficult to make work properly *even if you deliberately wanted it to work* for some reason.