Discussion:
FCC to ban changing software on routers
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Roy
2015-09-02 21:11:23 UTC
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The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly introduced new
rules that will ban modification of firmware on devices with radios. The
proposed rule only affects devices that operate in the U-NII bands,
which is a portion of spectrum used for 5GHz Wi-Fi.

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/09/fccs-new-rules-might-ban-modification-of-router-firmware/
John Slade
2015-09-02 21:41:12 UTC
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Post by Roy
The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly introduced
new rules that will ban modification of firmware on devices with
radios. The proposed rule only affects devices that operate in
the U-NII bands, which is a portion of spectrum used for 5GHz
Wi-Fi.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/09/fccs-new-rules-might-ban-modification-of-router-firmware/
Nah, at the most it will force the firmware makers to
have certain security features. They won't ban anyone from
installing open source or proprietary firmware.

John
Roy
2015-09-02 22:16:33 UTC
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Post by Roy
The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly introduced
new rules that will ban modification of firmware on devices with
radios. The proposed rule only affects devices that operate in
the U-NII bands, which is a portion of spectrum used for 5GHz
Wi-Fi.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/09/fccs-new-rules-might-ban-modification-of-router-firmware/
Nah, at the most it will force the firmware makers to have
certain security features. They won't ban anyone from installing open
source or proprietary firmware.
John
I disagree. I think its all about locking the radios to US channels and
power limits

I have had radios in the past where you could change the country and use
non-legal radio settings.
John Slade
2015-09-02 22:38:26 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by Roy
The Federal Communications Commission has reportedly introduced
new rules that will ban modification of firmware on devices with
radios. The proposed rule only affects devices that operate in
the U-NII bands, which is a portion of spectrum used for 5GHz
Wi-Fi.
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/09/fccs-new-rules-might-ban-modification-of-router-firmware/
Nah, at the most it will force the firmware makers to have
certain security features. They won't ban anyone from
installing open
source or proprietary firmware.
John
I disagree. I think its all about locking the radios to US
channels and power limits
I read the proposal and it has little or nothing to do with
open source firmware, it has to do only with that specific radio
and the specific portion of the spectrum. It's being done to
prevent the radio from being operated in a manner that can
interfere with others using that radio frequency spectrum. The
same kinds of rules exist for cell phones.

"On March 31, 2014, the Commission revised the rules in Part 15
that permits U-
NII devices in the 5 GHz Band. As part of that revision, the
Commission required that all U-NII device software be secured to
prevent its modification to ensure that the device operates as
authorized thus reducing the potential for
harmful interference to authorized users."

What they want is for any firmware, open source or proprietary
to be blocked from modifying the way the radio frequencies
outlined in the proposal. Basically the hardware makers will
have firmware just for that radio and it won't allow the main
firmware to change how the radio uses the allotted frequencies.
Post by Roy
I have had radios in the past where you could change the country
and use non-legal radio settings.
I suspect you're talking about scanners when they were
being used to listen to cell calls. That was done for privacy
reasons. This current proposal is just being done to prevent
interference. Why would they object to any open source firmware
when current proprietary software in many routers have all the
functions you get from open source software?

John
David Kaye
2015-09-03 00:00:28 UTC
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I suspect you're talking about scanners when they were being used to
listen to cell calls. That was done for privacy reasons. This current
proposal is just being done to prevent interference. Why would they object
to any open source firmware when current proprietary software in many
routers have all the functions you get from open source software?
Many router/WAP makers create universal units that can be used throughout
the world. As such they're able to transmit on frequencies that are
authorized for those countries but not for the USA. Since these settings
are not hard-coded, I can understand the FCC's interest in locking down the
frequencies and the power that can be used.

As the spectrum gets filled there are all kinds of interference issues. A
somewhat related situation is the fake TV channels the cable systems
have/had been using, which fall into the aircraft two-way band. There have
been lots of problems with signal leaking from bad couplings in cable
systems and interfering with aircraft transmissions.

Wi-fi is one of those technologies that was successful beyond anyone's
wildest dreams, and thus there isn't nearly enough spectrum to run all the
WAPs people are trying to run. It's easy to want to hack a router and use
the other frequencies, but this is only asking for trouble with interference
issues.




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Roy
2015-09-03 05:22:04 UTC
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Post by Roy
...
I have had radios in the past where you could change the country
and use non-legal radio settings.
I suspect you're talking about scanners when they were being used
to listen to cell calls. That was done for privacy reasons. This current
proposal is just being done to prevent interference. Why would they
object to any open source firmware when current proprietary software in
many routers have all the functions you get from open source software?
John
I was speaking about 5 Ghz PTMP radios that are still available. In the
old days you could change countries and transmit from 4.9 to 6 Ghz.

They now come shipped from the factory as a US model that doesn't permit
you to change the country. The non-US models are only available overseas.
John Slade
2015-09-06 01:09:38 UTC
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Post by Roy
Post by John Slade
Post by Roy
...
I have had radios in the past where you could change the country
and use non-legal radio settings.
I suspect you're talking about scanners when they were
being used
to listen to cell calls. That was done for privacy reasons.
This current
proposal is just being done to prevent interference. Why would they
object to any open source firmware when current proprietary
software in
many routers have all the functions you get from open source
software?
John
I was speaking about 5 Ghz PTMP radios that are still
available. In the old days you could change countries and
transmit from 4.9 to 6 Ghz.
They now come shipped from the factory as a US model that
doesn't permit you to change the country. The non-US models are
only available overseas.
I can see why, they need to be regulated otherwise some
WiFi standards would get interference from these devices. There
was no sinister government plot against it's citizens when they
regulated those radios.

John

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