[Battlemesh] FCC Rules?

Ben West ben at gowasabi.net
Tue Nov 17 01:17:02 CET 2015

Sascha Meinrath formerly of Open Technology Institute and now X-Lab has
this to share:

Press Advisory: Technology and Telecom Expert, Sascha Meinrath, Pans FCC’s
Proposed Regulations to Lock Down Wi-Fi Devices, Prevent Innovation, and
Weaken Cybersecurity.


On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM, Benjamin Henrion <zoobab at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 10:44 PM, Ben West <ben at gowasabi.net> wrote:
> > There is an active thread about this over at the Purple Foundation
> listserv
> > for the issue, this post in particular:
> > http://lists.prplfoundation.org/pipermail/fcc/2015-November/000455.html
> >
> > Heavily summarized salient points appear to be:
> > - FCC doesn't grasp that their proposed requirements effectively require
> > locked down firmware per how cheap personal electronics like wifi routers
> > are built.  I.e. they're not mobile phones.
> > - FCC likewise doesn't grasp that manufacturers have no incentive
> whatsoever
> > to increase the complexity (and cost) of such cheap products to meet any
> new
> > rules, beyond the easiest option of simply locking the firmware.
> >
> > That thread post in particular describes possible benefit of a
> hypothetical
> > manufacturer having open firmware certified.
> That was also my understanding, after the PR spin doctoring that was
> relayed by websites such as Hackaday:
> http://hackaday.com/2015/11/14/fcc-clears-the-air-with-wi-fi-software-updates-run-on-fri/
> "[Julias Knapp], chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and
> Technology has since clarified the Commission’s position. In response
> to the deluge of comments to the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,
> the phrase, ‘protected from flashing… Open Source firmware” has been
> removed from the upcoming regulation. There’s new, narrow wording
> (PDF) in this version that better completes the Commission’s goal of
> stopping overpowered radios without encroching on the Open Source
> firmware scene. The people spoke, and the FCC listened — democracy at
> work."
> This is plain wrong message.
> --
> Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion at ffii.org>
> FFII Brussels - +32-484-566109 - +32-2-3500762
> "In July 2005, after several failed attempts to legalise software
> patents in Europe, the patent establishment changed its strategy.
> Instead of explicitly seeking to sanction the patentability of
> software, they are now seeking to create a central European patent
> court, which would establish and enforce patentability rules in their
> favor, without any possibility of correction by competing courts or
> democratically elected legislators."
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Ben West
ben at gowasabi.net
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