[Battlemesh] TP-Link FCC deal

Benjamin Henrion zoobab at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 14:07:19 CEST 2016

On Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Daniel Golle <daniel at makrotopia.org> wrote:
> Hi Elektra,
> On Tue, Aug 02, 2016 at 12:18:20PM +0200, Elektra wrote:
>> Hi all!
>> Very well said, Daniel. I'm new looking for the "like" and "retweet" button in my email client.
> Thanks. I reckon the "Forward" button of an email-client is as
> close as it gets to "like" or "retweet" in this case :)
>> One point: I don't tend to assume conspiracy if stupidity is the most likely motivation ;)
> I'm also not assuming conspiracy to be the cause; opportunism, greed
> and short-sightedness explains it all very well. The ruthless attempt
> to even look good while trying to make a buck out of that disaster is
> what makes it look like conspiracy, I guess.

If you read outside of the Press release, you will find out that this is worse:


"Go look at
 (the settlement PDF links to this as a source document). In fine print:

"the Commission required . . . device software that controls the RF
parameters that ensure compliance with the Commission’s technical
rules for preventing harmful interference must be secured. The purpose
. . . is to prevent modifications to the software that could, for
example, . . . enable tuning to unauthorized frequencies, increased
power above authorized levels, etc. The rule is not intended to
prevent or inhibit modification of any other software or firmware in
the device, such as software modifications to improve performance,
configure RF networks or improve cybersecurity.”.

What this means is that the community won't be able to add features
like mesh networking support to modern 802.11ac wireless firmware
components (I should also point out that we don't even have source
code for any 802.11ac wifi firmware... and the people trying to get it
are being hindered by these FCC rule changes.. I know. I'm one of
these people.). The reason we have great support for Atheros 802.11n
chipsets is explicitly because the community has had access to
critical bits of code. This code has now been moved to the wireless
firmware which is *LOCKED DOWN*.

So no this is NOT good news. It's actually creating a security threat
because we will be prevented by gaining access to the complete set of
source code running on our devices."

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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