The FCC is asking for comments on a proposal to to lock down computing devices (routers, PCs, phones)

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pizzaiolo
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The FCC is asking for comments on a proposal to require manufacturers to lock down computing devices (routers, PCs, phones) to prevent modification if they have a "modular wireless radio" (a Wi-Fi network adapter for example).

Let's comment on this and change it! #SaveWifi

https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Save_WiFi/Individual_Comments

bluzeo
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ok i am so confuse i thought it was only radio signals that they wanted to lock down

bluzeo
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ok i am so confuse i thought it was only radio signals that they wanted to lock down

t3g
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I heard that custom and free/open firmware like LibreCMC would no longer be allowed on newer routers as the FCC worries that firmware from a non established vendor (like Cisco or Netgear) would allow tampering of the radio signals.

bluzeo
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internet being stupid on my in- so what i am hearing are two different things - one is it just wifi singnals other is what FSF is saying

Chris

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A little background on this. Simon- another person working on free software router software brought this to the attention of certain media outlets a month ago maybe. Since that time I started reaching out to various organizations and groups who would be concerned about this issue and got people talking about how we can work together to protest these initiatives. The EFF, FSF, OpenWRT, LibreCMC, Software Freedom Law Center, Qualcomm, the prpl foundation, and other groups/people are in the loop and involved now.

Basically the FCC is trying to force companies that manufacture wifi devices to lock them down so that downstream users and developers can't change the firmware. They specifically ask manufacturers how they plan to prevent third party firmware from being installed. They use the example of DD-WRT, but it would impact all other firmwares including OpenWRT and LibreCMC.

Some have said otherwise,

"FCC is only wanting to control VERY SPECIFIC things, like transmission power and frequency. The FCC has zero interest in any other aspect of the devices. The FCC ONLY cares about the settings that have any (direct) impact on the RF transmissions."

Unfortunately that's utter nonsense.

In reality the regulation apply to everything. Wifi in your computer, bluetooth, cell phones, etc. Literally everything would be negatively impacted.

We need to save wifi!

Please take the time to read the link above and send in comments. We need to get an overwhelming amount of backlash against this or you won't have control over your devices/computers/etc going forward.

Please read up on the issue above and start getting the word out. Talk to any media outlets that will listen. And explain how to the media how people can get involved. Send them to the link above. Send the media emails. Call the media. There is very little time to get people to send in FCC comments so we need all the help we can get.

At this point we did get the FCC to extend the deadline for comments until October, but we need a *ton* of publicity fast to actually get them to do anything. And this won't be over after the comments are in because there are already rules which are hindering installation of third party firmware now in effect. These rules just clarify older rules basically and extend them to *everything*.

This is going to be an on-going campaign and the only chance we have to get anybody to listen to revising the rules already in effect will be to show that we have an overwhelming amount of support now.

bluzeo
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i just sent a letter to Chris Fiser from JupiterBroadcasting and i am about to be emailing this to my friends and my family

Chris

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Perfect. I'm planning to start contacting media outlets shortly. Call in to radio shows and start talking about this. There are so many different avenues and places you can reach out to.

A few that come to mind that *I know* people would have no problem getting through to:

www.2600.com there are two radio shows
www.freetalklive.com
www.freedomsphoenix.com
"slashdot tv" (really hard to find contact info for, though I did get in contact with one of the people about another issue recently)

note: look into NPR...

...

Those are talk shows I know a lot of liberty minded people and/or technical types listen to that will have people who care. Hey- if people can think of others please list them. It's good if people call / contact multiple people/places. There are probably lots of other technical outlets too I can't even begin to think of. List them all!

pizzaiolo
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Have you tried the Linux Action Show? They have a large audience on YouTube.

Chris

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No. Adding to list. If anybody wants to contact them please do!

We need all the help we can get!

Or post contact info... that would help too and I'll send an email.

Embracer245
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Judging by this comment,"Restricted Boot" and Apple, EA and friends hatred of Free software,
There is going to be a proprietary software foundation one day, Lead by Bill Gates, Tim Cook & Andrew Wilson, And a sub-division called the proprietary hardware/firmware foundation, Lead by Tom Wheeler. And the Website for Microsoft Windows is going to say Free software is often malware.

Chris

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I'd highly encourage people to post on reddit and hacker news.

I've gone and responded to as many of ill-informed comments as possible. It looks like many of them have been up-voted. We'll need to keep on top of this as things develop.

I'm going to try and call into Free Talk Live tonight.

The hacker news link is here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10139679

They don't seem to understand that the FCC has explicitly stated router firmware (not just radio firmware) would be required to be locked down. Anybody who could point that out on hackernewer would help. Apparently you can only post twice per ???? period of time there.

If someone can comment here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/reply?id=10140602&goto=item%3Fid%3D10139679

With the below would be great:

https://apps.fcc.gov/kdb/GetAttachment.html?id=1UiSJRK869RsyQddPi5hpw%3D%3D&desc=594280%20D02%20U-NII%20Device%20Security%20v01r02&tracking_number=39498

Here's a draft of the rules where they specifically ask how You will prevent end users from installing DD-WRT.

Third-Party Access Control: What prevents third parties from loading non-US versions of the software/firmware on the device? Describe in detail how the device is protected from “flashing” and the installation of third-party firmware such as DD-WRT.

Embracer245
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Is this a reply to my Proprietary software foundation joke?

Chris

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I've got a new link people can link to... though DNS records have to propagate still... could be a few hours before this works.

www.savewifi.org links to a cached version of the LibrePlanet wiki which contains the information for users on how to send comments in with the FCC (ie https://archive.is/tGCkU).

Unsure how this will handle under load as I'm not experienced with significant loads. I hope this hack of a solution will work cause I know if it doesn't then we'll need someone more experienced to setup some sort of site with real caching...

If anybody wants to help with doing just that it would be of great service to saving wifi!

bluzeo
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hey if need need be i have friends that can help with the website and im writing a huge thiing on facebook

Chris

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I've been informed that wikia.com can probably handle the load. Never used it, but if you could copy the contents of the archived page to an instance maybe that would work? I don't think it'll take more than two minutes for someone to do.

Right now I'm revamping ThinkPenguin's main page to inform users of the savewifi.org campaign and writing a blog post which then links to savewifi.org. Which right now is linking to archive.is/.....

But if we can get something else up that is better that would be awesome!

bluzeo
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hey get in contact with demandprogress. they can help get the word out way quicker then me

Chris

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Great. I was on the air with free talk live. I didn't get much time, but I did get the site www.savewifi.org mentioned 2-3 times and briefly explained the issue and told people what they could do to help (ie visit the site and follow the directions on how to comment with the fcc and even suggestions on what to say).

bluzeo
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good - i went on facebook and twitter!

Chris

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I sent an email to the [GNU]Linux Linux Tech Show... I think it might have died off in 2005... but I knew the founders in a prior life so I'd thought I'd reach out to them to see if they'd be interested in doing an interview with me on the issue.

I'm also in contact with the Slashdot TV. Assuming my contact wasn't too upset by prior turn down of an interview (due to disarrangement on terms of what it would entail) we might get on there. Waiting to hear back...

I've got it on the calendar to call into off the hook on wbai in NY: http://www.2600.com/offthehook/ and listen live at http://www.wbai.org/listen.php. It's 7PM Wednesday. I think you can call in anyway. Going to try. It's another audience that'll be likely to have people who care about these types of issues.

Also contacting the crypto show....

tomlukeywood
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With these new FCC regulations
would installing Replicant on a
phone with a wifi card be illegal?

or well installing free software on any computer with a wifi chip???

this is the impression i got from your blog:
https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/save-wifi-fcc-attempting-criminalize-freedom-new-regulations

also dose anyone know which countries this law will take effect in?

Chris

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The technical and legal folks who scrutinized this basically said the rules were not totally clear. For instance what counts as an SDR? Just about everything now is SDR. The reality is this stuff is getting integrated such that you'd have to lock down everything on many of the devices shipping today. There are OS controlled components in these SDR or partial SDR chips. It appears what will eventually happen (maybe with future rules) is they'll require manufacturers to adopt 'hardware' signature checking tech from Intel. Intel's apparently designed there stuff to work on non-x86 third party platforms and what would happen is they'd license that out. This would ensure that users couldn't just get $100 worth of parts and bypass the signature checking by flashing the chip directly. Right now it sounds like manufacturers may be able to simply add signature checking to the firmware so that its munch more difficult to flash third party firmware (and would be illegal).

It will impact everybody everywhere in every country. Generally speaking tech isn't designed for one country. It's designed to work world-wide and then they might make a change here or there in software to comply with regulations. It might not be certified for all countries, but it's just a software change away to being certifiable. So if your future ARM laptop for instance has to have Intel's tech the real question is why wouldn't every country require it? And even if they didn't what makes you think they wouldn't implement it for other countries anyway? There are business reasons for doing so. We've already got this with IBM/Lenovo, Toshibia, Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, and Toshibia laptops and *every* modern Intel system in one form or another (digital locks of some kind that is).

tomlukeywood
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so as i am selling phones with Replicant pre-installed on them

if this law is passed i would be unable to sell them as Replicant would give you control over the device?

or just this law only apply to company’s making new hardware
so they have to make the devices restrictive from the start?

Chris

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I don't have enough information to answer that question and I think a lawyer would have a difficult time giving you a straight answer too. And not just any lawyer but one involved in these types of cases with the FCC rules. So a specialized lawyer. As I've said the lawyers have basically said (and the technical people who do the engineering) that the rules are unclear. One interpretation would probably put you in violation from what it sounds like to me. Most likely.

Ultimately though these rules will have that type of impact in the long term. The penalty for violating them I believe is $20,000 USD per device too. That's a lot of money! So have fun testing the theory of "may not be violating" in court.

tomlukeywood
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20,000 USD!

do you have a source on that?

Chris

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Well- I believe this # was given to me in a response to a question I asked of those more knowledgeable and involved in the FCC details. That is there are lawyers, developers, and other technical types much more intimately involved/figuring it all out and I'm just grasping the jist of it enough to explain it less technical types. The larger rules are something like over a hundred pages if I'm not mistaken full of legal words that even the lawyers are unsure of what they mean (people who have dealt with this stuff in the past already). I'm more putting heads together and trying to get other people to figure it out, correct our understanding (ie the people who are helping with doing the promoting, creating the wiki page, etc). Now that we have put together a message (I helped a little), and overall figured out how we plan to tackle the problem I'm going to promote the heck out of it. Several prominent groups are at a minimum suppose to be working on blog posts at a minimum.

We'll see what happens!

Note: I did make a cursory search to see if I could find the email, but couldn't, and I don't think there was a link to the source for that # in it anyway. The # though shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with this kind of stuff. The FCC *will* fine you to death if you blatantly disobey them after being told to 'quit it'. Apparently first timers offenders aren't usually fined to death- but it will take a hit on your pocket book none-the-less.

tomlukeywood
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wait there something i still don’t get

The FCC is a USA Authority?

i am selling from the UK
would they fine me?

do they have international power?

Chris

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No, probably not (well, maybe if you ship to the USA.. unsure... you would need to ask a lawyer that question), but your not going to be able to continue getting routers going forward that you can 1. easily flash 2. are at all flashable. Right now you'll just find it becoming more difficult to flash the routers as companies start adding signature checking to the firmware they ship. While they might not be required to do so under local laws that doesn't meant they *won't* do so. Until now they've not had a reason to add the code to do the signature checking, but one implemented they very well may see a business advantage to locking end-users out or just do it out of ignorance. Later when companies start implementing "hardware"-based signature checks it'll be impossible (probably). Intel's not required to DRM there tech, but they still do.

* I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice.

Chris

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So I have some updated information on this issue. Canada is going to have the same rules as the US and the EU are also going to be passing similar rules:

Industry Canada RSS-247

Posted on Industry Canada website: May 28, 2015 Issue 1
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf10971.html

The EU is going to have similar software security rules 2014/53/EU (June 2016)

tomlukeywood
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:(

tomlukeywood
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"The EU is going to have similar software security rules 2014/53/EU (June 2016)"
do you have a source on this?
the more info you have about this the better

*i am thinking on contacting my Member of European parliament about this

Chris

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Definitely!

Unfortunately I don't have a source for the above. Only the Canadian rule change. However the information itself comes from a reliable source.

tomlukeywood
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i cant rely contact my MEP if i don’t have any sources

is it possible to let me know what the reliable source is?

Chris

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We're not there yet. So unfortunately I don't know.

I'm going to bring it up though. Maybe someone can find the contact info or identify a comment period in other countries/unions. The sooner we identify it the more likely we'll get the upper hand on the issue.

tomlukeywood
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so were did you hear this information?

"The EU is going to have similar software security rules 2014/53/EU (June 2016)"

Chris

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They haven't come out with a comment period or equivalent yet, so we're basically waiting at the moment... We're keeping an eye on it and will let everybody know when, where and how they can send in official complaints to the proposed rules.

Here is a bit more info (probably above the heads of most to interpret, but none-the-less):

> f harmonized standards have not yet been published for the Directive 2014/53/EU. I don't know who will be responsible to work out a standard for the Article 3.3i. I'll try to get some information about it.
>
> However, ETSI has recently announced a workshop covering the software defined radio topic.
>
> http://www.etsi.org/news-events/events/975-53-shades-of-re-d-how-to-place-compliant-radio-equipment-on-the-european-market?highlight=YTo2OntpOjA7aToyMDE0O2k6MTtpOjUzO2k6Mjt...
>
>
http://www.redca.eu

[snip]

The REDCA provides a forum for people concerned with the compliance of radio equipment with regulations and technical standards in the European Economic Area, as well as in the Countries that have a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the EU, such as the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Membership of REDCA is open to all Radio Equipment Directive Notified Bodies and any consulting, testing or manufacturing organisation, as well as authorities or any other organisation that is willing to follow the aims and objectives set out in the Associations Rules and Constitution. A guide on "How to apply for REDCA Membership", an application form and a copy of the Associations' Rules can be found following the "Documents" menu tab above. The annual fee for REDCA Membership is €500.

[snip]

SuperTramp83

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I didn't have the force to comment on this one. All I know is I want to send them a giant FUCK YOU

tomlukeywood
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yeah i did too
but it probably helps more if you list your
reasons for apposing it

Chris

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www.savewifi.org has a list of reasons for people to basically copy and paste why they object. Just look through it and decide what reasons you're objecting to it and copy them into the FCC comment area. Even a one line I object because of privacy is *useful*.

Chris

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www.savewifi.org

You don't have to say much. Even basically copying and pasting what we've outlined should help. The goal is to get an overwhelming amount of support so they have to think twice. Right now they're writing off the community and those who will be impacted. They are required to do an assessment of the impact of the rule changes so the more people who object for *any* reason is likely to be useful in arguing they've failed to obey the law/there own rules.

tomlukeywood
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i wonder why the libreplanet page is on a archive site?

dose this link work just aswell?
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Save_WiFi/Individual_Comments

Chris

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There was such a large amount of traffic the other day libreplanet server got overloaded and went down. It's back up, but until I get confirmation that it's going to be able to handle the load I've temporarily directed the domain to a cached version of the page.

Those involved have been talking about maybe using wikia instead. They think wikia will be able to handle the traffic. However I've not heard back from John or Josh in regards to directing the domain back to libreplanet page.

bluzeo
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i hope this works ! cause i dont want to buy an cumputer if i cant dualboot or install linux.

Jodiendo
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Chris and everyone

We could all take the Rebels view and see this as a power grab and the knee jerk reaction is "hands off my WiFi!"

I don't believe the FCC is there to hinder innovation, at least I hope not.. this is not typically how the FCC works.. but I've seen them throw out straw-man proposals to engage the public, and this might be one of them.

So if, and when, you do submit comments, and in the US, as a citizen, this is your right, give it some thought and consideration as these are taken into the next steps on how the FCC will move. Don't flame them, that just gets ignored... be reasonable and thoughtful in what you say.

If anyone in interested in understand FCC Frequency Spectrum, and 5 GHz Unlicensed Spectrum (UNII) then follow the links.

https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/radio-spectrum-allocation
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/2003-allochrt.pdf
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-13-22A1.pdf
https://www.fcc.gov/document/5-ghz-unlicensed-spectrum-unii

It's a very good thing the FCC decided to extend the time to comment for another two months, because we really all need to study what the FCC is actually proposing to do.

What I do know, in the past, having dealt with the FCC on a couple of projects, is that they are very receptive to input from the public - they're required to, it's in their charter - so raise a voice directly... it is your right to do so.

if one feels strongly enough, hit up your Representative and Senators, and that makes even a better impression, they will take consideration here -- but again, but thoughtful in your comments and objections.

With the Representative/Senators - I've always got a response back, not a form letter, but a signed response in Snail-Mail - I make my comments there, and yes, I do it often for issues I care about - just costs a stamp..

You want to read more in details take your time in doing so and dont forget to be heard follow the following link.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/06/2015-18402/equipment-authorization-and-electronic-labeling-for-wireless-devices

Chris

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Yes- I generally agree here. My point was merely that people shouldn't be afraid to send in comments. If nobody sends in comments because they feel they can't it won't do any good either.

bluzeo
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i still like trying to send one to mine but that webstie is to confusing!

tomlukeywood
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what website?

JadedCtrl
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I'm pretty sure he was responding the Jodiendo.

bluzeo-- on the site:
(https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/06/2015-18402/equipment-authorization-and-electronic-labeling-for-wireless-devices)
Click the green "Submit a Formal Comment" button.
Then, enter your comment, along with the other information, and submit.

Chris

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There are directions at www.savewifi.org

tomlukeywood
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I don’t see the Free Software Foundation
Publicizing http://www.savewifi.org

and that would get a lot for people to complain against it.

am i correct in thinking the FSF haven’t commented on this?

Magic Banana

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Yesterday, I received the FSF "Free Software Supporter" email (I am a FSF member). One of the sections was:

Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.
For this month, we are highlighting Save WiFi, which provides information about the FCC considering a proposal to require manufacturers to lock down computing devices. You are invited to adopt, spread and improve this important resource.
https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Save_WiFi/