FCC Introduces Rules Banning WiFi Router Firmware Modification

You buy a house, add a garage, no problem. You buy a car, change up the rims, no problem. You buy a router…NOT SO FAST!
Welcome to the tech-heavy world of things you can pay for but never truly own.

Hackaday

For years we have been graced by cheap consumer electronics that are able to be upgraded through unofficial means. Your Nintendo DS is able to run unsigned code, your old XBox was a capable server for its time, your Android smartphone can be made better with CyanogenMod, and your wireless router could be expanded far beyond what it was originally designed to do thanks to the efforts of open source firmware creators. Now, this may change. In a proposed rule from the US Federal Communications Commission, devices with radios may be required to prevent modifications to firmware.

The proposed rule only affects devices operating in the U-NII bands; the portion of the spectrum used for 5GHz WiFi, and the proposed rule only affects the radios inside these devices. Like all government regulations, the law of unintended consequences rears its ugly head, and the proposed rules effectively ban Open Source router…

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Categories: Hackers

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