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Wireless regulatory compliance

Wireless regulatory compliance

Posted Jun 7, 2007 15:45 UTC (Thu) by sepreece (guest, #19270)
In reply to: Wireless regulatory compliance by timschmidt
Parent article: Wireless regulatory compliance

My understanding was that the FCC does consider this in type certifying devices for manufacture and that it has also acted to restrict importation of devices that were too easy to modify.


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Wireless regulatory compliance

Posted Jun 7, 2007 17:07 UTC (Thu) by timschmidt (guest, #38269) [Link]

Define 'too easy to modify'. You can't. Anything can be too easy to modify - to the right person. Kernel space may seem simple to you, but to the other 99.999%, it's every bit as cryptic (more so!) than some electronic gadget they can hold in their hands.

Wireless regulatory compliance - "too easy to modify"

Posted Jun 8, 2007 16:37 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

You missed his point. The FCC does define it. I don't know the definition, but I'm sure it exists in copious written words, and there are copious examples of devices that do and do not meet the definition. It's real, which means prohibiting open source software radios can be too.

Law is positively full of things that cannot be crisply defined and yet are defined.

In the US, when you borrow something and it gets damaged because you failed to use "great care" in handling it, you have to pay for the damage. Can you define "great care"? The law does -- in hundreds of thousands of words, which form a definition that is actually clear enough that in the vast majority of cases, a borrower and lender don't even need a judge to determine whether a borrower used great care or not.

If there can be a useful definition of something so nebulous as great care, I'm sure there can be a useful definition of "too easy to modify."

Who is missing the point?

Posted Jun 8, 2007 21:55 UTC (Fri) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026) [Link]

Both you and sepreece are missing the point. Consider the first sentence of the first comment on this thread: "It seems completely insane to me to insist that software MUST prevent (or atleast take steps to prevent) the user of said software from breaking the law wherever he may be at the moment." This thread is about what the rules SHOULD be and not what they ARE.

Regulations that hold manufacturers accountable for the actions of customers who recompile kernels or apply a soldering iron might exist but they don't serve society well. We should find ways to talk sense into those who perpetuate bad ideas rather than ending the discussion with "that's just how it is."

Who is missing the point?

Posted Jun 8, 2007 22:33 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

There are plenty of points to miss here, but the point to which I was referring was a point made by Sepreece, which I think I did catch, and of course he could not have missed himself.

And Sepreece was only rebutting a specific argument made by Timschmidt, not the general idea of whether limitations on radio software are good for society. Neither of us has voiced a position on that.

Timschmidt made the obviously satirical suggestion that hardware radios contain measures to prevent people from modifying them. I take this to mean, "having to make software hard to modify is as ridiculous as having to make hardware hard to modify, which is obviously so ridiculous noone would do it." So the inconsistent fact that the government does in fact do it is right on point.

All well and good, but...

Posted Jun 9, 2007 20:14 UTC (Sat) by GreyWizard (guest, #1026) [Link]

Yes, I noticed all that and I didn't intend to accuse you of putting forward a non sequitur. I don't dispute the factual basis of your comment but rather the implication that this is all that matters (this appears to me intentional since you chose not to comment on the merits of the regulation). Requiring that hardware be hard to intentionally modify is indeed ridiculous, even if government is daft enough to do so.

Who is missing the point?

Posted Aug 3, 2007 1:40 UTC (Fri) by timschmidt (guest, #38269) [Link]

"Timschmidt made the obviously satirical suggestion that hardware radios contain measures to prevent people from modifying them. I take this to mean, "having to make software hard to modify is as ridiculous as having to make hardware hard to modify, which is obviously so ridiculous noone would do it." So the inconsistent fact that the government does in fact do it is right on point."

OK. Name a few radios with FCC-mandated hardware anti-hacking measures.


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