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Regulating wireless devices

Regulating wireless devices

Posted Aug 21, 2008 18:01 UTC (Thu) by pr1268 (subscriber, #24648)
In reply to: Regulating wireless devices by liljencrantz
Parent article: Regulating wireless devices

Keep in mind that if you do want a device to emit radio waves at frequencies and powers that are illegal in your current location, it is trivial to do so by simply using components that can be bought for a small number of dollars at the nearest radio shack and information that can be easily googled, or by making semi-trivial changes in a linux driver, or by slightly altering the hardware itself.

Despite the fact that this is common knowledge, it's still odd how the Wi-Fi vendors continue to "hide" behind the false perception of Linux users being a bunch of criminal hackers in order to justify not releasing hardware drivers. While there may be some substance to the notion that these companies are surrounded by market, legal, and trade-secret boundaries, I personally think that they're just too lazy to support anything other than Windows or Mac OS.

</vented frustration>


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Regulating wireless devices

Posted Aug 22, 2008 9:39 UTC (Fri) by liljencrantz (guest, #28458) [Link]

I guess that the illusion of safety is more important than real safety here. If there is a
separate subsystem with cryptographically signed data about emission levels, that makes it
feel less open, less unrestricted, even if you in fact can just edit the source code a bit to
bypass the whole thing. Kind of like how the anti virus people want deep kernel hooks for
their anti virus products, even though there is nothing they can do with those that can't be
done by a pure user space solution. Kind of like how it has been repeatedly demonstrated that
there are many simple ways to get various weapons past airport security, but regular people
aren't even allowed to bring a bottle of shampoo.

Sometime security theater is the only thing that matters.

The good thing about this proposed subsystem is that it will actually make it easier to write
law abiding, bug free and stable drivers since it's suddenly much less work to find out at
what power you're allowed to transmit on a given frequency. So it serves a dual purpose of
both giving an illusion of safety and making the life of driver writers easier.

And hey, anything that will get this stupid policy deamon for my Intel wireless of my system
is a win in my book.


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