A suggestion for the FCC

Eric Schultz // Aug 2, 2016

While reading the FCC's press release on their TP-Link settlement, I noticed at interesting quote from Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC's enforcement bureau:

While manufacturers of Wi-Fi routers must ensure reasonable safeguards to protect radio parameters...

What if the FCC changed their phrasing in the rules from "secure against modification" to "reasonable safeguards?" A reasonable safeguard could, for example, ban the upload of third-party firmware from a web UI, a method that requires minimal technical knowledge, but could allow it via TFTP, a method requiring more technical knowledge. This change (and recommendation for compliance from the OET) would address consumer concerns about restricted devices. At the same time, it provides some assurance to the FCC that devices won't be modified on a whim.


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