Right now, the FCC is considering a proposal to require manufacturers to lock down computing devices (routers, PCs, phones) to prevent modification if they have a “modular wireless radio” or a device with an “electronic label”. The rules would likely:
- Restrict installation of alternative operating systems on your PC, like GNU/Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, etc.
- Prevent research into advanced wireless technologies, like mesh networking and bufferbloat fixes
- Ban installation of custom firmware on your Android phone
- Discourage the development of alternative free and open source WiFi firmware, like OpenWrt
- Infringe upon the ability of amateur radio operators to create high powered mesh networks to assist emergency personnel in a disaster.
- Prevent resellers from installing firmware on routers, such as for retail WiFi hotspots or VPNs, without agreeing to any condition a manufacturer so chooses.