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FCC won’t ban users from hacking their WiFi routers after all

A few months ago the US wireless regulator, known as the FCC, proposed some regulation changes that included banning or restricting using third- party software on WiFi routers. This was supposed to stop users from boosting the wireless signal power excessively. Of course, this stirred people up and the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a petition for people to sign, asking the FCC to reconsider these proposed changes.  It seems that the petition had its results since the US wireless regulator announced in a blog post on Thursday that they weren’t asking Fi router manufacturers to block all Open Source firmware modifications.

According to the blog post, the Federal Communications Commission released a revision to the previously issued guidance in order to clarify that their instructions were narrowly-focused on modifications that would take a device out of compliance. This means that users will be banned from tweaking their routers in order for it to emit an overly strong signal, but they will be able to make some software changes that are related to security or improving other features of the WiFi router. Although the FCC won’t ask manufacturers to block their devices, users fear that they will do this anyway. This is mainly due to the fact that it will be easier for WiFi router manufacturers to block the entire device instead of just blocking the RF part, which seems to be required after all. in order to stop users from boosting their signal.

It is a good thing that at least the problem got to be disputed and the wireless regulator heard the voice of users who were asking for the regulations not to change, but, unfortunately, it seems that the compromise the FCC has made is not quite enough. Third- party software can theoretically be used  without any problems, but the regulations for the manufacturers will most likely make them block their devices anyway.


About Calin Andreescu

I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.

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