Hello everyone. I just listened to episode 39 and the discussion around the FCC locking down the wi-fi firmwares. One thing I didn't hear discussed was that this issue has already been solved for smartphones which also contain a SDR. On a phone, the cellular modem has its own OS, walled off from the primary OS the phone's UI runs (Android, iOS, Winhone, etc.). The phone's primary OS can only work with the cellular modem through well defined interface (IIRC it really is just a variation of the old Hayes modem commands). This API does not allow anything "illegal" to be done with the SDR.

The reason this worked for phones was because the cellular service carriers own the radio networks. They can use this as leverage against the phone manufacturers, essentially a "if you want on our network, you have to play by our rules" type of situation.

The wi-fi networks are not owned by any companies, they are unlicensed frequencies so they do not have someone to force the router manufacturers to implement a similar architecture. But this is something that the FCC can mandate in order for the manufacturer to receive the needed FCC approval for their device. This is a hardware solution, which will be easier for the FCC to regulate than the availability of custom software firmwares. They already go through an approval process for each piece of hardware that is sold, so this would be one extra checkbox to mark off in their existing process.

That is just my thought, but I am not a politician or government employee...
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