Forum: GNU Radio FCC creates obstacles for Open Source software radio

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9c2ab60bcd7045e9acc36aa8074a3336?d=identicon&s=25 Philip Balister (Guest)
on 2007-07-06 19:47
(Received via mailing list)
Found on /. I wonder how much Cisco paid for the words ....

http://news.com.com/Feds+snub+open+source+for+smar...

Philip
161ee4eff6b32ac73c5250d62fc3f9b2?d=identicon&s=25 Lamar Owen (Guest)
on 2007-07-07 15:31
(Received via mailing list)
On Friday 06 July 2007, Philip Balister wrote:
> Found on /. I wonder how much Cisco paid for the words ....
>
> http://news.com.com/Feds+snub+open+source+for+smar...
>102.html?tag=nefd.lede

Well, quite honestly, Cisco's only costs would have been the lawyer time
and
the filing of the petition.

This action to me seems rather reasonable.  The only software that the
FCC is
worried about is that which sets the radio's operating mode, emission
mask,
and transmit power.  Given the FCC's well-known reticence to radio
anarchy
this is as much of a concession as could be expected at this time.

Yes, I said concession.  This is actually a relaxation of the
interpretation
of the rule; the FCC recognized the usefulness of open source in this,
and
intentionally narrowed the scope.  The specific mention of amateur
equipment
(if you think of the USRP as a radio, it is amateur equipment; it is,
however, marketed as test equipment (and the part 15 rules apply)) is a
very
good thing.

Petitions can be filed to this M R&O too, if the new rule isn't to
anyone's
liking.

But is open source less secure, when the item being secured is 'how do I
manipulate the operating frequency, power, and mode of this radio?'
Discussion, anyone?
--
Lamar Owen
Chief Information Officer
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC  28772
(828)862-5554
www.pari.edu
B26ca183f213aba4568c1b68d48bc247?d=identicon&s=25 David Young (Guest)
on 2007-07-07 21:39
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Jul 07, 2007 at 09:29:37AM -0400, Lamar Owen wrote:
> worried about is that which sets the radio's operating mode, emission mask,
> and transmit power.  Given the FCC's well-known reticence to radio anarchy
> this is as much of a concession as could be expected at this time.

Do you think that the software that concerns the FCC is concerned with
must reside in the radio?  Sometimes the transmission parameters such
as modulation, mask, and power are under control of the host computer.
If the FCC's definition of software-defined radio encompasses software
running on the host computer, then it seems that they have encumbered
the development of open-source software for a broad category of devices,
including most of the 802.11 radios on the market.  I feel certain that
this was not their intention, but I do not think one can tell by reading
the law alone, and that is worrisome.  What do you think?

> But is open source less secure, when the item being secured is 'how do I
> manipulate the operating frequency, power, and mode of this radio?'
> Discussion, anyone?

I do not think open source is less secure.  Commercial software is
developed under enormous time pressure for very narrow purposes by
teams of developers that are oftentimes insulated from outside ideas
and criticism by corporate secrecy, IP paranoia, and the "not invented
here" syndrome.  The narrow purposes of commercial development do
include
"best performance for the price on the market"; they do not include
"show
how our security measures can be defeated and our equipment exploited to
interfere with television broadcast."  There is less time, and there
are fewer persons for finding defects in a commercial development
than in open-source development.  Developing out in the open exposes
your security measures to the diverse purposes of a wider segment of
companies, of hobbyists, of academic researchers, and---let us
admit---of
"bad guys."  In this way, I believe an open-source community will detect
more security problems in a product before a firm sends it to market
than
if the product had survived the scrutiny of one firm's developers alone.

Dave

--
David Young             OJC Technologies
dyoung@ojctech.com      Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933 ext 24
3045397bfbb92f92bdbed4b003ecb2c9?d=identicon&s=25 John Clark (Guest)
on 2007-07-09 18:48
(Received via mailing list)
David Young schrieb:
> Do you think that the software that concerns the FCC is concerned with
> must reside in the radio?  Sometimes the transmission parameters such
> as modulation, mask, and power are under control of the host computer.
> If the FCC's definition of software-defined radio encompasses software
> running on the host computer, then it seems that they have encumbered
> the development of open-source software for a broad category of devices,
> including most of the 802.11 radios on the market.  I feel certain that
> this was not their intention, but I do not think one can tell by reading
> the law alone, and that is worrisome.  What do you think?

Such 'regulations' could very well be in conjunction with being very
'sympathetic' to certain business
interests which could have a benefit of forcing any one in the
competative set, to use a 'commercial'
product at some level for their radio.

Chip manufacturers have often stated they 'can't' publish internal specs
which would allow developers
to access the chip features to produce custom applications, which are
within regulation, because of
such rules by the FCC. And of course that ruling is publicly stated as
to prevent someone, somewhere,
somehow misusing the equipment... as if that was not impossible by the
closure of the information
at this level.

Obviously this would get more so, when the 'chip' is replaced by a
software defined radio implementation.

John Clark.
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