About two months ago, Hackaday reported that the FCC was introducing rules to ban firmware modifications in WiFi routers. OpenWRT, together with others, had created the SaveWiFi campaign, in order to submit a formal complaint to FCC regarding this proposal.
Now, the FCC has made clear that router hacking is fine and will remain fine. In his blog post, Julias Knapp, chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology has since clarified the Commission’s position: wireless routers won’t be protected from flashing with open source firmware / third party firmware.
“The rule is not intended to prevent or inhibit modification of any other software or firmware in the device, such as software modifications to improve performance, configure RF networks or improve cybersecurity. These types of software and firmware modifications, including updates to address security vulnerabilities are known to be highly desired by many users and manufacturers are encouraged to design their systems to permit such software upgrades while ensuring security of the portion that controls compliance with the FCC technical requirements.” – from 594280 D02 U-NII Device Security v01r03