Makers Unite! Support the FSFE Campaign against EU Radio Lockdown Directive

The EU again tries to regulate things they do not understand and any maker living in the EU is affected!

Please read:
https://fsfe.org/activities/radiodirective/radiodirective.en.html
https://www.heise.de/news/RED-Umsetzung-Open-Source-Szene-droht-Ausschluss-aus-der-Funktechnik-6129525.html

TL:DR

[R]adio equipment [shall support] certain features in order to ensure that software can only be loaded into the radio equipment where the compliance of the combination of the radio equipment and software has been demonstrated.
Radio Equipment Directive, Article 3(3)(i)

In short: in the future it is impossible to upload modified firmware to connected devices you own if it is not certified by the manufacturer!

Tasmota → Died!
ESPHome → RIP!
Linux on Laptops → Sentenced to death!

Okay… Sorry for that but I am really concerned about what happens to us if that directive gets real.

Home Assistant Makers: Please support the campaign started by the FSFE! (FHEM already does)
https://fsfe.org/activities/radiodirective/statement.en.html

Smart Home Enthusiasts: Tell your political representatives about what that means for freedom of choice and your worries. Tell your friends

They mean the actual wifi/buletooth/zigbee/etc… radio chipset drivers, which we do not change by uploading alternate firmware via Tasmota or ESPHome (Linux drivers are another matter).

Locking down frequency and power limits is a good thing. It prevents interference and ensures everyone has fair access to the available spectrum.

2 Likes

Well… No

An EU regulation may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio devices like WiFi routers, smartphones, and embedded devices. It requires hardware manufacturers to implement a barrier that disallows users to install any software which has not been certified by them.

Shameless copypasta from an arstechnica comment:

It has to be noted that the Directive explicitly states:

Quote:

Verification by radio equipment of the compliance of its combination with software should not be abused in order to prevent its use with software provided by independent parties. The availability to public authorities, manufacturers and users of information on the compliance of intended combinations of radio equipment and software should contribute to facilitate competition.

DIRECTIVE 2014/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment and repealing Directive 1999/5/EC *

In other words, the Directive explicitly wants to make sure people can still install their own preferred software on their devices. The manufacturer will have to find a way to hard code frequencies and power limits into the hardware or firmware of the radio chip. All in all not impossible, there are many mobile phones where one can change the OS but not the baseband running the radio. In fact, I doubt there are mobile phones where this is possible as it would wreak havoc with phone networks.


They don’t want to limit third-party software because they don’t want to hamper competition, they only want to limit the radio function.

The link you provided is complaining about the regulatory compliance being put on the manufacturer instead of the individual who altered the device.

The Link i provided ist complaining about Article 3(3)(i) which ist quoted in my original Post.

This Article forces manufacturers to Install a barrier which makes it Impossible to Install any software to that device which has not been certified by them.

Free Software Foundation Europe:

The article requires that device manufacturers check all software which can be loaded onto the device regarding its compliance with applicable radio regulations (e.g. signal frequency and strength). Until now, the responsibility for compliance lay with users if they modified something, no matter if it was related to hardware or software. This shift of responsibility sounds convenient for users but in fact takes away the ability to control this important technology. It gives the device manfacturers the control over the choice of software which can run on their devices.