[v2,1/3] ath9k: Support channels in licensed bands

Simon Wunderlich sw at simonwunderlich.de
Fri Apr 21 04:29:14 PDT 2017


On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:09:59 AM CEST Ben Greear wrote:
> [...]
> >     In my personal view, we have quite a few obstacles which I consider
> >     "enough", but would be interesting to hear others opinions ...
> > 
> > I'll throw in my 2-cents. This patch is treading on very dangerous ground.
> > I can't speak to other regulatory environments, but at least the FCC is
> > cracking down on even the possibility that anyone can operate a WiFi
> > device outside the regulatory bounds.
> These patches make it slightly easier to use the licensed bands, but no one
> can accidentally use them due to the regdb and other constaints in these
> patches.
> So, I don't think these patches offer any fundamental new vulnerability
> that should concern the FCC.
> After all, someone who really wants to do evil can find and apply the
> patches without undue effort, and it could easily be that those applying
> the patches would then make it even easier to abuse the new channels due to
> laziness or poor coding choices.

I'm with Ben on this one. I also have followed the FCC actions in the past few 
years, and I've also been involved into that [1,2,3]. There are mailing lists 
on the topic if you want to get involved. I agree that the topic is important, 
but I would prefer to not have this patch serving as battleground. :)

The patches proposed here, as Ben says, at least put proper warnings and 
obstacles which users have to knowingly overcome (or read). It's probably 
safer than keeping the driver as is and having people apply random patches 
from the internet which they don't understand or hack the code themselves. 
Frankly, it's not that hard to enable those channels.

As we have seen by the number of questions and people trying to bring this 
patch in (Ben and Julian), there is quite some interest for supporting those 
bands. I've also got a few requests from companies to have it supported 
(Fraunhofer is one of those).


[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/wireless/comments/3irr5b/
[2] http://hackaday.com/2016/02/26/fcc-locks-down-router-firmware/
[3] https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Save_WiFi
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