Feb 17, 2016 Update:
Please help us publicize this news by up-voting a news story submission on Slashdot here: http://slashdot.org/submission/5574003/tp-link-confirms-wifi-freedom-is-... and if you have the funds consider contributing financially here: https://gofundme.com/save_wifi_round_2
(in regards to the United States) We got confirmation today from one of the largest router manufacturer that they have begun locking router firmware down due to recent FCC rule changes. This is exactly what the Save Wifi campaign participants had been arguing would happen for the past several months. Despite the FCC unequivocally denying that this was there intention it was irrelevant to the outcome and response of manufacturers to the new rules. The competitiveness of the market and costs of compliance means the only real solution for manufactures to comply is the lock down of there router's firmware. The TP-Link rep went on to say that all future routers would be locked down as a direct result of the rule changes.
These rules are bad and already hindering user freedom. The FCC has pulled a fast one and we need to fight back. This is a major security and privacy threat which will lead to even buggier and more insecure wireless hardware. A legal campaign to end this nonsense will require significantly more funding and criticism. Unfortunately the major players on fighting this are burning out. Christopher Waid, of ThinkPenguin, Dave Taht, of BufferBloat, Eric Schultz, Josh Gay of the FSF, and others just don't have the time or resources to keep fighting this. Don't let this be the end.
The Save Wifi campaign needs major financial help if we're going to put an end to this. Please donate to the effort at: https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/save_wifi_round_2 . Please see www.SaveWIfi.org for updates.
Read more about what TP-Link had to say here:
The FCC (USA), Canada, and Europe are attempting to force new rules on manufacturers that will require them to lock down our computing devices. Everything with a modern wireless chip in it is likely to be affected. We have been campaigning for the FCC to abandon these rule changes and this is the current status:
The FCC comment period is over. The FCC has now responded to our communities criticisms and concerns. Unfortunately the answer was to essentially ignore our concerns and say they care. Eric (a participant in the Save Wifi coalition) has written a detailed post here.
Despite this loss the Save Wifi coalition is not dead. We will be working to renew our efforts after the new year. Hopefully with a little bit of fund raising, re-grouping, and further attacks on these disturbing changes we'll be in more of a position to get a proper resolution to the problem.
In the mean time please see here for some of what is going on in Europe:
For those looking to get what may be one of the last 100% free software wireless routers please check out our router here. We also have another new wireless routing device that's been designed to protect users privacy by routing traffic connected to it through a privacy friendly VPN provider.
For more information on the US rules read this comprehensive blog post on the issue by one of the Save Wifi coalition participants. It is the most detailed, accurate, and thorough explanation of our concerns.
--- old info ----
On the tail of the FCC Canada and Europe are attempting to force new rules on manufacturers that will require them to lock down our computing devices. Everything with a modern wireless chip in it is likely to be affected. No longer will you be able to run the operating system of your choice- or even determine if there is a rogue software running on it. Even installing third party software could become an issue if the manufacturer or government doesn't authorize it. With these rules the government is treading on dangerous ground and compromising our security, privacy, and freedom. By locking up devices only the manufacturer, foreign and domestic government(s), and criminal organizations will be in a position to load third party software onto the devices we own. These entities have repeatedly shown a willingness to comprise all of our security and it needs to stop.
For more information about what is happening in Europe and to get involved in stopping these rule changes check out:
We will also be working on campaigns for Europe and Canada as part of the Save Wifi coalition here:
The US has also passed rules which are compromising our ability to provide users systems under which the users are in control. There is an open comment period to tell the FCC (United States) why they shouldn't pass a new set of proposed rules which will take these restrictions even farther. The initial period to say "no thanks" to the FCC is open until October 9th. After which there is a 'reply' comment period that is open until November 9, 2015.
Our 100% free/libre user-owned and controlled routers are still available. However the time to buy may be running out. And remember these rules aren't just going to stop users from buying freedom respecting routers. They'll likely hinder *all* devices with a wifi chip in them from running free software- or even just third party operating systems.
For more information on the US rules read this comprehensive blog post on the issue by one of the Save Wifi coalition participants.