Browse Source

Update Router Freedom pages (#1074)

pull/1108/head
lucas.lasota 1 week ago
parent
commit
3850e48c59
2 changed files with 75 additions and 75 deletions
  1. 75
    75
      activities/routers/routers.en.xhtml
  2. BIN
      picturebase/campaigns/routers/ntp-transp.png

+ 75
- 75
activities/routers/routers.en.xhtml View File

@@ -2,87 +2,88 @@

<html>
<head>
<title>Compulsory routers – FSFE</title>
<title>Router Freedom – FSFE</title>
</head>
<body id="routers" class="article" microformats="h-entry">
<h1 class="p-name">Compulsory routers</h1>
<h1 class="p-name">Router Freedom</h1>

<div class="e-content">

<div id="introduction">

<p>It should go without saying that in our society we should be able to freely
choose technical devices for use in our homes like we are free to choose what
mobile phone we buy. But some Internet service providers dishonor this principle
by dictating which device their customers have to use in order to connect to the internet
or they discriminate against the owners of alternative devices. This undermining of our
basic freedom of choice is called “compulsory routers” and is being strongly criticised by the Free Software Foundation Europe and many other organisations, projects and
individuals. Compulsory routers is not merely a topic for experts. It affects all of us.</p>
<p>It should go without saying that in our society we should be able to freely choose technical devices for use in our homes like we are free to choose what mobile phone we buy. But some Internet service providers in Europe dishonor this principle by dictating which device their customers have to use in order to connect to the internet, or they discriminate against the owners of alternative devices. This undermining of our basic freedom of choice is strongly opposed by the Free Software Foundation Europe and many other organisations, projects, and individuals. Router Freedom is not merely a topic for experts. It affects all of us.</p>

</div>


<h2>What are routers, and what sort of compulsion?</h2>

<p>Routers are devices that handle other functions besides connecting to the internet, for
instance WiFi, Voice over IP (VoIP), and TV streaming, and also technical details such
as port forwarding, dynamic DNS, or VPN tunneling. Normally, all internet-based communication
passes through routers.</p>

<p>ISPs such as Telekom, Vodafone, Kabeldeutschland, and many others in Germany,
often offer a recommended router with the contract. In principle that is not bad because
then users do not need to go searching for a suitable device themselves. On the other
hand there must always be the option of deciding for a device oneself without having to be
dependant on the goodwill of the ISP. Why is this so important? There are several reasons,
some of a general and others of a technical nature.</p>

<ol>
<li><strong>Trust and Preferences</strong>:
Every person has different preferences when it comes to the selection of electronic devices.
An ISP should not set itself over this freedom of decision. If customers do not want to use
the ISP-recommended device for any reason, the ISP must respect this without repercussions
for the user.</li>

<li><strong>Privacy and Data Protection</strong>:
Dozens of times, standard routers from ISPs have been known to have security flaws
or be victims of backdoors that allowed intelligence agencies and criminals to access the
infrastructure behind the device.
Customers thus need the freedom to choose a device or manufacturer that they trust in.
In opposition to this, compulsory routers destroy the already damaged trust in new
technologies.</li>

<li><strong>Free Competition and Technological Progress</strong>:
Users profit from the free competition that guarantees free choice and steady
improvement of products. Should, however, more and more ISPs force the usage of
compulsory routers, smaller router manufacturers would be at a disadvantage because
almost no one could use their devices. In this way, small and alternative manufacturers
would no longer be able to stay on the market. This would, eventually,come at the cost of
the user because (security) features would be be continually reduced and the
user-friendliness would drop.</li>


<li><strong>Compatibility</strong>: Nowadays, the diversity of technical devices
is huge. In principle this is a good thing because we can freely choose the products
which are most appealing. Unfortunately there are, for instance, routers to which only
certain telephones may be connected. Users need to purchase new hardware solely
because of the unwillingness of the internet service providers. From the consumer’s
and the environment’s point of view this is unfavourable due to the build up of electronic
waste even though the devices would still work..</li>

<li><strong>Security Concerns from Monocultures and Lacking Updates</strong>:
Security experts are already worried about the growing number of technical monocultures.
These come about when a large percentage of a technological sector is dominated by only
one product family or manufacturer. Then, if major problems or security holes appear, an
enormous number of users are affected at once. Most ISPs only use a few router models
and thus endanger the security of their customers.

<p>That is particularly problematic when manufacturers and providers are very slow in the delivery
of critical updates. Often it is not possible for compulsory router customers to perform updates
themselves, although they may already be available from the router manufacturer. Thus, customers
are incapacitated with regard to their security.</p></li>

</ol>
<h2>What are routers and modems?</h2>

<p>Routers and modems are equipment (or terminals, according to European regulations) that our devices (like computers, smartphones, TV, etc) use to connect with the Internet Service Provider (ISP). While the modem brings the information in, the router distributes (or “routes”) it to different devices. Routers share information between computers, and connect to the internet through a modem. Sometimes a router and modem are offered by ISP in a same device. However, a router has no access to the internet without a modem. Routers can handle other functions too, for instance WiFi, Voice over IP (VoIP), and TV streaming, and also technical details such as port forwarding, dynamic DNS, or VPN tunneling. Normally, all internet-based communication passes through routers.</p>

<p>Most ISPs in Europe offer a recommended router with the contract for their clients. In principle that is not bad because then users do not need to search for a suitable device themselves. However, if consumers are forced to use this device, this practice can make them totally dependent and vulnerable to technical and contract changes, which can result in unfair treatment by the ISPs.</p>

<h2>Router Freedom and Net Neutrality</h2>

<p>Network neutrality, or net neutrality for short, is the principle that ISPs have to treat all internet communications equally, and not discriminate or charge differently, for instance based on user, content, website, service, type of equipment, or method of communication. Router Freedom is a fundamental corollary of this idea. In fact, the freedom of choice of our own equipment is already guaranteed on the European regulatory framework. The so-called <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/open-internet-net-neutrality">EU's Open Internet Regulation</a> grants end users right to access and distribute the lawful content and services of their choice via their ISP. The basic rule is: internet traffic shall be treated without discrimination.</p>

<p>In order to protect this freedom, the <a href="https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2015.310.01.0001.01.ENG">article 3(1) of the Net Neutrality Directive</a> establishes that the enforcement of the respective open internet rules is task for the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of each European country. They must check the application of the Directive’s rules accordingly to the technical guidelines of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).</p>

<p>However, many ISP across Europe do not comply with the regulation yet, imposing their own routers to consumers in a clearly contradiction with the Net Neutrality principle. Their argumentation concerns the location of the network termination point (NTP), an arbitrary definition between the limits of the user’s private and ISP’s network equipment. They introduced a debate to determine whether the NTP would be located inside the end-user domain, so they can use their own modem and router, or the NTP would be part of the domain of the network operator, so end-users cannot use their own router with a private modem. In this case, the users should use the ISP's router.</p>

<figure>
<img
src="/picturebase/routers/ntp-transp.png"
alt="Network Termination Point"/>
<figcaption>
Representation of the Network Termination Point
</figcaption>
</figure>

<h2>Router Freedom and Net Neutrality</h2>

<p>During the years 2013 and 2016, the FSFE and 9 other civil organisations conducted a successful <a href="https://fsfe.org/activities/routers/timeline.html">campaign</a> for Router Freedom in Germany that resulted in the adoption of a law obliging all German ISPs to enable new clients to use alternative modems and routers to connect to the internet. The FSFE is still <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/Implementation/Germany">monitoring</a> the implementation, has sent out testing devices to volunteers for them to check whether their ISPs obey the law, and collected the results.</p>

<p>However, the awareness for such fundamental topic is still <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/#Router_Freedom_in_Europe">very low</a> across Europe. Users are not being consciously informed about the risks of not having the freedom to choose their own equipment. It is unacceptable to limit Router Freedom on the basis of a arbitrary definition that only benefits ISPs and subjugates users to a very unfair and submissive situation.</p>

<h2>Why is Router Freedom important?</h2>

<p>Let's put it this way: your whole internet traffic, encryption, backups, communication, shopping, writings, business interaction, and so on are transferred through your router. If your router is not free, your digital freedom is likely to be compromised.</p>

<p>The infringement of the Router Freedom may happen by different restrictions, such as:</p>

<ul>
<li>The ISP does not allow the client to use another router, i.e. by contract.</li>

<li>The ISP does not give the client the connection data like username and password for the PPPoE/VoIP connection (might differ in some countries but the problem remains the same).</li>

<li>The ISP uses non-standard techniques to connect its clients to the internet/its infrastructure, i.e. special plugs or proprietary protocols.</li>

<li>The ISP requires any router to be registered at his own infrastructure, i.e. by MAC address or other identification. So the client is not able to use his own devices because they won't get an IP address or other necessary data.</li>

</ul>

<p>These situations show the bad consequences of the lack on Router Freedom. The reasons to defend and promote Router Freedom concern ethical and technical elements to our basic needs to internet access, such as:</p>

<ul>
<li><strong>Freedom of choice</strong>: We have the right to choose our own electronic devices. If customers do not want to use the ISP-recommended device for any reason, the ISP must respect this without repercussions for the user.</li>

<li><strong>Privacy and Data Protection</strong>: The lack of Router Freedom compromises our privacy and the security of our most sensitive personal data.</li>

<li><strong>Compatibility</strong>: Some ISPs impose to users specific models, forcing them to acquire only compatible hardware. From the consumer’s and the environment’s point of view this is unfavorable due to the build up of electronic waste even though the devices would still work.</li>

<li><strong>Free Competition and Technological Progress</strong>: Users profit from the free competition that guarantees free choice and steady improvement of products. The lack of competition would, eventually, come at the cost of the user because (security) features would be be continually reduced and the user-friendliness would drop. This goes even further: If a user is forced to use a router, the ISP is only one step apart from supporting only one SIP provider, one cloud storage, one DynamicDNS provider, or one media streaming platform. The user cannot use their phones, their trusted online storage or their hardware, because it is not supported.</li>

<li><strong>Security</strong>: The lack of Router Freedom increases the probability that large parts of the router market is dominated by only one or a few product families or manufacturers. Then, if major problems or security holes appear, an enormous number of users will affected at once. Most ISPs only use a few router models and thus endanger the security of their customers. That is particularly problematic when manufacturers and providers are very slow in the delivery of critical updates and users are not allowed to perform updates themselves.</li>

</ul>

<h2>Get active</h2>

<p>ISPs across Europe are imposing their own routers to consumers, threatening our freedom of choice towards the equipment we use for Internet connection. ISPs are leveraging the debate on the European level using questionable definitions about the Network Termination Point. You can take part in this fundamental campaign to defend our freedom.</p>

<p>We already won in Germany and other countries are following the path. We have learned valuable lessons in the process and compiled them in a <a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/">wiki page</a>, where you can find all necessary information to fight against the disruption of Router Freedom, and raise the problem within your community and to your political representatives.</p>


</div><!--/e-content-->

@@ -95,15 +96,14 @@ are incapacitated with regard to their security.</p></li>

<sidebar promo="our-work">

<h2>More about compulsory routers</h2>
<h2>More about Router Freedom</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="/activities/routers/timeline.html">Timeline of compulsory routers</a></li>
<li><a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/Implementation/Germany">Status of the new law's implementation in Germany</a></li>
<li><a href="https://wiki.fsfe.org/Activities/CompulsoryRouters/">How to defend Router Freedom</a></li>
</ul>

<h2>External articles about compulsory routers</h2>
<h2>External pages about Router Freedom</h2>
<ul>
<li><a href="https://blog.mehl.mx/2016/erste-testgeraete-fuer-routerfreiheit-versendet/">First testing devices sent out (German)</a></li>
<li><a href="https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/open-internet-net-neutrality">European Commission Open Internet webpage</a></li>
<li><a href="http://blog.mehl.mx/2014/why-free-choice-of-routers-is-an-unnegotiable-must/">Why free choice of routers is an unnegotiable must</a></li>
</ul>


BIN
picturebase/campaigns/routers/ntp-transp.png View File


Loading…
Cancel
Save