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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2017-12-12">
  3. <version>1</version>
  4. <head>
  5. <title>Radio Lockdown: Current Status of Your Device Freedom</title>
  6. </head>
  7. <body>
  8. <h1>Radio Lockdown: Current Status of Your Device Freedom</h1>
  9. <p> For more than two years the Free Software
  10. Foundation Europe has worked on the issue of <a
  11. href="/activities/radiodirective/">Radio Lockdown</a> introduced by a
  12. European directive which may hinder users to load software on their
  13. radio devices like mobile phones, laptops and routers. We have informed
  14. the public and talked to decision makers to fix critical points of the
  15. directive. There is still much to do to protect freedom and IT security
  16. in our radio devices. Read about the latest proceedings and the next
  17. steps. </p>
  18. <div class="right" style="max-width: 506px; width: 25%;">
  19. <img src="/activities/radiodirective/img/radiolockdown-cage.jpg" alt="a bird cage with a router and a mobile phone imprisoned, both sending radio waves" />
  20. </div>
  21. <p>In 2014, the European Parliament passed the <a
  22. href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX%3A32014L0053">Radio
  23. Equipment Directive</a> which, among other regulations, make vendors of
  24. radio hardware responsible for preventing users from installing
  25. software which may alter the devices' radio parameters to break
  26. applicable radio regulations. While we share the desire to keep radio
  27. frequencies clean, the directive's approach will have negative
  28. implications on users' rights and Free Software, fair competition,
  29. innovation and the environment – mostly without equal benefits for
  30. security.</p>
  31. <blockquote>[R]adio equipment [shall support] certain features in order
  32. to ensure that software can only be loaded into the radio equipment
  33. where the compliance of the combination of the radio equipment and
  34. software has been demonstrated.<br />
  35. – <strong>Article 3(3)(i) of the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU</strong></blockquote>
  36. <p>This concern is shared by more than 50 organisations and businesses
  37. which signed our <a
  38. href="/activities/radiodirective/statement.html">Joint Statement
  39. against Radio Lockdown</a>, a result of our ongoing exchange and
  40. cooperation with the Free Software community in Europe and beyond.</p>
  41. <p>The Radio Equipment Directive was put in effect in June 2017, but
  42. the classes of devices affected by the controversial Article 3(3)(i),
  43. which causes the Radio Lockdown, have not yet been defined. This means
  44. the directive doesn't concern any existing hardware yet. The definition
  45. of what hardware devices are covered will be decided on by the European
  46. Commission through a delegated act and is expected to be finished at
  47. the earliest by the end of 2018.</p>
  48. <blockquote>
  49. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance
  50. with Article 44 specifying which categories or classes of radio
  51. equipment are concerned by each of the requirements [...]<br />
  52. – <strong>Article 3(3), paragraph 2 of 2014/53/EU</strong>
  53. </blockquote>
  54. <p>However, that list is already being prepared in the <a
  55. href="http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=groupDetail.groupDetail&amp;groupID=3413">Expert
  56. Group on Reconfigurable Radio Systems</a>, a body of member state
  57. authorities, organisations, and individuals whose task is to assist the
  58. European Commission with drafting the delegated acts to activate
  59. Article 3(3)(i). The FSFE applied to become a member of this committee
  60. but was rejected. The concerns that the members of the Expert Group do
  61. not sufficiently represent the civil society and the broad range of
  62. software users has also been raised during a <a
  63. href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/committees/video?event=20171121-1430-COMMITTEE-IMCO">recent
  64. meeting in the European Parliament</a>.</p>
  65. <p>Nevertheless, we are working together with organisations and
  66. companies to protect user freedoms on radio devices and keep in touch
  67. with members of the expert group. For example, we have shared our
  68. expertise for case studies and impact assessments drafted by the group
  69. members. We are also looking forward to a public consultation phase to
  70. officially present our arguments and improvement suggestions and allow
  71. other entities to share their opinion.</p>
  72. <p>All our activities aim to protect Free Software and user rights on
  73. current and future radio devices. This is more important than ever
  74. since only a few members of the expert group seem to understand the
  75. importance of loading software on radio devices for IT security, for
  76. example critical updates on hardware which is not or only sporadically
  77. maintained by the original vendor. We will continue our efforts to make
  78. decision makers understand that Free Software (a.k.a. Open Source
  79. Software) is crucial for network security, science, education, and
  80. technical innovation. Therefore, broad exceptions in the class
  81. definition are necessary.</p>
  82. <p>Conducting such lengthy policy activities requires a lot of
  83. resources for non-profit organisations like the FSFE. Please consider
  84. helping us by joining as an <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">individual supporter
  85. today</a> or a <a href="https://my.fsfe.org/donate">corporate donor</a> to enable our
  86. work.</p>
  87. </body>
  88. <tags>
  89. <tag key="front-page"/>
  90. <tag key="radiodirective">Radio Lockdown</tag>
  91. <tag key="policy">Policy</tag>
  92. <tag key="european-commission">European Commission</tag>
  93. </tags>
  94. <author id="mehl" />
  95. </html>