GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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Smart radios not so smart

Just as the Federal Communications Commission basks in the favor generated by its recent decision to open the 700 Mhz spectrum to any and all network devices, it is getting heat about another issue ' software radios.

Last month the agency set a federal policy that makes it difficult if not impossible for software radios to be built using open source elements.

In short, the ruling stated that "A system that is wholly dependent on open source elements will have a high burden to demonstrate that it is sufficiently secure to warrant authorization as a software defined radio."

The ruling has drawn criticism from open source advocates, who liken the FCC's approach to "security through obscurity," or the attempt to hide working code from public view in hopes that it will not be examined and exploited by technical miscreants. They point out such an approach has largely not worked in the past, as the malicious hackers find the exploits anyway.

Posted by Joab Jackson on Aug 01, 2007 at 9:39 AM


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