I'm currently based in Darmstadt, Germany for a few months with the nice folks in the Secure Mobile Communications laboratory (SEEMOO) at TU-Darmstadt.
One of the main things that we are looking at while I am here, is to better understand the current legal situation facing networks like Serval.
This is important, because the telecommunications laws in most countries were made before such networks were beginning to be widely considered. As a result, the particular characteristics and requirements of these networks are typically not accommodated in the telecommunications regulations of most countries (or at least the ones we have looked at so far).
So we are hoping over the next month or so to compare the situation here in Germany with Australia, and perhaps a few other countries, to see what road-block might be there, and perhaps to propose how such legislation could be amended to better facilitate them.
As a result I have spent much of the last week reading through the EU Directive 2014/53/EU (in both English and German), as well as draft legislation to implement it in Germany and Austria.
There are some points of concern that we have, particularly that open-source development using wireless routers and SDRs would effectively be outlawed, if the legislation is not carefully worded. This would be a very unfortunate outcome, not just for the open-source communities who volunteer their efforts and donate the results of their efforts to the common good, but to society as a whole, who would be denied the benefits of these activities (most wireless routers are based on a version one of the open-source projects, very often OpenWRT) because modifying the software on a router to patch a security fix would also be illegal, and router vendors could be required to lock down firmware on the routers to prevent it being patched, updated or replaced in the first place.
This all echoes some of the same problems that are coming up in the USA, with the FCC's proposed rules to require firmware-lockdown on routers.
As we have seen with the confusion there, including TP-LINK being fined for locking down router firmware by the FCC, the matter is not a simple one, and certainly it is one that there still seems to be an understanding gap that we need to help regulators bridge, so that they can be enabled to enact regulations that protect these important rights, while addressing other legitimate social and political concerns.
Paul, I am very interested in the serval/mesh community, though I must admit I don't work or live in an environment that gives me a great deal of need to do so. I have a close friend who is deployed in humanitarian aide scenarios all over the world, and he is attempting to collect resources that can further assist in these scenarios.ReplyDelete
Is there a current article with resources on how best to build an extender? Preferably a radio based on ideally. I know that you are working on building inexpensive ones for this exact niche, but I am wondering if we could use off the shelf components to achieve this in the short term. It seems like a number of the documents regarding the extender are a few years old at this point, and I just wondered if they were still up to date.
Yes, this can be done. You are right in that we need to update the documentation. For the hardware, this wiki page is still relevant:
For the software preparation, use the instructions in:
That all said, we are now moving away from the MR3020 towards the GL-AR150, as it is cheaper and better than the MR3020, and also easier to prepare the hardware, as it has a real pin available for the 5V line, unlike the MR3020.
Thanks for the response Paul! So if I am looking at this correctly, if I was soldering on the cable for the RF-900 on the GL-AR150, it looks straightforward enough, but I don't see the 5v pin marked out on their website.ReplyDelete
For reference I am looking at this pic from their site:
Correct, there is no marked pin -- but it is connected to the PoE header, if I remember correctly.
Yup -- there it is on the far right pin of the PoE slot header.Delete