A new upcoming EU law is about to change open-source or electronics forever and its applicable to a very broad range of products. Nearly any modern device has some kind of radio interface, this includes mobiles phones, smart watches, single board computers, laptops, routers and many more. The new upcoming law still allows you to install any apps you want, but almost anything else will be considered illegal (Article 3(3)(i)). It’s not just about routers and IoT gadgets, the new law can push things really far. You don’t have the ability or right to alter the firmware (EFI/BIOS), the OS, and the device drivers as defined by the manufacturer. For example, installing Linux, FreeBSD, netBSD, AROS or the upcoming morphOS-X86 on a regular PC-Mac can be considered illegal as the PC-Mac comes with integrated radio transmitter like wi-fi or bluetooth. For Android devices, LineageOS is such an alternative or updating Android yourself will no longer be possible with future devices and will be deemed illegal. By locking down these devices, so that alternative solutions can no longer be used, people are forced to either run outdated and insecure software, or forced to buy newer devices and probably in an unreasonably short time(capitalism). The new upcoming EU legislation is potentially impeding the end user’s capacity to own their own hardware in the very real sense of the word. The Commission adoption is planned for the third quarter of 2020.

news source: ec.europa.eu / image source: Pixabay

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