Linux wireless regulatory support statement

Purpose

To express a willingness amongst community developers to take a responsible position with regard to enforcement of wireless regulations.

Principles

It should be reasonably impossible for a user to fail to comply with local regulations either unwittingly or by accident.

Default configurations should err in favor of more restrictive behavior in order to protect unwitting users.

Configurations that have no known compliant usage should not be part of the 'official' kernel tree.

Configurations that are compliant only under special circumstances (e.g. with special licenses) should not be part of the 'official' kernel tree. Any exceptions should have their legal requirements clearly marked and those options should never be configured by default.

Configurations that disable regulatory enforcement mechanisms should not be part of the 'official' kernel tree.

The kernel should rely on userland components to determine regulatory policy. Consequently, the kernel's regulatory enforcement mechanisms should be flexible enough to cover known or reasonably anticipated regulatory policies.

It is the moral duty of responsible distribution vendors, software developers, and community members to make every good faith effort to ensure proper compliance with applicable regulations regarding wireless communications.

Statement

We, the undersigned Linux kernel developers, recognize that governments assert the right to regulate usage of radio spectrum within their respective territories. Also, we recognize that everyone benefits from cooperative use of the radio spectrum. Finally, we recognize that average users cannot reasonably be expected to take responsibility for ensuring their own compliance with detailed radio regulations. Therefore, we affirm the following principles:

  • Average users should not accidentally fail to comply with regulations if at all possible;
  • The Linux kernel should offer necessary and reasonable regulatory enforcement mechanisms in order to facilitate implementation of a broad variety of regulatory policies;
  • Options to disable or circumvent regulatory enforcement should not be included in kernels from any public source; and,
  • It is unacceptable for either distributions or community developers to knowingly violate the principles stated above.

Further, we assert that proper documentation of available hardware will vastly improve our ability to ensure regulatory compliance. We actively encourage hardware vendors to assist us by properly documenting their products.

We speak only for ourselves, and not for any company we might work for today, have in the past, or will in the future.

Bob Copeland
Bruno Randolf
Dan Williams
David Kilroy
David Miller
David Woodhouse
Greg Kroah-Hartman
Herton Ronaldo Krzesinski
Hin-Tak Leung
Holger Schurig
Ivo van Doorn
Javier Cardona
Johannes Berg
John W. Linville
Jouni Malinen
Kalle Valo
Larry Finger
Luis C. Cobo
Luis R. Rodriguez
Michael Buesch
Nick Kossifidis
Pavel Roskin
Pierre Ossman
Samuel Ortiz
Zefir Kurtisi