EU Radio Directive

Fabian Keil freebsd-listen at
Wed Mar 16 14:38:01 UTC 2016

Max Mehl <max.mehl at> wrote:

> Maybe you heard of the Radio Equipment Directive already. It's a
> directive passed by the European Parliament forcing radio device
> manufacturers (routers, mobile phones, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS...) from
> around 2017 on to check every software able to run on the respective
> devices to be compliant with applicable radio laws (e.g. frequency or
> strenght).
> Seeming to be reasonable at first sight, this directive will cause huge
> damage to Free Software, innovation, security, fair competition,
> volunteering and more. We have been in contact with many actors around
> this issue since a few months already; now we published our official
> information page about the EU Radio Directive, trying to summarise all
> necessary background info, bad consequences, and recommendations how to
> improve the situation:

I've heard that claim before, but consider it FUD as article 3
of the directive ends with:

"The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in
accordance with Article 44 specifying which categories or classes
of radio equipment are concerned by each of the requirements set
out in points (a) to (i) of the first subparagraph of this paragraph."

Therefore it's unclear at this time if and how the directive will
affect free software or "routers, mobile phones, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
..." in general.

Given how unrealistic some of the requirements from article 3 are
(even when using proprietary software), it also seems unlikely to
me that compliance will be actually enforced.

I believe (but did not check) that Germany's Bundesnetzagentur
already has a similarly vague mandate and thus it's not obvious
to me that the directive 2014/53/EU will makes things worse
for people in Germany. Presumably the situation is similar in
other EU countries.

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