• iSpeekEngrish
    +9

    But if this is an FCC issue as you say with using protected bandwidths, then there would be no need for this secrecy and likely gag order. It even says in the article: "One initial theory was that ProxyHam fell afoul of FCC regulation — but Caudill subsequently told CSO Online that it wasn't FCC intervention that prompted the cancellation. "ProxyHam devices did not break the FCC standards as the 900MHz antennas were capped at the 1-watt limit."

    This sounds alot more like NSA or FBI threatening them and they folded up shop to choose freedom over principles (which I can't fault them for). But the US of A is becoming a very scary place...

    • sturle
      +5

      This is what happens when democracy dies.

    • skolor
      +3

      Why would the NSA/FBI be afraid of this? Using high power directional antennas would make it relatively easy to pinpoint where the user is physically located, assuming you could get equipment in the general vicinity you knew they were operating in. The FBI, at least, fairly conveniently already has field offices throughout the country that should make that fairly simple to do.

      My guess: some company sent a letter that this was infringing on their patent. As far as I can tell, Rhino Security Labs is just Caudill, and prior to this ProxyHam stuff they made most of their money selling managed firewalls to small companies. I know if I was in that situation I would almost certainly react the same way. He's gotten a ton of publicity for this, will get even more, and if anyone prospective client asks in the future he can just say "My lawyers have informed me not to discuss the matter."

      That's not to say that this isn't a government agency leaning on him, they certainly have enough non-technical people in management who would charge ahead, but there's a decent history of people giving talks at Defcon and pulling out because a company threatened legal action.

    • TaterTot
      +2

      Yeah, I agree with this - it sounds like a similar situation to what happened with Lavabit some time ago. Either that, or shut down with a gag order by large ISP's?