Wasn't there something about high-order AIs can't change their hardware very much?
In most cases yes, but Ennesby is an exception to that rule as he is a vanilla-helix build which while generally inferior to other types of AI build is able to easily migrate to different hardware
Probably also better at running multiple nodes.
He needs a license to upgrade his processing capability to a higher grade on the mind scale. But I don't think we've seen anything that would limit an AI from getting new hardware that didn't affect that.
Besides doesn't he still have that old license that let him be an HV-6 from when he was a ship mind. Looking it up the original license also came with a hardware stipend which suggests that AIs are free to modify their hardware within those limits.
Though given all the troubles they've had with the UNS I wouldn't be entirely surprised if it was revoked at some point.
I think you misread a different strip, where General Lardchins suggested that Enesby might be fined enough components to bring him back down to H/V 1.
I certainly don't recall any suggestion that a license came with a hardware stipend.
Also, with the changing times, licenses may be on the way out, casually ignored, or even no longer required. Tenzey was too sophisticated to just turn off, which suggests AI rights are on the ascendance.
Of course, MaKo might have violated the law by causing the upgrade of Tenzey, while Tenzey is considered innocent, and protected.