[aprssig] New APRSMail (was: APRS<=>E-mail)

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Wed Jan 14 07:29:07 EST 2009

On Jan 13, 2009, at 10:24 PM, Richard Hoskin wrote:

> Hi Gregory,
> This is a good idea and the web site is ok but I was wondering how  
> verify the accounts and implement security measures to account for  
> varying amateur regulations around the world regarding 3rd party  
> traffic and non-amateurs sending amateurs emails across county  
> boundaries with.

There is no difference between this and any other message IGated to  
RF, this system changes nothing in regard to the questions you pose.  
There is no method for identifying or tracing the origin of any line  
that appears on the APRS Internet System. Anyone can send anything on  
the APRS IS without the slightest chance of being traced. This is just  
another way to add a message to the stream. No matter what tags  
aprsmail.org chooses to add to its messages to indicate their origin,  
anyone can, without violating any rules or laws, add a packet to the  
APRS IS stream that appears to come from that server. The IGate  
operator has no way to know the actual origin of a message.

In the US, FCC rules for automated message forwarding systems clearly  
place the responsibility on the IGate operator for any packet which  
they transmit on RF. The rules did indemnify the the IGate operator if  
they verify the identity of the sender as an amateur. As originally  
designed, I believe the APRS-IS met that test. Ever since the identity  
algorithm became public the rules provide no shelter for the Igate  

I've asked several times for proof of rules of other countries that  
place the blame anywhere other than the IGate operator. No one has  
provided any such proof. That doesn't prove there are none, but  
without traceability, enforcement is impossible.

If you think about it, it makes sense. If something wrong is  
transmitted, the blame must go somewhere. Without traceability, there  
is no one to blame other than the IGate operator. I think it also is  
right from a moral sense. Imagine the chaos if the only defense one  
needed to get away with murder was "John Doe told me to do it". Worse,  
imagine a world where John Doe was convicted of murder just because  
someone admitted to the murder and said John told him to do it!

Steve K4HG

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