[aprssig] Why Not "Gate in Vicinity"

Pete Loveall AE5PL Lists hamlists at ametx.com
Mon Dec 26 12:03:50 EST 2011

The difference is simple: messaging is communicating, beaconing is not.  That is why the difference and why it is not an Internet user's "right" to be gated to RF.  Also, the gating of messages to RF addressed to "local" RF stations is not there for the Internet clients.  It is there to provide the RF-RF bridge which is the basic premise of APRS-IS.  That authorized Internet users can also message to stations on RF is an added benefit of this bridge concept.  They are simply making use of that basic premise in place for RF communications.

I have -never- said the passcode is secure and issuing passcodes for other people's software defeats what has been in place since Steve Dimse opened up the passcode issuance to software authors: the author is responsible for their own software, not everyone else's.  The passcode being obtained via multistep from the author is simply a deterrent to the uninitiated, thereby reducing but not eliminating abuse.  Unfortunately, as previously stated, any changes to authentication or transport immediately disenfranchises thousands of hams using software which cannot be updated.

APRS is an imperfect protocol from the standpoint that there are a lot of "grey" areas.  What you want is the IGate authors to make judgment calls on what is and is not valid to gate to RF (that is what throttling is) and therefore encourage abuse on APRS-IS as well (not everyone that is connected to APRS-IS has unlimited bandwidth for free).  It also risks not gating to RF things that should be such as proper messaging with associated posits.

Hope this helps.


Pete Loveall AE5PL
pete at ae5pl dot net

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Georg Lukas
> Sent: Monday, December 26, 2011 9:53 AM
> Of the currently 4998 requests only 4628 have been approved after checking
> their validity. Some of the users stated in the comment that they need the
> passcode for a different APRS-IS software. My own monitoring of APRS-IS
> I have to disagree on your conclusion. By throttling at the iGate, you prevent
> flooding of the local radio medium due to misconfigured clients somewhere
> else, be they RF or IS originated.
> Manual passcode distribution will not prevent abuse, because the passcode
> generation algorithm is public. You can close your eyes on it and wait until
> somebody breaks APRS-IS or you can suggest a way to improve the situation
> (or at least comment on my suggestion from the email you replied to).
> I am also well aware that internet clients are not amateur radio stations.
> However, this line is intentionnally blurred by reverse-iGates forwarding
> messages from IS to RF, in the hope that the originating client is indeed
> operated by an amateur. The status quo is not changed by allowing the
> forwarding of beacon packets as well. It can only be changed by ensuring that
> all APRS-IS clients are operated by radio amateurs, e.g. by introducing a new
> (secure!) authentication mechanism.
> I am still interested in a result-oriented discussion.

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