[aprssig] APRS-IS Passcode alternative: SSL + Certificates, with no data encryption

Andrew P. andrewemt at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 29 11:13:37 EDT 2014

Hi, Steve.

I agree with some of your statements, but I have some questions about others.

> From: steve at dimse.com
> There is an important subtlety here in the US rules. The RF-originating station
> of an automatic message forwarding system accepts responsibility for the
> content of the message, unless s/he has verified the non-RF originator was
> a ham. If there is nothing in the message that a ham cannot transmit (e.g. 
> profanity, commercial or encrypted traffic), it does not matter that it originates
> with a non-ham. Is is not whether "the originator is legally allowed to send the
> data", it is whether the message content is legal for ham frequencies.

Actually, aren't there 3rd-party traffic rules, such that, for example, Internet traffic from certain countries can't be transmitted by a US ham (because the US doesn't have an agreement with that country to allow 3rd-party traffic)?
> So an IGate that retransmits a CWOP weather report is not violating the law,
> unless the comment on the weather report is "F**k you" or "Eat at Joe's".


> Nor is there a violation if a non-ham husband uses messaging on findU that
> results in a transmission to a ham wife "Buy milk on the way home".

Unless that non-ham is prohibited from being a third-party for whatever reason.

> We will notice an ongoing problem long before the FCC, and we can handle it
> ourselves without generating any adverse consequences for the IGate operator.

Uh, how _can_ and _do_ we handle it at the present time? Do we have blacklisting
ability in every I-gate to block an offender? That's asking a lot of the thousands of
Tx-IGate operators, who probably aren't monitoring every single station gating to
RF through them. The problem still exists (in a smaller scale) in the APRS-IS
servers, because it only takes one party not enforcing the blockade to let
offenders through.

Frankly, I don't think this whole thread would have gotten started if it weren't for the problem that we _don't_ have a way to handle it. APRS-IS doesn't have the central
authority and resources to automatically and selectively censor traffic.

> But the key point to me is that all of this effort, which requires the mandatory
> signing of each and every packet, does nothing except indemnify IGate
> operators from the regulatory risk of retransmitting profane, encrypted, or
> commercial messages - something which AFAIK has never happened, which
> certainly has never brought the involvement of the FCC, and which because
> of the legalities involved in proving it, is extremely unlikely to involve the FCC.
> Two extremely rare events are extremely-extremely rare to occur together ;-)

I tend to concur with your legal assumption; I was merely stating technical issues
in my previous email.

> As you mention this is the US viewpoint, and I'd like to hear if there are any other countries where this makes more of a difference.
> Unless something more significant can be accomplished I'd say that is not worth the effort and the contraction of the network involuntary removal would cause.
> Steve K4HG

Andrew, KA2DDO

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