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

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sat Mar 29 13:34:37 EDT 2014

On Mar 29, 2014, at 1:02 PM, qrv at kd4e.com wrote:
> A non-Ham may effectively initiate an RF transmission, absent the
> presence of a human (to validate that it is Ham-appropriate)
> - via the Internet - to then be repeated by numerous unattended
> Ham digis, and that is OK?

Depends on what you mean by "OK". Understand that a radio amateur is always responsible for a transmission, and the FCC rules spell out who it is. In the case of an non-ham (or an unvalidated ham) initiating a message on the internet it will be the first ham to transmit it on RF. In the case of an APRS LAN, that equates to the IGate operator. The "numerous unattended ham digi" operators have no legal liability. 

So it is fully within the rules to have a system that makes this possible, but if the FCC captures an RF message that is inappropriate for ham radio (profanity, commercial, etc) it is the IGate operator that will be NALed if the FCC can prove its origin. The non-ham on the internet, the web site operator, and the APRS IS hub operators have no legal liability because part 97 does not apply to the Internet.
> May a "data emission" theoretically include embedded text & images?
Sure, data is data.

> So this essentially means that a Ham license is not necessary for
> re-transmitted "RTTY" and "data emission(s)" on Ham spectrum?

Correct, if some ham is willing to accept liability for the content of the message.
> Wait until the pirates, pranksters, and CB-scofflaw spectrum-
> poachers discover this. Is not some mischief to be had, & a
> convenient new medium to be abused, by clever minds?
If by new medium you mean 25+ years, then yes, just wait. Of course it was far more likely that this would be abused back before the internet provided much more fertile fields for amusement.

The first Internet to RF app I know if was TCPIP/NOS. It existed before WWW. In those days of Gopher there wasn't a lot to do on the net, and this was one of the cooler things. To gain full access to the RF network all you had to do was answer the question "What is the normal 2 meter split in kHz". Type in 600 and you were good to go!

That system was never abused that I know of. The APRS IS has not been abused by the scofflaws in the decade plus the validation algorithm has been known. I can't emphasize enough nothing has changed in the last decade! This is not anything new.

Steve K4HG

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