Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0PV, Jul 17, 2019.
Roughly 800,000 licensed US amateurs possibly? And then there's this:
Actually it's more of an attempt to correct the corrupt process that got us to this point. Agree the baud limit has to go, but there has to be something in place to keep the wideband modes from over running the entire RTTY/Data sub bands.The ARRL has pulled this stunt one too many times, submit a petition and promise a later non-binding band plan. When did ARRL produce a FAQ for RM-11708? When did they come up with a band plan? Does any amateur, US or DX, respect the current ARRL band plan? Sorry, if holding the baud limit "hostage" in order to bring some sanity to digital mode usage, by hard and fast rules in Part 97, so be it.
I beg to differ, once passed to amateur radio. It’s really sort of funny that Winlink honcho Steve Waterman, who literally **begged** the Commission on multiple occasions to permit encryption in Part 97, could never achieve what he hoped for. Not for his Winlink system, and not using HIPPA, or any other supposed excuse or need; including sensitive credit card numbers, or other pecuniary and personal content.
Why not? While you may be right with respect to the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, the Communications Act specifically addresses amateur content. So, unless the FCC could convince Congress to revise the Communications Act, latest addition, to remove the last sentence of the following section of United States Code, no limitations on anyone listening and doing what they want with the content:
47 U.S. Code § 605 Unauthorized Publication or Use of Communications
Except as authorized by chapter 119, title 18, no person receiving, assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting, any interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning thereof, except through authorized channels of transmission or reception, (1) to any person other than the addressee, his agent, or attorney, (… No person not being entitled thereto shall receive or assist in receiving any interstate or foreign communication by radio and use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. No person having received any intercepted radio communication or having become acquainted with the contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) knowing that such communication was intercepted, shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) or use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. This section shall not apply to the receiving, divulging, publishing, or utilizing the contents of any radio communication which is transmitted by any station for the use of the general public, which relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress, or which is transmitted by an amateur radio station operator or by a citizens band radio operator.
Actually, receiving something on amateur frequencies is, for all practical intents and purposes, no different than posting it on broadcast TV or local radio stations for all to see and hear. No responsibility for protecting what foolish users of Winlink assume….if truly received over the air. No court of law would find any amateur negligent for passing along or relaying through his station such content, if off the air. Free to use as you see fit if you received it via amateur radio or CB.
Now, the ACDS control operator, who makes the decision to take it from the Internet and pass it through his transmitter may have some responsibility under the ECPA. But, on the other hand, didn't the sender think that it was intended to be conveyed by amateur radio? Admittedly, that could be complicated.
If you're tired, take a nap. Must be what the other fellow you correspond with frequently is doing.
Finally, there's hope of ending compression applied the Winlink way. Simply amazing, don't you think, what Peter Helfert said about Sailmail just using native Pactor? If it's good enough for Sailmail, ought to be good enough for Winlink. Unless, of course, enhancing privacy is/was one of the Steve Waterman objectives all along. His pleadings sure make it look that way......
Lee, their Board and EC agendas are always very generic and vague. I wouldn't read anything into that. I'm on the mailing list for that stuff and always look them over just in case there's any surprises. And the EC meets in October and May, routinely, between full Board meetings.
The time to worry would be if their meeting Minutes come out generic and vague; or if one or more of the Commitee Reports isn't published (sometimes they are not) !
Thanks, Ron. Absolutely. Perhaps the subject will find its way into the sea of other (important?) items.
STOP! That obviously was ambiguous. I wrote that they "only use PACTOR" (no other HF modes, else).
NO, you cannot read Sailmail simply using the listen mode / PMON, either. They also use "binary" data,
not just plain text.
I just checked their website:
"The SailMail email system’s custom protocol implements compression, virus filtering, spam filtering, and attachment filtering."
If you do not use file compression these days, you just waste bandwidth and transmission time!
I understand everything you say Lee and actually agree with the details, but there is a great danger lurking for those who aren't paying attention to the subtleties.
Perhaps this 1991 event has been fixed with newer rules, but we must be careful where the line between what the FCC governs and civil law takes over. You can bet if you copied a credit card over the air (just fine from the FCC's standpoint) from any source whatsoever (OTA, piece of paper blowing in the wind, Wikileaks, the press, etc.) and tried to use it to make purchases (or sell it, etc.) you have now committed a crime that is utterly independent of how you obtained the information. General point being there is a line that can be crossed where the FCC is inert.
It is nice the transmitting station has some protections in place in Part 97 and other statutes, but again this assumes no further illicit activity occurred with PII, financial info, etc. And again the protections we speak of begin and end with the FCC. How that information is used downstream is a separate matter.
This is akin to the protections Part 97 offers repeater owners and/or trustees (like me) to rule who can use their repeater with an iron fist. You can deny access for any reason whatsoever... according to the FCC. Ban folks who eat bananas? Sure. Ban folks in a protected class? Ummm, that dog won't hunt and your days as a repeater operator (and home owner perhaps once the lawsuit settles) are done.
FCC rules have their place, but are certainly not protection from other, perhaps higher order, rules and laws.
Viewing this from another direction, remember what I eluded to earlier about the extension of privacy even if exposed via open methods? Where I work this means evidence collected from an email has the expectation of privacy that doesn't vanish even if exposed. It cannot be used as evidence (without some sort of warrant). The 4th A protects it.
By the way, yes this suggests Winlink's display of messages for 21 days or whatever without some sort of due diligence to blank out the juicy bits is inviting danger to their doorstep. What constitutes juicy bits today may be different next week making this a job I'm damn glad I don't have to worry about.
Lawyers on this forum... have I exaggerated? Please correct me.
I once wrote this article on our BBS blog...
Merely discussing this with you, Lee, now confirms my intent to not pursue email connectivity further and just make VAPN a nerd to nerd BBS system. Nothing wrong with that and no numerous 3rd party concerns to boot. Life's too short.
The FCC rules only care about the FCC rules and don't provide you protection from other legal perils.
Thank you, Peter, for being candid. You have great knowledge and experience that I respect. And, you are solving/have solved the part of the Winlink monitoring issue that involves use of Pactor. It really should be their issue to address, and is a challenge to them as it is much more than just, of course, Pactor, as you say. Winmor, ARDOP, VARA, etc., when through other modems. And, to be fair, it applies to other systems out there that use dynamic compression methods.
OK, thanks, Peter. They, of course, don't operate under Part 97 rules. Part 85 allows obscurity. Not an issue in the marine bands.