Winlink VHF P2P Messages Uploaded by WinLink Express

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC3BLF, Apr 27, 2021.

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  1. KC3BLF

    KC3BLF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Our ARES group has a small "digital" faction that is practicing various methods of sending digital traffic (forms, lists, etc.). We mainly use D-Rats (DStar) as we have the local infrastructure. Also FLDigi and just to be familiar, WinLink. We have used this locally, radio only, peer to peer. We were shocked to find these radio only messages appear on the WinLink message database so that observers can monitor content. While we understand why this was done by WinLink (the messages are very difficult to monitor and suspicion is many if not most of the marine mail is actually commercial), the unauthorized uploading of everything in your WinLink Express inbox and outbox may come as a surprise to other hams. It did to me. I posted on the WinLink page asking about this (when it started, when they told people the program would share your inbox and outbox contents globally,etc) and my post never made it past their group sysop. Form your own opinions of WinLink but this is something I would never use for anything if they feel they can just upload contents from your computer without permission. 73.
    K0UO and NOCALLFRED like this.
  2. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wouldn't you have given them this permission via the end-user license agreement? Something quickly clicked through?

    I've never worked with that software, but as I understand it that's a pretty good method to keep people from treating the system like regular email.
  3. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was not aware that messages that don't pass through WINLINK's mail servers did this. There is no expectation of privacy in amateur radio - none, zilch, zero. The content of any of your communications can be recorded and put up on billboards, and in many cases, we'd be better off if that was done - it might reduce the number of juvenile delinquents on 75 meters. You must always assume that your communications can be monitored.

    One of WINLINK's alleged features is 'security by obscurity', and this punches a big hole in that argument. However, it was done because of the actions of the anti-WINLINK forces, who claim
    that it is encrypted and the whole thing should be abolished.
  4. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Any recommended reading? I don't know much about winlink, but it seems to be second only to FT8 in controversy for hams. I'd love to learn more about the history, development and eventual schism.
  5. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    '''..... I'd love to learn more about the history, development and eventual schism...."

    researching Winstink posts is not difficult.
  6. KM8V

    KM8V Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Says who?
  7. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Winlink says that in more than one instance, in print. It's easy to find if you want to.
  8. N4CVX

    N4CVX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Would someone point me towards the postings and discussion of the "anti-WinLink" group, please? We have a robust WinLink system in my area but it sometimes appears that the Hams who manage the system are very much against local Packet Radio (AX-25) networks.
  9. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just wait - a few folks who have cat photos will pop up here to throw their weight around. It always happens on Winlink threads. There are 2-3 people on the zed that feel they must make their opinions known to all others how bad winlink is.....:rolleyes:
    KA0HCP likes this.
  10. KN4DQE

    KN4DQE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only way around this is for you and whomever else you are communicating with to have a PC that is completely offline - no internet connections at all. Then if you ever plan on upgrading Winlink you'd need to clean or archive your email to ensure that it doesn't report back to the mothership.
    KA0HCP likes this.

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