[aprssig] Igateing a Non Amateur

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Sat Oct 1 11:43:06 CDT 2005

On Oct 1, 2005, at 12:17 PM, VE7GDH wrote:

> However, 61N 149W is a very "even" lat / long and presumably  
> fictitious. However... anyone willing to take the time to search  
> the APRS servers and see which server "NITRUS" was connected to,  
> and consult with the operator
> of  that server to track down the IP address that "NITRUS"  
> connected from?

This is important, he has done NOTHING wrong. There is no legal  
requirement that someone connecting to the APRS IS have an amateur  
license. Even before the algorithm was officially made public  
(perhaps 4 years ago if I remember correctly), the APRS IS was not  
secure. In the early days of the APRS IS, I took a personal  
responsibility to police the network and verify the security of the  
hubs. In the very beginning, this was easy, as there were very few  
client programs, and only my own code was a hub. The release of aprsd  
complicated things since it was open source. The validation code was  
distributed as a compiled module, but could be easily circumvented. I  
continuously watched the hubs for any suspicious activity and to be  
sure they accepted only valid validation codes. Even with automated  
tools this was taking me upwards of 20 hours a week, and finally  
reach the point I could no longer do it, there were simply too many  
copies of aprsd out there.

I felt is was important for all IGate operators to understand that,  
at least under US rules, they were responsible for the content of the  
messages sent through their IGates, which is why I made the show of  
publicly releasing the algorithm... the only thing worse than no  
security is a false sense of security.

So just to be very clear... NITRUS broke no laws. From the transcript  
provided at the start of the thread, it appears no laws were broken  
anywhere. However, had NITRUS for example used profanity, it would  
not be not him that broke FCC rules, it would be the IGate operator,  
who accepts responsibility for the content of the message under the  
"automatic digital message forwarding" rule.

Steve K4HG

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