[aprssig] APRS web messaging

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Fri Aug 11 08:15:44 CDT 2006

On Aug 10, 2006, at 10:22 PM, <scott at opentrac.org>  
<scott at opentrac.org> wrote:

> If they have to generate an authentication message on RF, then at  
> least
> you've made them show that they're on the air and more likely a  
> real ham.

Yes, if you can show that the message was really transmitted on RF.  
However, you cannot rely on  the APRS IS to determine this, as anyone  
can place a packet on the stream that looks exactly like an IGated RF  
packet. Even if the APRS IS were fully secured, all one would need do  
is feed bogus serial data into a computer configured as an IGate.

This is the reason I did not release web->APRS messaging for use, the  
programming is trivial (and already done), but any implementation  
puts the licenses of all IGate operators at risk, I won't be a party  
to that.

The only system I have conceived that would work is a system where a  
trusted group of people manually clear each incoming message. As long  
as a message contains no pecuniary or obscene content, it is OK to  
transmit it regardless of who sends it. That way non-hams could send  
messages, making it more useful to the ham-recipient.

So, the internet user enters a message, it gets stored in a database.  
The moderators periodically check a password-protected web page,  
normally empty but when a message is pending it appears there, the  
moderator can approve it, in which case the internet user gets an  
email saying it has been sent, the message is added to the internet  
stream. You could even send a message to the originator when the APRS  
message is ACKed. If it is rejected you could also send email  
explaining why.

This would not be too difficult to implement, but it depends on  
people checking the page constantly for messages for approval.

Steve K4HG

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