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[aprssig] Universal APRS messaging

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Sun Oct 19 23:45:22 UTC 2008

Is there an easy way to at least allow messages back to a station via RF if
that station originated the message from RF? While that is not a perfect
system in that one can not receive messages unless they sent one first, it
is about as good as any other method that exists out there today on the
airwaves (and does not seem to be abused). Maybe put some sort of code or
checksum type of thing (I'm not a programmer) that could at least verify
that message thread.

Thank You,
Brian N2KGC

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Dimse [mailto:steve at dimse.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 7:02 PM
To: bwebster at wirelessmapping.com; TAPR APRS Mailing List
Subject: Re: [aprssig] Universal APRS messaging

There is nothing wrong with WinLink's validation, or OpenAPRS, or
findU's, the original APRS IS scheme, or even the old NOS BBS's you
could telnet to (the validation question was "What is the standard
offset in kHz for a 2 meter repeater?" Enter 600 and you were verified
as a ham.) Weak as that was, it was probably enough. There is nothing
in Part 97 that specifies the strength of the verification.

The problems are (1), there is no accountability for anything on the
internet side. I can do absolutely anything on the internet and not be
in violation of FCC Part 97. Just like while sitting in my home in
Florida I am not subject to the Seattle Municipal Code, there is no
jurisdiction. Compounded this with (2), any authentication scheme,
OpenAPRS, WinLink, or 600 becomes worthless when you can inject
validated packets into the system at the next step, the APRS IS. Since
the authentication is trivially bypassed, anonymously and without
guilt, that leaves the IGate operators on the hook.

And, this is just the US. APRS is worldwide, and there are dozens of
different sets of rules that need to be considered!

I don't have any easy answers, I don't think there are any. At the
very least I want the IGate operators to be aware of the risks others
are exposing them to!

Steve K4HG

On Oct 19, 2008, at 6:33 PM, Brian Webster wrote:

> Is there any way to use the same methods for verification that
> WinLink uses?
> That would keep the training of the hams a bit simplified since it
> might end
> up being the same process for both systems. Just a thought. While
> their
> system is not rock solid perfect, it certainly is a reasonable one
> that does
> not seem to be abused as of yet. I would also think that whatever
> method
> gets put in place that a provision to open things up in the event of
> an
> emergency would be a good idea.

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