- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:

from The ARRL Letter on September 19, 2013
View comments about this article!

FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:

The FCC has dismissed a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11699) from a Massachusetts ham, that sought to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to permit the encryption of certain amateur communications during emergency operations or related training exercises. The FCC put the petition filed by Don Rolph, AB1PH, of East Walpole on public notice in June. Rolph requested an additional exception to ยง97.113, which currently prohibits "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning," but the FCC said in a September 18 Order that it's not persuaded his petition provides sufficient reasons to support the change.

"[W]e conclude that the record does not support Mr Rolph's assertion that the prohibition on encrypted amateur communications is impairing the ability of the Amateur Radio community to provide effective support to public safety agencies during emergencies," the FCC said.

The FCC said it received more than 300 comments on Rolph's petition, and those opposing the change outnumbered supporters two to one.

In denying the petition, the FCC concluded, "Thus, while the proposal could advance one purpose of the Amateur Radio Service -- value to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications -- it would undermine other characteristics and purposes of the service." Read more


The ARRL Letter

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:  
by W6EM on September 20, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Finally, this "EMCOMM Boondoggle" has been dispensed with. From the traffic on the eHam Forum thread, it appears it was favored by (ex?) CBer types anyway.
FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:  
by K1DA on September 21, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
Very important that "more ice needed at Point B" not be widely known.
FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:  
by WA1RNE on September 22, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

Footnote 24 of the FCC's response sums it up concerning the passing of confidential medical information.

Confidential medical traffic can and should be handled by other services. Even public safety agencies rarely have a need to pass this traffic over the air. All of this info can wait until a patient is transported to a medical facility.
RE: FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:  
by WA1RNE on September 22, 2013 Mail this to a friend!

Incidentally, WA4ZKO makes some very relevant points, similar to what I posted.

He reminded me of one very good point concerning Part 90 communications. In Eastern Mass, there is a network of Part 90 Emergency Management communications that all EM Directors have access to. Also, many EM agencies are licensed to operate on city and town Part 90 fire and other local government communications frequencies. In one of the towns I served, I had the ability to operate on state Emergency Management, local EM and Fire frequencies - in addition to amateur bands. If so desired, encryption could be used on some of those channels, if the city or town approved and funded it.

This is the problem with many ARES groups which "go it alone" without a partnership with city/town Emergency Management officials.
FCC Dismisses 'Encryption' Petition:  
by KG4RRN on September 24, 2013 Mail this to a friend!
I would suggest the author of the petition buy a D-STAR radio, and try talking on that for a while.
If he can program it....
Hospitals do not need encryption, they need Morse Code.
R2D2 R2D2 C3PO c3PO R2D2 R2D2
73 all,

Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other News Articles
200 Area Boy Scouts Gather for 'Jamboree-on-the-Air':
Bridgewater Man Works to Keep Raritan Valley Radio Club Alive:
35th Annual Hamfest Brings Radio Fans Together for Shop and Swap:
Martin F. Jue Joins Amateur Radio Roundtable:
Amateur Radio Operators Converge for Hamfest: