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eHam Forums => Emergency Communications => Topic started by: KD8DVR on June 26, 2013, 10:55:19 AM



Title: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8DVR on June 26, 2013, 10:55:19 AM

Cut and paste job from the digitalvoice Yahoo group.  Don't shoot the messenger.


EMERGENCY ‐ AMATEUR RADIO NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW!

Please forward this message to other hams. The most current version of this message is at http://hams.com/encryption/ Please use that version.

FCC is currently processing a request for rule-making, RM-11699, that would allow the use of Amateur frequencies in the U.S. for private, digitally-encrypted messages.

Encryption is a potential disaster for us because it defeats the self-policing nature of ham radio. If hams can't decode messages, we can't identify if the communication is appropriate for ham radio or not. A potentially worse problem is that encryption destroys the harmless nature of Amateur radio. For governments around the world to continue to allow Amateur Radio, it must be percieved as harmless. There's no reason for anyone to believe that encrypted communications are harmless. Foreign governments, and maybe even our own, will start to see hams as more of a threat. This is likely to have a chilling effect upon DXpeditions, which are already often viewed suspiciously by the host nations, and perhaps will even lead some countries to take Amateur Radio off of the air or limit our privileges in some way.

The last day for you to submit a comment opposing this is JULY 8, so it's important for you to act now! Please make a short comment in opposition to the proposal at this link, or use this link to upload longer documents.

We have no way of telling if the content of encrypted messages are appropriate for ham radio. While their senders will identify them as emergency communications drills, they could be used for crime, operating a business, downloading pornography, etc. WiFi-like cards are already available for Amateur frequencies, and while hams can build legitimate networks with them, none of their vendors check for a license before selling them to anyone. Legalizing encryption on the air will make abuse of Amateur frequencies provable only after difficult and potentially illegal code-breaking.

A small group has almost succeeded in sneaking this change past the entire ham community. As I write this, they are almost unopposed, with only one comment against their proposal submitted to FCC. We only have less than two weeks to turn that around!

Unfortunately, ARRL isn't helping. On March 9, the ARRL board of directors moved to explore whether they should ask for rule-changes authorizing encryption, see their meeting minutes at paragraph 4.1.3. Before ARRL was scheduled to consider a report on the issue, an individual ham filed a request for rule-making with FCC. ARRL obviously tracks FCC rule-making and the notices of it in the Federal Register, and yet waited until two weeks before the end of the commenting period to announce on their web site that this was going on.

What could be a plausible excuse for using encryption on the Amateur bands? It's HIPAA, a 1996 law that requires that doctors, hospitals and other medical services providers keep patient data secret. And thus, hospitals have become reluctant to use ham communications in emergencies. We effectively broadcast all of the information we communicate, and they're afraid that we'll get them sued by doing so.

Emergency communications are a critical component of the mission of Amateur Radio, and are one of only four purposes that FCC uses to justify the existence of the Amateur Service. It may be that encryption does become critical to support Amateur emergency services. But that time has not yet come. If we are to allow encryption on the air, that should come only after the entire ham community has discussed it throughly and explored all of the options. And yet, nobody's brought this issue before you, before attempting to change the rules behind your back.

The folks who support the encryption proposal are, as far as I can tell, well-meaning. Many of them are involved in emergency communications. But their methods are inappropriate. If they want this change, they must discuss the issue throughly at ham conferences and in our publications. They must allow hams to become educated about the alternatives and before we decide as a community if a rule change is necessary.

What are the alternatives? One is changing HIPAA to remove liability from the doctors and hospitals for disclosure of information in an amateur emergency transmission. Changing laws is not impossible for Amateurs. Through lobbying congress, we have recently been able to cause changes in ITAR 121, a Department of Defense restriction that made it difficult for us to collaborate with other nations in building microsats. That's changing now as a result of lobbying by ham organizations. If hams can get that done, we can reform HIPAA as well.

Another alternative is to leave the rules as they are today. Many emergency organizations have been able to operate without encryption, despite any reservations by the served organizations regarding HIPAA, which has existed since 1996. And many services other than Amateur Radio, including MARS, Land Mobile, and Part 15 can provide encryption without a rule-change, and might be more appropriate venues for this traffic.

If we end up deciding to have encryption on the Amateur bands, we must do so only after developing a system of controls that prevent its abuse. There is no anti-abuse method sugested in the current request for rule making, but I propose this one: Encryption would only be allowed in tests and drills that would be authorized and publicly announced by accredited ARES or RACES organizations. Logging of encrypted transmissions, including the encryption key, would be mandatory. Stations would be required to disclose their keys to amateur volunteers who would check recorded transmissions for rule-violation, but those volunteers would be required to keep any HIPAA-protected patient data within the transmission private. Stations that repeatedly failed to cooperate in allowing their messages to be decrypted and checked by third parties would be subject to penalties.

But we haven't decided any of this yet. And we shouldn't without your participation. Thus, please comment now in opposition of the proposal.

Again, the last day for you to submit a comment opposing this is JULY 8, so it's important for you to act now! Please make a short comment in opposition to the proposal at this link, or use this link to upload longer documents.

About the Author: Bruce Perens K6BP is one of the founders of the Open Source movement in software. He is also the founder of No-Code International, the organization that successfully lobbied for the global elimination of code testing. More recently, Perens has been a pioneer of digital communications over Ham Radio. He started and evangelized the Codec2 (http://codec2.org/) project, which has developed a fully open and patent-free digital voice codec for Radio Amateurs. That codec is now in use in FreeDV (http://freedv.org/), which provides clear digital voice communications on HF in half the bandwidth of SSB. You can reach him at +1 510-4PERENS (US Pacific time), or email to bruce at perens dot com.

Please forward this message to other hams. The most current version is at http://hams.com/encryption/ Please use that version.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on June 26, 2013, 12:38:42 PM
Yeah.  This is also in the 'News' section of this site. 

Bad idea--all around.  If the nature of the materials being sent over ham radio are to be kept secret (HIPPA and such) then that material doesn't belong on the ham radio bands at all.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KG4RUL on June 26, 2013, 03:03:10 PM
Yeah.  This is also in the 'News' section of this site. 

Bad idea--all around.  If the nature of the materials being sent over ham radio are to be kept secret (HIPPA and such) then that material doesn't belong on the ham radio bands at all.

100% agreement with the above!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on June 26, 2013, 03:26:07 PM
In an emergency where life and limb is at stake, you can already legally encrypt stuff. This is about drills, and I agree that allowing encryption for on-the-air drills is a bad idea. As long as your on-air drills send messages with 100% byte accurate digital messages, they don't need to be encrypted. You can train and practice the actual encryption using different frequencies or even the Internet. After all, you've already proven that your radio transmits data with 100% byte accuracy, so using the Internet as a simulant for radio when training for message encryption is a 1-to-1 substitution.

It's a bit like in the military or police: You don't practice in public with live fire. You practice live fire drills on the range, and practice with blueguns or simulants in public areas. While you keep things as realistic as possible, it's not a good idea to practice both at the same time.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on June 27, 2013, 03:49:23 AM
In an emergency where life and limb is at stake, you can already legally encrypt stuff....

Are you going to start with this again?  We've already been through it.  It may be true that encryption is allowable in Norway, but encryption for the purposes of this discussion on rule making on the ham bands in the US is not!  That is the reason for this ill thought request for rule making.

Please qualify your statements so that others who may not have the smarts that they should have don't get themselves in trouble because of following what you said.  73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K5LXP on June 27, 2013, 06:15:23 AM
Encryption is already allowed on commercial and government frequencies.

Instead of using amateur bands, we can short circuit all this crap by allowing emcomm types to use commercial/government bands and licenses to do all this life-saving activity.  Make it like MARS where if you have a ham license you get an "emcomm" license, then you can buy and deploy all the Part 90 compliant equipment you want.

I would offer that even with encryption the usefulness of an emergency plan that involves a bunch of geriatric volunteers running consumer grade equipment on amateur frequencies is still quite limited, and thus this further commercialization encroachment of the ham bands won't likely amount to much.

It might even prove to be entertaining.  If you look at how dysfunctional groups are when it comes to operating packet or digital modes, I can just see what will happen when you introduce an encryption protocol into the mix.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on June 27, 2013, 01:31:40 PM
...Instead of using amateur bands, we can short circuit all this crap by allowing emcomm types to use commercial/government bands and licenses to do all this life-saving activity.  Make it like MARS where if you have a ham license you get an "emcomm" license, then you can buy and deploy all the Part 90 compliant equipment you want....

It can be even simpler than that.  The volunteers can be using the radios under the licenses of the authorities that they're working under.  All that is needed is an identifier code (call) issued by the licensed authority. They don't need their own license at all.  If necessary (or just if the licensing authority wants to) they can even be issued radio sets for use for that purpose.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on June 27, 2013, 05:02:37 PM
Are you going to start with this again?  We've already been through it.  It may be true that encryption is allowable in Norway, but encryption for the purposes of this discussion on rule making on the ham bands in the US is not!  That is the reason for this ill thought request for rule making.

FCC rules part 97 says
Quote
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.
It also allows cross service communications - i.e. communications between the amateur station and another radio service. If you want to say that the amateur station isn't actually working in the amateur service, but is working for a different service in the amateur bands on a secondary basis, you're welcome to define it like that.

The practical implication of this rulemaking request is to allow TRAINING and EXERCISES with encryption on the air, between amateurs in a non-emergency setting. As you may know, there already is an exception written in about letting employees participate in emergency drills for a limited amount of time each week and year - this exception has never been needed to allow employees to use amateur radio on the clock in a real emergency, due to the exception that I quoted above, but it was needed for drills.

If you're wondering about the Norwegian rules, we can talk about those in a different thread.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N9AOP on June 27, 2013, 06:54:21 PM
Why would anyone in their right mind, whether an ENCOMM or otherwise, want to send encrypted stuff on the ham bands.  There are other venues available where encryption can be used.
Art


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on June 27, 2013, 07:34:50 PM
AES256 or other government systems used during a bonafide emergency by specific communicators as needed is not likely to be a significant impediment to our use of the ham bands, certainly miniscule compared to the impact of contesting, which reduces most weekends to radio pandemonium.

On the other hand, I remember these same arguments being used to stop 'the destruction of ham radio' when some forward looking hams with a datacomm background suggested that we should be allowed to transmit ASCII on HF instead of only 5 level Baudot.  Despite all hand-wringing predictions - we survived ASCII and it actually benefited the part 97 radio service.

Globally, we've had full-up, military grade encryption for years - decades- FOR PERSONAL COMMUNICATION on the internet. So what are today's reasons for still prohibiting encryption on ham radio at all? Prohibition of 'obfuscation' and encipherment of ham radio communication goes back to the rum running days where radio was cutting edge communication, and used by bootleggers (that's where we got the term, I bet) to outsmart the government revenuers & later (WW II'ish) was prohibited for national security reasons, which are largely historical now. No present day spook with a desire to live very long, is going to be pounding out 5 digit groups on the ham bands to reach Moscow - or Chicago.




If this is all that we have to be concerned about, life must be pretty easy.  

Now, where did I put my old AN/GRA-71?

MSG 01  GR 05 BT
SECRE TMESS AGESC ANBEF UN!!!
BT AR


>Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on June 28, 2013, 12:04:23 AM
Why would anyone in their right mind, whether an ENCOMM or otherwise, want to send encrypted stuff on the ham bands.  There are other venues available where encryption can be used.
The whole idea is that, under the present rules, you can encrypt when the other venues are UNavailable. If other avenues are available, such as microwave link, satellite phone, or slow Internet - I would much prefer that my medical record information was transmitted over those than over amateur radio, whether that be encrypted, pseudo-encrypted by use of proprietary modes like D-Star or Pactor III, or in the clear. But when all other avenues are unavailable, then yeah send the essential parts of my medical data in encrypted form, if that benefits my health.

The point is that as long as amateur traffic handlers provide 100% byte accurate end-to-end transmissions with checksums, the amateurs won't have to do the actual encryption. They can just get the encrypted payload from their served agency, put on callsigns, routing and other NTS headers, and send it to its destination. The ham won't even have to look at the contents of the medical data - (s)he knows it was sent 100% accurate to the served agency, and the medical personel there can decrypt and read it.

If hams want to practice encrypted message handling for emergencies, they can just train 100% correct digital transmission of in-the-clear messages on the air, and train the use of encryption off the air or on properly licensed radio services where encryption is allowed.

Allowing encryption on the ham bands in non-emergencies risks putting stuff on there that shouldn't really be there, both for the sake of ham radio, and for the sake of the confidential data.

Globally, we've had full-up, military grade encryption for years - decades- FOR PERSONAL COMMUNICATION on the internet. So what are today's reasons for still prohibiting encryption on ham radio at all? Prohibition of 'obfuscation' and encipherment of ham radio communication goes back to the rum running days where radio was cutting edge communication, and used by bootleggers (that's where we got the term, I bet) to outsmart the government revenuers & later (WW II'ish) was prohibited for national security reasons, which are largely historical now. No present day spook with a desire to live very long, is going to be pounding out 5 digit groups on the ham bands to reach Moscow - or Chicago.
Sure it's still relevant. Look at Syria for example. And numbers stations and obfuscation of messages is still going on. So the reason to disallow nefarious and military use of the bands still is a valid one. I'll give you three more reasons:
- To avoid hiding traffic that should have been sent by phone or other paid service, for pecuniary interest. The FCC has already licensed plenty of common carriers, phone companies and other radio services where encryption is allowed. Only if those are unavailable in an emergency can you send for-profit messages on the ham bands. If this rule didn't exist, the ham band would be full of routine business traffic like taxi services filling the band edge to edge instead of the odd Russian one we get on 10 meters today.
- Short wave listeners and scanner users should still be allowed to listen to you talk. It's both a value in itself that it's open, and the public can verify for themselves that we use the bands properly.
- Ham radio should be based on published and open modes, to allow access to new hams, and contribute to the advancement of technology. I think you'll find that Bruce Perens, the writer of the copy-pasted text in the first post, would prefer to see D-Star, Pactor II/III/IV and other non-free modes banned from ham radio maybe except in bona fide emergencies.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on June 28, 2013, 04:15:27 AM
FCC rules part 97 says
Quote
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

Part 97 rules also state:
§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) No amateur station shall transmit:
(4) ...messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring
their meaning...

This is the part that the rulemaking addresses, simply because this is the part that prohibits encryption.  Your interpretation isn't valid, since any encrypted transmission wouldn't get through anyway if a non-encrypted, regular transmission will not.  

In any event, the plain simple fact of the matter is that the FCC regs PROHIBIT encryption on the ham bands.  Period.  That is the reason that this filing for a rule change is being submitted.

I'm not going to go at it any further with you for two reasons--because you don't know what you're talking about with regards to FCC regs--and because you're on my ignore list from here on.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on June 28, 2013, 06:12:38 AM
I thought I put a few people on ignore after the last ignorant thread, but I guess it didn't take.  Anyone using the term "whacker" is plain ignorant.  Just because you do not share the same interest, no matter how eccentric, does not mean someone is less of a person than you.  The only thing it shows, is that someone has some personal problems, and attempt to lash out at someone in an attempt to make themselves feel better. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N9AOP on June 28, 2013, 10:49:27 AM
I didn't mean to say that in other parts of the world encryption wouldn't have any value but here in the USA I don't see it on the ham bands being of any use.  Anyone thinking of sending medical records over the air via ham radio over here needs to google HIPPA and read the whole thing.  Or go ask some health care worker why some things are not done.

As far as something like pactor 4, that stuff is great.  Low power will allow file transfers in CONUS and overseas on most days.
Art


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9IQ on June 28, 2013, 12:19:40 PM
The HIPPA argument is fallacious.

The US Department of Health and Human Service has specifically stated that "The (HIPPA) Privacy Rule does not require the following types of structural or systems changes...encryption of wireless or other emergency medical radio communications which can be intercepted by scanners".

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on June 28, 2013, 12:59:36 PM
I thought I put a few people on ignore after the last ignorant thread, but I guess it didn't take.  Anyone using the term "whacker" is plain ignorant.  Just because you do not share the same interest, no matter how eccentric, does not mean someone is less of a person than you.  The only thing it shows, is that someone has some personal problems, and attempt to lash out at someone in an attempt to make themselves feel better. 

I don't call you guys wackers to make myself feel better. I do it because the shoe fits you very well :)

Patron Saint of the Wacker


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on June 28, 2013, 01:45:38 PM
"The HIPPA argument is fallacious"

Not exactly. 45CFR164.312(e) says that agencies must determine if encryption is needed to protect the data from unauthorized access. They must document their justification for NOT using encryption on data circuits. I expect that most entities would decide that they needed encryption on any network as open to public access as amateur radio. They will, as they should, normally error on the side of maximum security and the least potential for liability.

I see no reason that limited encryption could not be accommodated with a set of strict controls. Station ID should always be in the clear so that the FCC monitors can determine who is sending and receiving the encrypted data. The details will take some thought and discussion, but it can be done safely.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9IQ on June 28, 2013, 02:18:18 PM
Hi Bob,

That portion of the regulation is "addressable". The OCR has published specific guidance that modifications to a system that is "wireless or other emergency medical radio communications which can be intercepted by scanners" is not required. This is a prejudicial ruling on this issue and would preempt additional justification requirements. They only need to point to the OCR guidance. Would you agree?

Perhaps agencies are not following the published guidance or their consultants are over reaching?

I am still working on my opinion regarding encryption but I do intend to file comments with the FCC.

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K2GW on June 29, 2013, 04:36:35 AM
Concur with Jim.  I work in information security and encryption for the Pharmaceutical Industry.

HIPAA is one of of the most misused laws ever written, typically by folks wishing to spread fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to advance their own agenda.

HIPPA does NOT require radio encryption. It specifically EXCLUDES radio communications and additionally specifically EXCLUDES emergencies. Thus Amateur Radio is excluded from needing encryption for medical/patient data on TWO different grounds.   For more detail, see why even radio services used to dispatch EMS are excluded from HIPAA:

http://www.911dispatch.com/info/hipaa_position.pdf




Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AF5CC on June 29, 2013, 10:49:26 AM
HIPAA is one of of the most misused laws ever written, typically by folks wishing to spread fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to advance their own agenda.

I will definitely agree with this. I would like to see where the "right to privacy" is found in the US Constitution.

John AF5CC


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on June 29, 2013, 12:08:48 PM
Glenn, you appear to be correct concerning wireless encryption. I found this in the OCR:

For example, the Privacy Rule does not require the following types of structural or systems changes:

•Encryption of wireless or other emergency medical radio communications which can be intercepted by scanners.

•Encryption of telephone systems.

Probably some of the legal consultants for served agencies are telling them to encrypt everything just to be on the safe side. Given the OCR, certainly they can easily justify plain text for occasional emergency communications via amateur radio.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on June 29, 2013, 03:14:54 PM
This is my filing from a few days ago....it also references the site that notes that HIPAA does not require encryption for radio communications.

http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017454970


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KE4YOG on June 29, 2013, 04:20:56 PM
AF5CC I have been looking for that "right" for a long time also.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KE2EB on July 02, 2013, 10:31:27 AM
NWO Paranoia Whackers with thier'spy spy identify'  deceptive Trickeries. shame shame.-ke2eb george.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on July 03, 2013, 01:33:11 AM
FCC rules part 97 says
Quote
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radiocommunication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

Part 97 rules also state:
§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.
(a) No amateur station shall transmit:
(4) ...messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring
their meaning...

This is the part that the rulemaking addresses, simply because this is the part that prohibits encryption.
You've failed to notice that 97.113 also prohibits transmissions where the communicator gets paid for operating, i.e. uses amateur radio "on the clock". The exception in 97.113 to this rule only applies to TESTS and DRILLS, because the exception in 97.403 (my quote) is sweeping - it says "No provision" in part 97 prevents essential communication needs in a communications emergency. Thus no other exceptions need to be written in for real communications emergencies - 97.403 already takes care of it - and if you want a new exception for encryption it only needs to address tests and drills.

97.113 also incorporates all other prohibitions in part 97 by reference "Communications specifically prohibited elsewhere in this part", so by your reading of the rules, 97.403 might as well not exist at all. Well, it does, and past prescedent shows that the FCC agrees with me about what 97.403 means - it overrules every other rule in part 97 that stands in the way of essential communications needs in a communications emergency.

Sad to see that K1CJS is so set in his ways that rather than consult with some legal expertise or listen to second opinions he puts you on ignore. Some of his posts have been helpful in the past after all.
Your interpretation isn't valid, since any encrypted transmission wouldn't get through anyway if a non-encrypted, regular transmission will not.  
The question that would be if the need to save the life and health of a patient, as well as keeping as much patient privacy as possible, when all other ways of communication have failed, are essential needs. They are.

The OCR has published specific guidance that modifications to a system that is "wireless or other emergency medical radio communications which can be intercepted by scanners" is not required. This is a prejudicial ruling on this issue and would preempt additional justification requirements. They only need to point to the OCR guidance. Would you agree?

Yeah, if the patient's life and safety depends on it, you may have to transmit some data in the clear, violating the patient's privacy to save the patient's life. However, knowing that the information will be transmitted in the clear, and that people are listening, will cause some "self censorship" where the responders try to only transmit the information which is absolutely necessary for the ambulance crew to know about. If facilities for encryption are in place, more information could be transmitted quicker, forming a more detailed picture for responders - or it could let extracts of patient data be sent between medical facilities in preparation for a full evacuation of a hospital for example.

The OCR guidance seems to be more applicable to that situation of dispatch to ambulance communications, than an event where large amounts of patient data need to be sent.

Let's say your served agency is a hospital, and they have to send their patients to other unaffected facilities, and amateur radio is their one and only link to the rest of the world. Using digital encrypted communications, they could send a list of patients with essential medication lists, diagnosis and allergies, to help find the right facility to send the patients to. The whole patient medical record could be sent by physical means such as harddrives - if the hospital is going to be wiped out, then evacuate the harddrives too, or wait until the off-site backups can be brought to bear - but the radioed data and perhaps a summary paper sheet physically following the patient, should tide us over until the backups are ready.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 03, 2013, 05:06:59 AM
I've been looking through this thread again, and the one thing that jumped out at me this time (I'll admit that it didn't occur to me before) is that there is one thing that hasn't really been pointed out.  I've realized this from the reading (and posting) I've done to the article on the homepage of this site. 

So, I will concede that the use of encryption is allowable on the ham bands--as long as the encryption key is published and freely available beforehand to anyone who wants to copy the transmission. 

The crux of this filing is that these applicants want to allow encryption without that one thing being done, and that is something that amateur radio does not need--or that most ham operators do not want.  The applicant wants to change the rules to be permitted to keep that encryption key secret from anyone who is monitoring their transmissions.  THAT is the one thing that makes all the difference about this filing.

Realization of that one difference will serve to partially solve some of the arguments going on here in this thread. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K7RBW on July 03, 2013, 06:41:30 AM
Let's say your served agency is a hospital, and they have to send their patients to other unaffected facilities, and amateur radio is their one and only link to the rest of the world.
(emphasis mine)

How did they let themselves get into a situation where amateur radio was the only link to the rest of the world? Bad (cheap) planning? I'm guessing if that's the situation, things will be so bad everywhere else that monitoring hospital comms in hopes of finding a juicy morsel of gossip (which in the US, IIRC, is already illegal under the communications act of 1934), will be the last thing on people's minds. I.e. the threat to anyone's harm due to plain-text comms is minimal to imaginary.

The part i have a problem with is using the "when all else fails" argument to justify a change to standard practice. It's saying that hospitals don't need to make other contingency plans because they can just use amateur radio in an emergency (which, so far, is fine). But, they add that because of their special data requirements, they need to change the normal use of amateur radio (to enable encryption) to make the amateur service a viable option to use when all else fails, which is where it crosses the line. If they have special needs,  they need to consider those when making contingency plans--i.e. develop backup systems that can accommodate those special needs, not take over another radio service.

As others have pointed out, in a life-or-death emergency, the hospital (or anyone else) can use encrypted radios on amateur freqs already. In a non-emergency, there are other radio services that can accommodate those requirements. If encrypted transmissions aren't even a requirement, where's the [real] need? (I should probably file my opinion with the FCC).

To KS4VT, that's an excellent and articulate response!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 03, 2013, 08:21:35 AM
The way things are today, most hospitals have several different possible links to the outside world, including (but not limited to) land line telephones, two way medical radio, two way business radio, satellite dishes for internet and telephone communicating along with their regular T-1 connections through the phone company, local cable tie-ins for television, internet and back-up phone and so on.  To even believe that they do not have back-ups is ludicrous in the extreme--in some cases they're required BY LAW to have them!

The only possible exception to that are the small ten or twenty bed 'community' type hospitals in rural areas, and even then, they have back-up communications capabilities--without having to rely on ham radio at all.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on July 03, 2013, 09:25:51 AM
Then there is no longer any need for ham radio to be involved at all in emergency communications. Personally, I don't know because I haven't done a survey of all the hospitals, their communications requirements, or their current capabilities. I would think that should be a starting point for determining if/how amateur radio should be involved.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 03, 2013, 12:31:54 PM
There may be a small need in rural areas, but not in cities or suburbia.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9IQ on July 03, 2013, 05:37:26 PM
I think the notion that encrypting amateur radio transmissions is permitted by the current regulations as long as the key or algorithm is published is completely ludicrous.

The FCC regulations state amateurs may not transmit "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning". The only purpose of encryption is to obscure the meaning of the message. The issue of publishing the key or algorithm does not negate this.

People often confuse authentication, authorization, non-repudiation, and validation with encryption. These all come out of the field of cryptography but they are not encryption. In the context of Amateur Radio, there are well established cryptographic standards for authentication for example, that would not be considered a message encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning. The ubiquitous nature of the authentication sequence makes it clear that its purpose is authentication. In fact, no part of the authentication message is obscured - it is passed in the clear.

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on July 03, 2013, 07:25:53 PM
The way things are today, most hospitals have several different possible links to the outside world, including (but not limited to) land line telephones, two way medical radio, two way business radio, satellite dishes for internet and telephone communicating along with their regular T-1 connections through the phone company, local cable tie-ins for television, internet and back-up phone and so on.  To even believe that they do not have back-ups is ludicrous in the extreme--in some cases they're required BY LAW to have them!

All of those things are vulnerable to failure.  Phone lines we all know can fail.  Tulsa, OK had two complete phone system failures for their area code about 9 years ago.  Flooding of the Bell telephone basement, and a circuit breaker tripped caused them.  Two way medical and business radios have their limits in range, and satellite dishes are great sails in high winds.  Just ask people where major disasters have hit how solid their infrastructure really is.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on July 04, 2013, 04:14:38 AM
To KS4VT, that's an excellent and articulate response!

Thanks and appreciate the Kudo's.  ;D


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 04, 2013, 06:10:41 AM
All of those things are vulnerable to failure.  Phone lines we all know can fail.  Tulsa, OK had two complete phone system failures for their area code about 9 years ago.  Flooding of the Bell telephone basement, and a circuit breaker tripped caused them.  Two way medical and business radios have their limits in range, and satellite dishes are great sails in high winds.  Just ask people where major disasters have hit how solid their infrastructure really is.

All true, but the point is that if one fails, there is another to take up the work.  For ALL of them to fail, it has to be pretty bad, and in that case, the ham radio connections would probably be down too, since they're not as robust as the others.

You may say that if that happened, the ham radio link could be restored in short order, but so could one of the other links--ham radio is NOT less prone to failure than hardened comms that hospitals and public safety organizations have.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 04, 2013, 08:36:15 AM
ham radio is NOT less prone to failure than hardened comms that hospitals and public safety organizations have.

Really? Hardened comms are just that...hardened. Ham radio is not. How many organizations can quickly set up a replacement for a fiber optic cable that is severed? Or replace a microwave link? Or have the knowledge to take a pair of radios and make a makeshift repeater? How many could cut and set up a wire dipole to replace an antenna that went down with the tower it was attached to? And be able to deal with the weak signal levels?

While ham radio can and does fail, there are many that have multiple radios, and multiple skilled people who can quickly fill the need. That makes it less prone to failure.  ;)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 04, 2013, 10:02:15 AM
ham radio is NOT less prone to failure than hardened comms that hospitals and public safety organizations have.

Really? Hardened comms are just that...hardened. Ham radio is not. How many organizations can quickly set up a replacement for a fiber optic cable that is severed? Or replace a microwave link? Or have the knowledge to take a pair of radios and make a makeshift repeater? How many could cut and set up a wire dipole to replace an antenna that went down with the tower it was attached to? And be able to deal with the weak signal levels?

While ham radio can and does fail, there are many that have multiple radios, and multiple skilled people who can quickly fill the need. That makes it less prone to failure.  ;)

So what you're saying--in effect--is that ALL of those different comms are going to fail all at once but ham radio won't?  Sorry, 'FIB, but you're living in a dream world.  The only ones who really believe that are the advertizing people who write the ARRL's advertizing copy--and then only when they're working on that advertizing.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 04, 2013, 10:55:04 AM
Yes...all can fail! Ask the folks in northern Minnesota!

ARRL ARES E-Letter July 11, 2012

Lake County Emergency Coordinator Jeff Nast, KCØMKS, reported that Northland SKYWARN was activated from 1800Z on June 19 until 0145Z on the next day. Lake County RACES/ARES was also activated on June 20 to provide emergency communications for a fiber cable failure at the Knife River expressway bridge.

Cook County officials requested disaster response communications for the hospital in Grand Marais. All communications were severed during the storm, and the hospital was without contact with the hospitals in Duluth. Pat Scully, NØWSI, made the request and a communications response resulted. "We were without phone, cell, Internet, and 911 service for approximately 12 hours," reported Jayne Fingerman-Johnson, NØUYQ, of the Cook County ARES Response Team (CCART). "We set up our Amateur Radio station at the Cook County Northshore Hospital to provide communications to the outside world."


So understand a post instead of reading into it. Ham radio can improvise where hardened systems can not. That makes ham radio less prone to failure! Please speak with facts and not emotions because someone disagrees with you.

And no, that incident was not in a dream world.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on July 04, 2013, 11:21:31 AM
All of those things are vulnerable to failure.  Phone lines we all know can fail.  Tulsa, OK had two complete phone system failures for their area code about 9 years ago.  Flooding of the Bell telephone basement, and a circuit breaker tripped caused them.  Two way medical and business radios have their limits in range, and satellite dishes are great sails in high winds.  Just ask people where major disasters have hit how solid their infrastructure really is.

All true, but the point is that if one fails, there is another to take up the work.  For ALL of them to fail, it has to be pretty bad, and in that case, the ham radio connections would probably be down too, since they're not as robust as the others.

You may say that if that happened, the ham radio link could be restored in short order, but so could one of the other links--ham radio is NOT less prone to failure than hardened comms that hospitals and public safety organizations have.
You are making assumptions, and you know what they say about assumptions.  You assume that in the event of a disaster, someone will be on hand at a hospital to fix that satellite dish that became a Frisbee.  You assume that someone will be on hand to fix the severed phone lines, or submerged systems.  You assume someone with that kind of technical knowledge will be on hand to fix any communications failure at, or near a hospital in the event of a major disaster.  You are wrong on all accounts.  Though a place like a hospital would receive top priority to restore operations, that would happen only after the area became stabile again, not during a hurricane, or major flood, or snowstorm or what have you.  While ham radio operation is no different, the operators typically have knowledge to protect their equipment during an event, and make it operational immediately after something happened.  Their operation is much more flexible, which has already been stated.  Yes, phone companies can bring in portable cell towers, etc, but how long does that take to implement?  Places like hospitals need comms right now, not the day or two later for things to be brought in and activated.  Ham radio is not a long term emcomm solution, and never has been.  It is a rapid activation, short term solution to fill in the gap.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on July 04, 2013, 11:22:02 AM
You mean to tell me that they didn't have VHF or UHF MEDCOM channels in the ER to talk to the outside world? How was cell out of service?  Multiple carriers across the US with the larger carriers now utilizing point to point microwave and not depending on land based connectivity.

Sure sounds like typical ARRL propaganda.


Yes...all can fail! Ask the folks in northern Minnesota!

ARRL ARES E-Letter July 11, 2012

Lake County Emergency Coordinator Jeff Nast, KCØMKS, reported that Northland SKYWARN was activated from 1800Z on June 19 until 0145Z on the next day. Lake County RACES/ARES was also activated on June 20 to provide emergency communications for a fiber cable failure at the Knife River expressway bridge.

Cook County officials requested disaster response communications for the hospital in Grand Marais. All communications were severed during the storm, and the hospital was without contact with the hospitals in Duluth. Pat Scully, NØWSI, made the request and a communications response resulted. "We were without phone, cell, Internet, and 911 service for approximately 12 hours," reported Jayne Fingerman-Johnson, NØUYQ, of the Cook County ARES Response Team (CCART). "We set up our Amateur Radio station at the Cook County Northshore Hospital to provide communications to the outside world."


So understand a post instead of reading into it. Ham radio can improvise where hardened systems can not. That makes ham radio less prone to failure! Please speak with facts and not emotions because someone disagrees with you.

And no, that incident was not in a dream world.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 04, 2013, 01:07:30 PM
'FIB, Show me some other examples.  You are speaking of a one once in a lifetime failure, and if you look back in the posts I did say that smaller hospitals could experience them.  Now, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong, all I'm saying is that it is very, very unlikely to happen, especially since 9-11.  One occurence doesn't make it a standard that is going to happen time and again.  

BTW, You would do well to follow your own advice and understand the post BEFORE you go off half cocked.

Greg, I'm not assuming anything--except that you would understand what was written.  The last sentence to 'FIB is something you should take to heart as well.
 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on July 04, 2013, 01:16:18 PM
'FIB, Show me some other examples.  You are speaking of a one once in a lifetime failure, and if you look back in the posts I did say that smaller hospitals could experience them.  Now, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong, all I'm saying is that it is very, very unlikely to happen, especially since 9-11.  One occurence doesn't make it a standard that is going to happen time and again.  

BTW, You would do well to follow your own advice and understand the post BEFORE you go off half cocked.

Greg, I'm not assuming anything--except that you would understand what was written.  The last sentence to 'FIB is something you should take to heart as well.
 
I saw nothing written, but plenty typed.  You are ducking and dodging where the flaws in your mindset have been pointed out.  9-11, if anything has proven that anything that is unlikely to happen, can happen.  You can either prepare for the worst case scenario, so that anything less is smooth and orderly, or you can live in a utopian world that something will always work.  We all saw how well that worked out in New Orleans, POST 9/11.  We are in a position for plenty more natural disasters on scales larger than what we have seen in the last 50 years.  You can choose to live in your "likely" world, and I will choose to live in the real world.  If you are unaware of what I am referring to, then there is no need to continue this discussion. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 04, 2013, 01:25:21 PM
Read your last post, Greg, and tell me again who's dodging and ducking--and assuming.  Goodbye.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 04, 2013, 07:11:41 PM
I wasn't so sure I knew what a "whacker" was until now.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 04, 2013, 10:58:12 PM
CJS... I gave you an example and now you want more. You said it couldn't happen. I showed you where it did. But that's not good enough for you. You need more. You can't seem to accept the fact that it DOES happen, post 9-11. And if you read the article closer, it was not just the hospital. "We were without phone, cell, Internet, and 911 service for approximately 12 hours,"... Did you miss that part? If all those systems are down to the hospital, seems like they would be down for everyone. As you say, its a small hospital, so they probably would not have a dedicated fiber optic just for themselves. Unfortunately, rural areas tend to put all their eggs in 1 basket, as was the case here. And while I don't have numbers, I am still willing to bet that there are more just like it.

Well you seem to have a good internet connection, use it. That's what I did. So I didn't go off half cocked as you say. I put some research time into it. Why can't you? Why can't you show me the facts that this is the only place in the country that this could happen? When you do that, then you can tell me that it was a once in a lifetime event. Don't just argue for arguments sake. Back up your statement with even 1 fact that proves your statement. I did.

Your statement was invalid, and I backed up what I said about it. Begging for more is meaningless because no matter how many examples I find, you will find an excuse to make your invalid statement still seem true. But alas, I predict a nice flame from you that says, something on the order of, I didn't find anymore so I am wrong again. Go ahead and beat that dead horse. It certainly seems fitting for you. Let's see who is really going off "half cocked".

Plain and simply...it happened once, so it can happen again. 9-11 certainly caused many improvements, but any system built by man can and will fail. It is those with the skills to improvise that will fill the needs until the professionals fix what's broken. And based on the many posts here on eham where many hams seem to make something from seemingly nothing, there seem to be many hams with the capability to do it. Thus less prone to failure then hardened systems. Which is what my first post was all about. And I stand by it as a tribute to all the hams who have in the past, are doing now, or will do in the future, what it takes!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 05, 2013, 06:41:57 AM
'FIB, You gave me an example--and I said earlier that the extraordinary may happen.  And I did NOT say that it couldn't happen--I said that it was extraordinarily unlikely that ALL the other links would go down at once.

The example you gave is still only...  ONE EXTRAORDINARY EXAMPLE, and exactly what I said may happen in my earlier post!  "I'll be willing to bet..." isn't a valid enough for other examples.  I did say it couldn't happen--except...  But now YOU want more, and can't accept the fact that you didn't see what I said earlier.  

This has gone far enough.  I'm through arguing, and I'll stick to what I've already said.  Do yourself a favor and go play with your fellow 'when all else fails' enthusiasts.  Goodbye.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 05, 2013, 08:13:27 AM
So what you're saying--in effect--is that ALL of those different comms are going to fail all at once but ham radio won't?
Yes, it seems to me that this is exactly what he is saying.
Quote
Sorry, 'FIB, but you're living in a dream world.  The only ones who really believe that are the advertizing people who write the ARRL's advertizing copy--and then only when they're working on that advertizing.
I'm sorry you feel that way.
Quote
And I did NOT say that it couldn't happen--I said that it was extraordinarily unlikely that ALL the other links would go down at once.
No one is saying this happens regularly.  Such an event is by its very nature extraordinary, else they would further layer their systems with added expense and complexity.  At some point, institutions such as hospitals and, yes, even governments must be economically reasonable and find an end to their layers of protection and redundancy.  It is at this point that external systems such as the highly distributed amateur radio resource may be brought into play.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 05, 2013, 09:45:05 AM
LOL...See I told you it would happen!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: NK7Z on July 05, 2013, 11:33:19 AM
ATTENTION:

ZZZZZ YBPIL AIAIG FMOPP CPAAA DGNGP GPGPA ADNJN ELJKO ELIMO
GEOHF KIFGP IFBCB PKCPI YJMHE PHBHP PPOBH NCOHD AKLLL AGHFP
DEGEF LKELC EAIJI ABAGP AHPPO IHHPH OHPDF YNFPB ALEPO KMPKP
NGCHI GFPBI CBDML PFGHL LIHPC BOOBB HOLDO FJNHP OLHLL OPNIL

MESSAGE ENDS


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on July 05, 2013, 04:17:29 PM
I made thread about a month ago, Failsafe systems can fail too (http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,90446.0.html), which addressed some of these "myths" about emcomm that are being brought up here. Just quoting those applicable to this thread:

"Digital systems can't fail, so emcomm volunteers need not bother with learning to pass official traffic."
(...)
"If the city's radio net is down, everything else is down too, so why bother"
(...)
"Maybe communications can fail out in the backwoods or in the third world, but not in my big city in the USA"
Sound familiar? Maybe we can use that thread to discuss those (mis)conceptions on a general level, and turn this thread back to the encryption issue?

What some people here might not realize, is that dispatchers and emergency responders already are obscuring the meaning of communications when using in-the-clear radio, by leaving information out or using codes. 10-codes are primarily a brevity tool, though it does offer a tiny bit of security from those who don't have a list of codes available, so it's not 10-codes I'm talking about here, but specific code words used with plain language. So if you let dispatchers use amateur frequencies in emergencies, obscuring of meaning has already been going on for years.

The introduction of digital encrypted radio systems in the public service band should help get everyone over to plain language, just like in the Incident Command System, since the 10-codes are confusing for the first responders themselves especially when working mutual aid. As encrypted radio systems and plain language become prevalent there, I think served agencies will come to expect some measure of communications security from their volunteer communicators as well.

Getting back to patient privacy - some patients will refrain from seeking treatment, or react in extreme ways, by the prospect of certain information about them becoming known. The reason for patient privacy rules isn't just a sort of moral imperative, it has a practical effect on public health by taking away barriers to medical treatment. In some cultural groups, certain medical circumstances getting known might even lead to violent acts like revenge or even punishment of the victim for the sake of "restoring family honor".

Patient privacy is one thing. The safety of responders is another: In man-made emergencies, the location of responders and supplies might not be a good idea to give to the "bad guys"; even in natural disasters there are people ready to exploit the situation. Also there might be unverified and inaccurate information coming in that might cause an unecessary panic if allowed to spread as rumors.

So confidentiality and expedience migth both be essential in an emergency, and if you can't have both you might end up with bad consequences. I still don't think you need to cause encrypted emissions during training though - why not use a simulated cleartext message that corresponds to encrypted data that's sent via the phone or internet, or for example turn down the power and use dummy loads so that the encrypted emissions don't leave the building?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: NK7Z on July 05, 2013, 10:26:03 PM
I still don't think you need to cause encrypted emissions during training though - why not use a simulated cleartext message that corresponds to encrypted data that's sent via the phone or internet, or for example turn down the power and use dummy loads so that the encrypted emissions don't leave the building?

Training needs to be as real world as possible...  They should send an encrypted message, EXACTLY like the one they might send in the real world...

Look...  In an emergency, things change...  Encrypted transmissions ARE necessary for any number of reasons...  We all need to get used to that...


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 06, 2013, 06:21:51 AM
Training needs to be as real world as possible...  They should send an encrypted message, EXACTLY like the one they might send in the real world...

Look...  In an emergency, things change...  Encrypted transmissions ARE necessary for any number of reasons...  We all need to get used to that...

There are numbers of 'official' channels to pass sensitive data.  Anything that has absolutely got to be encrypted to the point of this rule making petition simply DOES NOT belong on an amateur radio frequency.

The ARRL has done the entire amateur radio community a disservice by pushing their emergency communication priorities to the point that they have, and it has got to be stopped somewhere.  This is one of the better subjects to attempt to draw the line at.  Amateur radio does not belong doing the job of public service/safety radio systems--and that is exactly what this petition is pressing for.  
THAT  HAS  GOT  TO  BE  STOPPED  IN  ITS  TRACKS!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: NK7Z on July 06, 2013, 06:42:31 AM
Training needs to be as real world as possible...  They should send an encrypted message, EXACTLY like the one they might send in the real world...

Look...  In an emergency, things change...  Encrypted transmissions ARE necessary for any number of reasons...  We all need to get used to that...

There are numbers of 'official' channels to pass sensitive data.  Anything that has absolutely got to be encrypted to the point of this rule making petition simply DOES NOT belong on an amateur radio frequency.

Lets say there is a major Earthquake in the LA area...  Lets say that many people are hurt, and many are buried in the rubble...  Lets say that police coverage is very limited...  None of this is a stretch if a major EQ were to happen.

Lets not give a list of trapped people out on the radio, in the clear, (you know to let their families know they are missing and to check if they are home or not, so as to better use the limited resources which will be available), so someone listening can create his/her list of homes to rob, or cars to steel, etc. 

You and K5LXP both came up with the correct solution...  Move it off the ham bands, much like MARS...  But...  Until that is done, the training needs to be real world... 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 06, 2013, 09:08:18 AM
...Lets not give a list of trapped people out on the radio, in the clear, (you know to let their families know they are missing and to check if they are home or not, so as to better use the limited resources which will be available), so someone listening can create his/her list of homes to rob, or cars to steel, etc.

There is no need for the hams who respond to give out detailed lists in the first place.  It's sufficient to say 'There are many victims...'  In any event, how in the world would a ham who has just arrived on scene and set up have such a list, unless the authorities have it compiled already--and if that is the case, there would have been plenty of time to have a secure public service radio in use at that location.

Quote
You and K5LXP both came up with the correct solution...  Move it off the ham bands, much like MARS...  But...  Until that is done, the training needs to be real world... 

The real world, as you call it, doesn't need any such verbatim information passed by ham radio.  Period.  In an emergency, cell phone hubs can and will be moved into position quickly.  Public service bands have been augmented and made more interoperable.  Ham radio isn't as fast (quickly set up) or as indispensable as the ARRL and the ARES people would have you think.

There are hand held radios that have been made available BY FEDERAL GRANTS to areas that have such statewide systems in place.  In Massachusetts, each municipality has a 'bank' of handheld radios that are capable of using the state trunked radio system for secure communication, and those handheld radios can be passed out even quicker than a ham can set up an emergency station.

The 'real world' as you state isn't at all as the ham radio emcomm fanatics would have you think.  The arguments for this ill conceived 'securely encrypted' rule making application--when closely looked at--are nothing more than ARRL propaganda that the fanatics who came up with this proposal have tried to massage into real, legitimate reasons to get it railroaded past the FCC.  I doubt if it's going to work.   


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 06, 2013, 09:18:30 AM
So far, one person has come up with one instance where ham radio proved to be actually needed--but he did not prove that encryption was necessary simply since HIPPA allows for the passing of clear text messages with sensitive information during a time of emergency.  That one time he sited was certainly a time of emergency.

Encryption on the ham radio bands simply is not needed, and will prove to be an added level of complexity that would only serve to complicate matters during an emergency--complexity that may well cause unneeded problems and actually negate the advantages that ham radio could provide in such situations.

One last example.  Say such a life and death message WAS encrypted and had to be passed quickly, and the receiving stations (or the transmitting one, for that matter) didn't have the correct key selected.  Someone could well die because of an extra layer of complexity that shouldn't have been used on the ham bands in the first place!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AF6WL on July 06, 2013, 09:44:17 AM

There are hand held radios that have been made available BY FEDERAL GRANTS to areas that have such statewide systems in place.  In Massachusetts, each municipality has a 'bank' of handheld radios that are capable of using the state trunked radio system for secure communication, and those handheld radios can be passed out even quicker than a ham can set up an emergency station.


Most trunked architectures route connections through a switch node for that region with trunk connections to the central switch.
If a switch or backhaul fails, how practiced would the emergency staff be at bridging the gap with an ad-hoc relay network ?

If I was given an encrypted or obfuscated message to pass between federal or emergency organisations etc. that was a matter of life or death, I would pass it regardless of any license restrictions.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 06, 2013, 10:02:32 AM
Most trunked architectures route connections through a switch node for that region with trunk connections to the central switch.
If a switch or backhaul fails, how practiced would the emergency staff be at bridging the gap with an ad-hoc relay network ?

The individual repeater stations of the statewide trunk automatically switch to whatever mode or connection that is needed to keep the network even partially in operation, and there are more than one or two ways for it to do so.  These systems have been engineered and constructed to be as nearly failure proofed as it is possible for them to be.  As it's been said before, if things were to get so bad as to knock out ALL the system interconnections, the ham operators would have a lot more to be concerned with than sitting and playing about being important and indispensable--like simply surviving.   


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K7RBW on July 06, 2013, 10:51:42 AM
If you want to just "stick to the facts," just looking at the report quoted and not reading anything into it, it sounds like the regular radios went out and someone started their ham radio station. It doesn't say anything about how effective or useful this station was. (e.g. how many lives were saved, how much traffic was passed, etc.-- something to consider when preparing such reports in the future, perhaps?)

This isn't to say that amateur radio hasn't ever helped in the past and won't come in handy in the future, but the quoted report and other such "press" reports often come from the ARRL or other amateur-radio source much more often than they come from a more independent source, let alone one that could be used to corroborate the impact of their contribution.

Someone from outside of ham radio (and even some from inside) might wonder why such press is hard to come by.

You mean to tell me that they didn't have VHF or UHF MEDCOM channels in the ER to talk to the outside world? How was cell out of service?  Multiple carriers across the US with the larger carriers now utilizing point to point microwave and not depending on land based connectivity.

Sure sounds like typical ARRL propaganda.


Yes...all can fail! Ask the folks in northern Minnesota!

ARRL ARES E-Letter July 11, 2012

Lake County Emergency Coordinator Jeff Nast, KCØMKS, reported that Northland SKYWARN was activated from 1800Z on June 19 until 0145Z on the next day. Lake County RACES/ARES was also activated on June 20 to provide emergency communications for a fiber cable failure at the Knife River expressway bridge.

Cook County officials requested disaster response communications for the hospital in Grand Marais. All communications were severed during the storm, and the hospital was without contact with the hospitals in Duluth. Pat Scully, NØWSI, made the request and a communications response resulted. "We were without phone, cell, Internet, and 911 service for approximately 12 hours," reported Jayne Fingerman-Johnson, NØUYQ, of the Cook County ARES Response Team (CCART). "We set up our Amateur Radio station at the Cook County Northshore Hospital to provide communications to the outside world."


So understand a post instead of reading into it. Ham radio can improvise where hardened systems can not. That makes ham radio less prone to failure! Please speak with facts and not emotions because someone disagrees with you.

And no, that incident was not in a dream world.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 07, 2013, 07:45:42 AM
K7RBW, You raise an extremely interesting--and valid--point.  However, in the real world, ham radio is considered an anachronism that usually merits little to no interest to the average man.  Mentions of ham radio simply will not draw most readers.  For example, most of the news pieces that are referred to in the 'News' section of this site are pointers to filler pieces, not major news stories.  73.

Added--I haven't tried it, but maybe a search emphasizing the incident itself--without the mention of ham radio--would yield results.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 07, 2013, 08:42:29 AM
Curious. Research into the event leads to a very similar outage in or near the same location in February of 2010.  The hospital apparently did rely on a ham radio operation for essential communications.  

Here's a reference to the different event from 2010:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/02/04/boyd

...and another (again, the 2010 incident):

http://m.cookcountynews-herald.com/news/2010-02-13/Front_Page/Citizens_share_concerns_after_regional_communicati.html

So far, I haven't found any similar media references to ham radio being used in such an event in 2012 as reported by the ARRL ARES e-Letter cited earlier.  
OK, here's one (see the very end of the article):

http://m.mprnews.org/11821/show/31a0769dcc8bfa96b79b52642f52e37e&t=he2u1t3eghqfgj8v375bcv5sk1

I would say this does bolster the argument that ham radio can and does serve as a vital backup in civil emergency situations, possibly even twice in the same place.

Here's a reference to the 2012 event that doesn't mention ham radio but describes the scene:

http://www.cookcountynews-herald.com/news/2012-06-23/Front_Page/Flooding_causes_minor_road_damage_major_communicat.html


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 07, 2013, 09:40:12 AM
Looking at the difference in dates and type of events, leads me to believe it happened to them 2 different times. Once from a steam pipe leak that damaged the fiber optic in 2010, and the one I referred to was the fiber optic being cut by a storm that damaged a bridge that the fiber optic was attached and ended up damaging the cable in 2012.

The second link from N3HFS even mentions the ham radio station being set up at the hospital. :)

Here is the link to the flooding report.

 http://www.cookcountynews-herald.com/news/2012-06-23/Front_Page/Flooding_causes_minor_road_damage_major_communicat.html (http://www.cookcountynews-herald.com/news/2012-06-23/Front_Page/Flooding_causes_minor_road_damage_major_communicat.html)

So unless there is a discrepancy I missed, sounds like it happened 2 times. Not really a once in a lifetime event, unless you were born after the first event, or died between the 2 dates.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: LA9XSA on July 07, 2013, 11:11:41 AM
Communications emergencies can have trivial causes. A software bug, a backhoe digging over a cable, at the same time as an old tree falls over the other cable, etc. I'm going to make a post later in the other thread listing a few such incidents from the US and even some countries with more modern and robust infrastructure than the US.

Going back to the encryption question:

It seems a few people has some kind of fixed idea that what band radio traffic takes place in magically makes it more or less secure. It's not really rocket science, but it's computer science: If you can correctly transmit a byte accurate message from point A to point B in the clear, you are also able to transmit the same message after encrypted by encryption system like that used by the served agency on their regular data links, or GPG, SMIME, etc. The main concern here would be throughput - namely that depending on what facilities you have - NBEMS, Pactor, AX-25, D-Rats microwave or 2m, etc, the bandwidth would be lower than they're used to - which would need to be simulated in exercises.
Training needs to be as real world as possible...  They should send an encrypted message, EXACTLY like the one they might send in the real world...
The example I used before was that you don't do live fire exercises in the middle of town. Also you don't set fire to the local general hospital to do an evacuation drill - maybe you don't even evacuate any real patients either, but use volunteers playing patients.

The point here is that the volunteer communicators only need to be concerned with getting the message or data stream from point A to point B, via their operating practices. They are not to originate their own messages, gossip, or concern themselves with the content of the message. If they are to involve themselves in encryption anyway, they don't need to send the encrypted message out on the air during an exercise.

For example, on the originating end, the secret message could be assigned a sequence number, encrypted with an appropriate pre-shared key or asymmetric key, and sent via phone or internet to the receiving end, while a cleartext message of the same length gets transmitted via amateur radio, bearing the same number, the same size, and starting with something like "This message is simulated message number 023 in Orange County ARES exercise July 06 2013. The following placeholder text intends to pad the message to the correct length. Lorem ipsum dolor etc." Only when this message has been received with a correct checksum on the receiving end, is the secret payload message that was passed via phone decrypted and delivered. To avoid "cheating" in the exercise, you can have the judges of the exercise provide this matching. In the real emergency, the only change would be to send the encrypted message itself over the air, actually being easier than what you did in the exercise.

At least that's one way to do it without having to deal with rule changes and having foreign governments complain.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 07, 2013, 12:05:43 PM
It's not really rocket science, but it's computer science: If you can correctly transmit a byte accurate message from point A to point B in the clear, you are also able to transmit the same message after encrypted by encryption system like that used by the served agency on their regular data link...

You've said all this before, and I agree with you that encryption is NOT needed to test the integrity and throughput of digital data.  Encryption can be tested with an extremely high degree of confidence in a modular way, as a portion of a testing plan which does not require transmission of encrypted information over the air.

I am also generally against any kind of non-emergency use of encryption on ham bands.  Any request to the FCC for such activity that I would even consider supporting would have to be much better conceived than this one.  A good example is the current sole exception for control of a space-based station.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 07, 2013, 04:01:59 PM
Both those times the whole region lost communications, not just the hospital.  That indicates a serious lack of infrastructure planning for the entire area--and that is why this came to pass.  You people were making it sound like just the hospital lost their communications equipment.  I find it hard to believe that the hospital didn't have other equipment installed that could connect them to the outside world--especially after the first incident in 2010.  

Still, the use of ham radio during this GREATER emergency did not require the use of encryption, simply because the law is not so inflexible that it wouldn't recognize that emergency, and HIPPA laws specifically permit the passing of non-encrypted messages during emergencies like that--especially communications loss of that magnitude.  Encryption is still not needed in the ham radio service--and you still can't try the "only way to pass messages" since the article said nothing about the public service/safety radio systems being out.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9IQ on July 09, 2013, 06:14:11 AM
I pointed out earlier in this thread, the guidance from OCR - the department within Health and Human Services that enforces CFR Title 45 Part 164 privacy regulations related to HIPPA - is that encryption of radios is not required. This applies in normal and emergency conditions.

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N9LCD on July 09, 2013, 08:15:31 AM
Pull out your hand-held and program it to the public service bands.  You'll hear paramedics and trauma centers passing patient vitals over the air, in PLAIN ENGLISH!

AND MEDICATIONS BEING ADMINISTERED!

AND TREATMENTS / CARE BEING GIVEN!

Any day!  Every day!

Heck, from monitoring Chicago Police. I even know where the local "doper" lives!

If encryption for hams goes through, maybe uniforms, badges and Glocks will be next!

N9LCD


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K5LXP on July 09, 2013, 08:52:17 AM

Even Wacker High Command isn't in favor of it.  This should take the wind out the wackers' sails a bit.

ARRL Urges Denial of Petition to Permit Encryption of Some Emergency Communications

http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-urges-denial-of-petition-to-permit-encryption-of-some-emergency-communications (http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-urges-denial-of-petition-to-permit-encryption-of-some-emergency-communications)


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 09, 2013, 11:22:50 AM
Dawggone!  I guess I'm going to have to rethink my position on what the ARRL is doing.  Again.   :o


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 11, 2013, 11:13:00 AM
Why would anyone in their right mind, whether an ENCOMM or otherwise, want to send encrypted stuff on the ham bands.  There are other venues available where encryption can be used.
Art  

Indeed.

It also seems these days that a number of hams (and a number of ham radio-related organizations like the ARRL) are pounding the drum that one of the main reasons we exist (as a separate radio service) is to provide emergency communications (EMCOMM) in times of disaster.

Specifically, they cite a long laundry list of fundamental purposes for our Service as outlined in the FCC's Part 97…specifically Part 97.1…. which state in part that:

"The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill."


Now some will also argue that these rules provide us with the ultimate authority of why we exist and what we are supposed to be doing.

WRONG!

The ULTIMATE authority for what we do is not contained in FCC Part 97!

Rather, it is the International Telecommunications Union (the ITU) that establishes and maintains the Amateur Radio Service in the International Radio Regulations.  As the United States is a signatory to the treaty that established the ITU, those rules have the force of law in the United States.

Sadly, few US Hams realize that ALL of these "other" reasons as to why we exist are not present in the International definition of our Service.  Our own FCC has ADDED them all.  And, to the best of my knowledge, this long "laundry list" of words defining our Service exists nowhere else on the planet.

Specifically, the FCC's "particularly with respect to emergency communications" verbiage (along with all that other nonsense about "expanding an existing reservoir within the Amateur Radio Service of trained technicians") as spelled out in our Part 97 is absolutely and completely absent from the ITU's definition of our Service

As I've noted before, that definition (in Article 1.56 of the ITU rules) simply states that ours is to be:

"A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest"  (my emphasis added)

Would someone please show me where it specifically authorizes (or even allows!) EMCOMM or "technician reservoir building" activities in any of that?

It seems to me the FCC very clearly "muddied the waters" back in the mid 20th Century when they added all that EMCOMM verbiage (along with their "expanding pool of trained operators, technicians and electronics experts" eyewash...nonsense they also no doubt used to justify their so-called "incentive licensing" foolishness) to further define who we are and what we do.

However, by turning our Service into something that goes well beyond both the spirit and intent of the simple ITU definition of why we exist...on a number of fronts...the predecessors of today's FCC who wrote all that garbage into Part 97.1 were the ones primarily responsible for laying the groundwork for most (if not all) of the current EMCOMM controversy about the blatant pecuniary interest implications of such activity...and, now....whether (or not) to encrypt those communications.

Clearly, what our own gormless FCC bureaucrats (and their ARRL handlers) apparently forgot (or ignored) way back then is the fact that sometimes, less really is more.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 12, 2013, 06:04:22 AM
Rather, it is the International Telecommunications Union (the ITU) that establishes and maintains the Amateur Radio Service in the International Radio Regulations.  As the United States is a signatory to the treaty that established the ITU, those rules have the force of law in the United States.

Sadly, few US Hams realize that ALL of these "other" reasons as to why we exist are not present in the International definition of our Service.  Our own FCC has ADDED them all.  And, to the best of my knowledge, this long "laundry list" of words defining our Service exists nowhere else on the planet.

I don't argue that the ITU doesn't give EMCOMM as a justification for the Amateur Radio Service.  But the ITU must provide language that is suitable for virtually all governments of the world, and must endorse the lowest common denominator in order to gain worldwide acceptance.

If an individual country wishes to expand on this (as you say the FCC has done in the United States), I see no reason why this should be viewed as illegitimate.  There may be some countries that don't wish the Service to be used in this manner, and they are free to sign on with the ITU Agreement without being obligated to do so.  Much as with third-party traffic, some countries may wish to allow it and some may not - the ITU does not include the passing of third-party traffic as a fundamental part of the Amateur Service, but perhaps some individual countries would, and those countries might even agree to allow other like-minded countries to share in such traffic.

In the United States as in all other nations, the domestic regulatory body has not only the right, but also the obligation to describe the purpose and justification of each Service as it sees fit, being bound only by the minimum parameters that an international treaty requires.

Quote
The ULTIMATE authority for what we do is not contained in FCC Part 97!

I do disagree with you on this.  You use the words ULTIMATE authority where I'd use words  like minimum standards.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 12, 2013, 06:09:19 AM
Nice explanation Keith. However I would point out that the ITU does not preclude the sovereign signatory entities from their own rules and regulations to implement and maintain amateur radio or any other service. Otherwise there would be 1 set of rules for all hams in all signatory entities, which there is not. So for good or for bad, the FCC has written their own regulations to regulate hams in the USA. Just as other countries have their own agencies that do the same thing.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on July 12, 2013, 08:28:20 AM
What U.S. ham has ever received a notice of violation from the ITU? Violation notices to U.S. hams will come from the FCC and they will reference the Part 97 rule that you violated. The ultimate authority for U.S. hams is the FCC and their regulations are in Part 97.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 12, 2013, 11:25:09 AM
Here's some information that might be interesting to learn about based on a little internet research on my part...

Keep in mind that the first U.S. regulation of the airwaves took effect in December, 1912 (http://earlyradiohistory.us/1912act.htm)

from http://earlyradiohistory.us/sec012.htm:
Quote
EARLY  PUBLIC  SERVICE

Because of the lingering concern that the government might someday eliminate their stations altogether, amateurs did make a conscious effort to improve their reputation with the general public. Setting up emergency communications became one of the most important amateur services -- The Wireless Amateur in Times of Disaster, from the April, 1913 issue of Modern Electrics, reported how amateurs provided assistance during a flood in the midwest. Two years later a second, smaller, flood affected the same area, and afterward The Ohio Flood from the Commerce Department's March, 1915 Radio Service Bulletin announced the government's plan to issue Special Amateur licences to prominent amateur stations in the region, in order to provide emergency communication. This plan was reviewed in Floods and Wireless by Hanby Carver from the August, 1915 Technical World Magazine, as the author proclaimed that "Thus has the 'ham' come into his own. At first ignored, he kept plugging away at simple experiments with his crude apparatus. Then as his feeble signals became perceptible to the powerful commercial stations he was made the butt of ridicule... Now he is a necessity--an auxiliary to the forces of national public welfare--and the Government feels the need." Other examples of public service were covered in articles such as News Out of the Air from the May, 1914 issue of Electrical Experimenter, which announced that the Central Kansas Radio Club was planning to "furnish the smaller papers of the state with the news from neighboring towns" for free, while in Iowa a farmer posted weather reports and other news for his neighbors, as reviewed in How Radio Brought the News to the Farm, from The Electrical Experimenter for July, 1917. In 1922, Charles William Taussig reported in The Story of Radio (Airplane extract) how amateurs once notified a local airport about a lost mail pilot, helping to bring him in safely.

This predated the League of Nations, the United Nations, and even the ARRL.

Another interesting section describes early Amateur organized (club) activities, which appear to center more on communications than science.  This makes me believe that organized Amateur Radio (at least in the U.S.A.) has its birth in both technology and communications.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure how it couldn't!

Quote
RADIO  LEAGUE  OF  AMERICA

In 1915, Hugo Gernsback chartered a new amateur organization affiliated with The Electrical Experimenter, its birth announced with great fanfare by The Radio League of America in the magazine's December, 1915 issue. As part of its efforts, the RLA began organizing "relays", in which Morse code messages were transmitted along chains of stations. A December 31, 1915 "rotary" message, originated by William H. Kirwan, operator of experimental station 9XE in Davenport, Iowa, was successfully distributed throughout much of the central United States. The RLA's next relay goal, scheduled for the Washington's Birthday holiday on February 22, 1916, was to distribute a message nationwide. And this first nationwide effort was a success -- starting in Iowa, the Washington's Birthday message was relayed from coast to coast, and eventually delivered to the President and 37 state governors, as reported by Kirwan in The Washington's Birthday Amateur Radio Relay in the May, 1916 The Electrical Experimenter.
If, in fact, communication is a fundamental and core aspect of Amateur Radio history, then how can emergency communications be that far removed?  Also, this organization (the RLA) appeared around the same time as the ARRL and apparently espoused many of the same goals and ideals of amateur radio as did the ARRL.

I continue to research a bit of the history of the ITU, which was founded in 1865, and the Berlin Conference of 1906 (to which the U.S. was a signatory) which inaugurated the first international wireless regulations.  The Berlin regulations (seen at http://earlyradiohistory.us/1906conv.htm) were mostly concerned with radiotelegraphy as a business and a means of distress-calling.  The important regulation in that agreement as it seems to apply to amateurs is simply, 'don't interfere with such services.'  Then more than now, that was probably easier said than done!

(By the way, in keeping with the OP's topic, I found that an interesting section of the Act regulating radio was this one, apparently covering all radio transmissions of the time:)
Quote
SECRECY  OF  MESSAGES.
 
         Nineteenth. No person or persons engaged in or having knowledge of the operation of any station or stations, shall divulge or publish the contents of any messages transmitted or received by such station, except to the person or persons to whom the same may be directed, or their authorized agent, or to another station employed to forward such message to its destination, unless legally required so to do by the court of competent jurisdiction or other competent authority. Any person guilty of divulging or publishing any message, except as herein provided, shall, on conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty dollars or imprisonment for a period of not exceeding three months, or both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
[/i]


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 13, 2013, 03:14:13 PM
If an individual country wishes to expand on this (as you say the FCC has done in the United States), I see no reason why this should be viewed as illegitimate.  

I wholeheartedly disagree.  

Let's go back to the basic ITU definition of our Service again, shall we?  

As I've noted before, that definition (in Article 1.56 of the ITU rules) simply states that ours is to be:

"A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."  (my emphasis added)

Note the words "self-training", "intercommunication" and "technical investigation".  Also note that we are a supposed to be a radio service for persons interested in radio technique solely with a "personal aim" and without pecuniary interest.

Again, I ask, where in any of THAT does it even allow for us to become some adjunct "emergency communications" service?  Furthermore, how does any of that EMCOMM nonsense fit with us being interested in "radio technique" solely with a "personal aim"?  

Or, to put it another way, what's "personal" about a radio service which allows a bunch of of First Responder wannabees to enable communications among both public and "for profit" agencies (such as private hospitals) when there are other Radio Services specifically created for that purpose?

You are correct that, under the ITU rules, Administrations (in our case the FCC) are enjoined to write regulations to implement the ITU's wishes.  However, that does NOT give the FCC the authority to write regulations that fundamentally change the basic nature of our Service thereby turning it into something else that the ITU never intended it to be.

In my humble opinion, that's EXACTLY what the FCC did back when they added all that "emergency communications" eyewash that's still contained in Part 97-1(a).

And this fundamental change is probably also why the FCC and ARRL (et al) are now having such a hard time trying to cram EMCOMM activities (activities that, in many cases, are clearly being done for someone's "pecuniary interest" and have absolutely nothing to do with private persons exploring "radio technique") into our Service.

Any way you cut it, turning the Amateur Radio Service into the "First Responder Wannabe Radio Service" (as the FCC did with Part 97-1 and which the ARRL continues to try and do) absolutely flies in the face of both the spirit and the intent of the international definition of our Service.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on July 13, 2013, 03:40:34 PM
One of the problems is that the spectrum we utilize belongs to the general public. Unless amateurs are providing some benefit to the general public we will soon find that spectrum being given to someone else who will provide benefit for the public. Due to the change in the nature of electronics these days hams no longer do much cutting edge "technical investigation". I think we will be hard pressed to justify use of all that spectrum for a relatively small number (compared to the U.S. population) of people to rag chew, work DX, and play with contests. With the advance of wireless connectivity for the general public, we are going to see a real grab for everything from 400 MHz through several GHz. I think the EMCOMM push by FCC and ARRL is a matter of providing justification for our continued use of spectrum. Without spectrum ham radio ceases to exist. Ham radio may be "only a hobby" but it utilizes valuable resources.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 13, 2013, 04:32:10 PM
Show me where in the ITU regulations that that definitively prohibits the FCC from making its interpretation as to what ham radio is. You can take portions of it and try to imply something that is not really there.

Now some may disagree with the direction Emcomm has taken, but that doesn't mean it is prohibited.

In Wisconsin it is illegal to drink and drive, ride, walk, be in public while intoxicated. But it is not illegal to drink. However a broad interpretation such as you apply would infer that because the law says most anything done impaired is illegal, then drinking is illegal. But it does not. And in my estimation, you are using a small piece of language to infer what you want it to say. Even though it does not support or prohibit Emcomm in general.

Now the merits of what is happening to Emcomm can be debated, just as encryption is being debated here. As a member of an ARES/RACES group, I don't agree with everything that's going on. But at the same time, I would never throw it all away because a few bad decisions were made. That is the whole purpose of the petitioning process in the FCC. That is where if you have a lucid viable disagreement with the regulations, it will have its day. That is if you take the time to make a petition instead of just arguing about it in a forum. Or if there is a petition in place, when it goes up for public comment, again that is the time to present a lucid viable argument for or against the petition.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 13, 2013, 04:52:53 PM
If an individual country wishes to expand on this (as you say the FCC has done in the United States), I see no reason why this should be viewed as illegitimate.  
As I've noted before, that definition (in Article 1.56 of the ITU rules) simply states that ours is to be:

"A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."  (my emphasis added)

Note the words "self-training", "intercommunication" and "technical investigation".  Also note that we are a supposed to be a radio service for persons interested in radio technique solely with a "personal aim" and without pecuniary interest.
"intercommunication" (or, communication as I more casually call it) is communication, whether it's for emergency communications or not - I don't see how emergency comms are treated with any distinction by that ITU standard.
"self-training" - rigid, disciplined technique and practice that is demanded by effective emergency communications (as well as weak-signal, contesting, and DX-chasing) is self-training, or do you argue this point?
"technical investigation" - this is the backdrop to on-air practice, required to even begin - much less maintain - an effective communication practice.  Most non-technical users farm this part out, but find it difficult to maintain communications when the knowledge that stems from technical investigation is not handy (in other words, the engineer is gone for the weekend).
Quote
Again, I ask, where in any of THAT does it even allow for us to become some adjunct "emergency communications" service?
I see nothing in what the ITU says that limits us from being (or at least providing) such a service.
Quote
Furthermore, how does any of that EMCOMM nonsense fit with us being interested in "radio technique" solely with a "personal aim"?  
Here is where I see your strong negative bias showing.  First, by labelling it 'nonsense' you are precluding any open-mindedness on your part.  That makes arguing over this rather more difficult.

But, developing one's skills for discipline and effectiveness is a personal aim, even if it is practiced in a manner that aids or assists another (at no charge).  It's much the same reason that a volunteer fireman might, for no pay, endure a fire, an accident scene, or some other dangerous rescue. They have solely a personal aim - even if it is rather oblique, such as "I want to help my community."
Quote
Or, to put it another way, what's "personal" about a radio service which allows a bunch of of First Responder wannabees to enable communications among both public and "for profit" agencies (such as private hospitals) when there are other Radio Services specifically created for that purpose?
There is no requirement for an emergency communicator in the Amateur Service to be a "First Responder wannabee," but the fact that you apparently term them to be such AS A GROUP leads me to believe that you have an ulterior motive behind wishing this entire use of Amateur Radio to go away. 

Amateur Radio may be used in lieu of many other radio services.  I have heard amateur users that had marine band, aviation band, citizens band, and railroad band services at their disposal, and could have used either service legally, practically, and legitimately for the exact same communication.  Hams still have autopatches that, while not equal to cellular service, still do interconnect one wirelessly to a landline instead of the "Radio Services specifically created for that purpose".
Quote
You are correct that, under the ITU rules, Administrations (in our case the FCC) are enjoined to write regulations to implement the ITU's wishes.  However, that does NOT give the FCC the authority to write regulations that fundamentally change the basic nature of our Service thereby turning it into something else that the ITU never intended it to be.
I presume you already read what I wrote above about my view of what the ITU - in one broad and encompassing statement - says, and how this does not "fundamentally change" or "turn into something else" the Amateur Service. 

And besides, as long as the FCC keeps any such communications within the national borders of the United States, the ITU regulations don't mean squat anyway.  The ITU was meant to create uniform regulations for services that transcend national boundaries, which is why nations who bind themselves to the ITU regulations are legally bound (that is, treaty as law) only to the extent that such services cross international borders.  A number of parts of the FCC's Amateur Service regulations are in place only to prevent interference to other nations' services as a result of the ITU "treaty."  If the FCC were to allow encryption of Amateur Service communications but the ITU did not, the FCC could easily add a rule that says such communications may not be directed to amateur stations in other countries, and thereby remain in accordance with ITU regulations.  Heck, the FCC even allows certain amateurs to be paid - I am not in agreement with it, but such communications are broadcasts, not QSOs, so there is no pay for interaction with other nations' amateurs here:
Quote from: FCC Part 97.113(a)4
The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.
Quote
In my humble opinion, that's EXACTLY what the FCC did back when they added all that "emergency communications" eyewash that's still contained in Part 97-1(a).

And this fundamental change is probably also why the FCC and ARRL (et al) are now having such a hard time trying to cram EMCOMM activities (activities that, in many cases, are clearly being done for someone's "pecuniary interest" and have absolutely nothing to do with private persons exploring "radio technique") into our Service.

Any way you cut it, turning the Amateur Radio Service into the "First Responder Wannabe Radio Service" (as the FCC did with Part 97-1 and which the ARRL continues to try and do) absolutely flies in the face of both the spirit and the intent of the international definition of our Service.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
You obviously have strong feelings about this, and you're quite possibly willing to argue this to death as a result. But I hope I've stimulated some new thoughts on your part on this subject so that you don't feel the need to rehash the same arguments again.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 13, 2013, 09:36:20 PM
And besides, as long as the FCC keeps any such communications within the national borders of the United States, the ITU regulations don't mean squat anyway.  The ITU was meant to create uniform regulations for services that transcend national boundaries, which is why nations who bind themselves to the ITU regulations are legally bound (that is, treaty as law) only to the extent that such services cross international borders.  A number of parts of the FCC's Amateur Service regulations are in place only to prevent interference to other nations' services as a result of the ITU "treaty."  If the FCC were to allow encryption of Amateur Service communications but the ITU did not, the FCC could easily add a rule that says such communications may not be directed to amateur stations in other countries, and thereby remain in accordance with ITU regulations.  

Hogwash!

I suppose the NEXT thing you'll tell us is that, by FCC decree, amateur radio communications originating in the USA could be made to stop at the US border.  

I know (from personal experience because I live a mile from the US/Canadian border) that US amateur transmissions....even on our 2m and 70cm bands...DO NOT all stop at the border. Indeed, local US and Canadian hams hereabouts regularly communicate back and forth across that international boundary using each other's 2m and 70cm repeaters.  And trying to somehow stop such communication by "FCC decree" would have just about as much success as their stupid rule that said CBers were prohibited from working "skip" and that intercepting cell phone communications is a "no-no" (unless, of course, you are one of the US Government's CIA, DIA or NSA snoops!)  

The laws of physics can (and do) override all such bureaucratic nonsense.  Even my US cell phone works in Canada as I've got it programmed to search for a US-based cell tower.  

Oh, and by the way, our good friends in Canada have no such Part 97.1(a) "emergency communications" enabling gobbledygook written into THEIR governing regulations for our Service.  Except for international emergency, 3rd party communication and disaster relief, they never did, and probably never will.

But, don't take my word for it...I invite you to read their Radio Information Circulars (RICS) and Regulations By Reference (RBRs)...documents that constitute Canada's "Part 97"...for yourself:  http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf05478.html (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf05478.html).  

I think you and others will be surprised at all the eyewash it doesn't contain.

Indeed, Part 97 is written in such a way that, unless something is specifically enabled in our Service, then its prohibited.  By contrast, in Canada (and in most other countries on the planet), unless something in our Service is specifically prohibited, then its enabled.

The truth is that the world of amateur radio (and other communication services) DOES NOT revolve around what the stupid FCC bureaucratic bumbledom says.  This is despite the fact that many US hams seem to think that what comes out of the mouths and keyboards of the gormless FCC pencil-pushers sitting on their (overpaid) finals in Washington is akin to the Sermon on the Mount.

It isn't.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF /  VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 13, 2013, 10:20:38 PM
I guess N3HFS is correct. Seems that you only want to argue.

Quote
The truth is that the world of amateur radio (and other communication services) DOES NOT revolve around what the stupid FCC bureaucratic bumbledom says.  This is despite the fact that many US hams seem to think that what comes out of the mouths and keyboards of the gormless FCC pencil-pushers sitting on their (overpaid) finals in Washington is akin to the Sermon on the Mount.

Quote
Oh, and by the way, our good friends in Canada have no such Part 97.1(a) "emergency communications" enabling gobbledygook written into THEIR governing regulations for our Service.  Except for international emergency, 3rd party communication and disaster relief, they never did, and probably never will.

And if the ITU were the sole governing body, why does Canada need regulations as well? Or any country for that matter? You see that's where you logic fails. You can't say that the FCC has no power to regulate, and then site Canada's regulations as being ok. That is a double standard. Either the ITU governs completely for all countries, and precludes any countries regulations, or it does not. Not much middle ground there. If taken at face value what you say about the FCC, then the same logic needs to be applied to all countries. I can't "afford" to test your theory though. But you can if you want. Sooner or later ignoring the FCC is going to catch up with you. That's another thing the "high priced overpaid", as you say, bureaucrats also do.

BTW, you never did answer where in the ITU regulations that would preclude any countries regulations. When you can answer that, then maybe your arguments would have some credibility. Until then, all you say is just a lot of QRM.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 14, 2013, 04:16:22 AM
You can't say that the FCC has no power to regulate, and then site Canada's regulations as being ok. That is a double standard.

I never said any of that!

I said that the FCC had no authority to change the ITU's basis and purpose of our Service (as outlined in their definition) by writing implementing regulations that turned our Service into something else entirely.  And they still don't.

That's what they've clearly done in Part 97.1(a) because NONE of that "emergency communications" nonsense (or for that matter, building a "reservoir of trained operators and technicians" gobbledygook in Part 97.1 (d)) is contained in the original ITU definition.  

Again, would you please show me where the words "providing emergency communications to the public" or building a "reservoir of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts" appear in the original ITU definition?  

Maybe that's because none of that eyewash is there.

Canada, on the other hand, didn't add any of that Part 97.1 nonsense to its regulations for our Service.  They (and most other countries on the planet) simply implemented the ITU's definition and let it go at that.

Big difference.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
kb1sf@blogspot.com (http://kb1sf@blogspot.com)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 14, 2013, 05:54:21 AM
Canada, on the other hand, didn't add any of that Part 97.1 nonsense to its regulations for our Service.  They (and most other countries on the planet) simply implemented the ITU's definition and let it go at that.

Big difference.

Well, then I guess that in your view either some Canadian hams are operating illegally under the umbrella of the RAC's ARES, or the Canadian government is just flouting the ITU regulations as well:

Quote from: https://www.rac.ca/en/rac/public-service/ares/
Emergency Radio Operators Are Needed

As the incidence of disasters and emergencies of all types and causes increases, so does the need for emergency agencies to provide help in stricken areas. Major emergencies can strike anywhere, anytime, without warning.

Often, existing means of communications, be they landline telephone, cellular phone or wireless radio links, become unusable because they are overloaded or simply no longer exist. They get overloaded when too many persons try at the same time to dial for help or to check on a friend or family member in a disaster area. They can become non-existent when wires and towers topple and electrical supplies fail, due to acts of nature or terrorism.

When emergency agencies are required in a zone of disaster, their regular means of communications can be affected by the same disruptive causes as others. That creates a need for a supplemental or back-up communications system, one that comes complete with equipment and trained operators who are licenced by the Canadian government, all at no cost to the public or the agency involved. In fact, these men and women are volunteers, members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) sponsored and operated by Radio Amateurs of Canada.

I guess that, next, you'll want me to research ham radio emcomm organizations on other continents.  Wanna bet they have them, too?

Quote from: http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1179:garec-2013-summary-report&catid=48:emcom&Itemid=99
GAREC 2013 - Summary Report    
Written by G0DUB   
Friday, 28 June 2013 00:32

The ninth Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference, GAREC-2013, took place in Zurich, Switzerland hosted by the Union Schweizerischer Kurzwellen-Amateure (USKA) and was attended by 45 delegates from 14 countries. The theme of the conference was 'Do we need emergency communications in the 'first world''.

Presentations were received on;

    The effects of a loss of electrical power on a countries infrastructure and how amateur radio could provide support.

    The role of the International Telecommunications Union in promoting emergency communications.

    The structure of amateur radio emergency communications groups in India and Italy.

    Three different methods of providing digital communications structures for emergency email and file transfer.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 14, 2013, 06:39:57 AM
Well, then I guess that in your view either some Canadian hams are operating illegally under the umbrella of the RAC's ARES, or the Canadian government is just flouting the ITU regulations as well

Indeed, that may very well be true.

But, once again, in Canada all that nonsense is not spelled out in chapter and verse via enabling regulation.  Sometimes I think many US hams feel they need to read Part 97 in order to know how to go to the bathroom.

It also seems to me that while it is certainly true that such things as "trunked" repeater systems and cell phones will be the first to go down in an emergency, real "First Responders" have also now started to realize that fact and are taking steps to build their own emergency "backup" communications systems into their emergency planning.  

This includes keeping a supply of those old, analog VHF or UHF hand-helds and repeater systems charged and ready to go in such situations.  What's more, such in-house backup usually costs them next to nothing to maintain.  That's because, very often their old communications infrastructure has remained in place when they made the move to a new trunked and/or encrypted system.

Unfortunately, our public persona as a group of horribly out-of-shape "old farts" using ancient analog (spelled "unsecure") technology "bricks" hanging from our overweight beer bellies certainly doesn't lend any added credibility to our cause, either.  In most cases, the real First Responders I've talked to would rather NOT have such "help" (thank you very much) because having to deal with "prima-donna" vigilantes like us while ALSO trying to handle the emergency at hand simply causes them more trouble than we're worth.

The bottom line here is that our "First Responder wannabe's" attempts to now encrypt such communications is a strong indicator that, regardless of what the FCC spells out in eye-watering detail in their stupid Part 97, our so-called "emergency" services are increasingly no longer needed...or more to the point...wanted.  

In many ways (and largely because we've allowed ourselves to become the "Radio Amish") our belated attempts to try and keep our Service relevant in the 21st Century is simply yet another exercise in "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".

In that sense, legal or not, all that eyewash in 97.1(a) has now LONG since been overcome by events.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 14, 2013, 08:00:56 AM
I get the feeling that we are slowing coming towards a meeting of minds, Keith.   :)

I'm finally grasping your narrow world-view of amateur radio emergency communications, and I think you're coming to terms with the justification and acceptance of emergency communications within amateur radio worldwide.

This discussion has made me look deeper into this topic and I appreciate that.

73
Franz, N3HFS


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 08:10:50 AM
It seems that one thing people are forgetting is that the United States is a signatory to the ITU and therefore has an obligation to follow the ITU basic regulations, such as the prohibition of encryption on the ham bands.  The encryption of information for transmission by Pactor, packet, APRS and other data modes is NOT encryption to hide the information.  Anybody anywhere can receive and decode that data because the encryption method is in the public domain and is freely available to anyone.

What the applicants want is encryption where the primary intent IS to hide that information!  That is the reason for the request and also the reason that request should NOT be granted!  I doubt like heck that this NPR will be granted anyway now that the ARRL has weighed in with its comment to deny.

If you want to play with encryption, by all means go ahead and play--using one of the publicly available modes.  If you want to invent a new mode, go ahead!  Just make sure that you publish it before you actually use it on the bands--today the dissemination of that information is much easier than it used to be.  You can just put a notice on this site or any other ham site where the public has access with a pointer to where the key can be found on the internet!  BUT--if you want to hide the information so nobody else can decode/understand the content, get yourself a business radio license and the appropriate equipment or have license rights given you by the involved authorities for use on their frequencies.  Don't try to screw around with the ham bands--where such encryption has no place or right to be.  Problem solved.  73!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 08:25:24 AM
What U.S. ham has ever received a notice of violation from the ITU? Violation notices to U.S. hams will come from the FCC and they will reference the Part 97 rule that you violated. The ultimate authority for U.S. hams is the FCC and their regulations are in Part 97.

As was just stated in my previous post, the US is a signatory to the ITU and its regulations.  Although the hams in this country (the US) do answer to the FCC as their ultimate authority, the US could also have to answer to the ITU--and the World Court--as the planet's ultimate authority.  It's too bad that people don't realize this, but long gone are the days where the US was the watcher and guide for the free world.  People who still insist that that is the case haven't been keeping up with the news--or the goings on of this country and its internal wrongdoings. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 14, 2013, 08:45:42 AM
The basic truth of human existence is that sovereignty is based on a people's ability to defend (or agress) against other peoples.  Nations and their associated governments are set up as a mechanism to define, organize, and empower this basic truth.

Nations will sign on to international agreements (treaties) when it serves their own purposes.  They will break them, too, when that serves their purpose.  There is no "world court" that can enforce a nation's adherence to international law, there are only militaries that can effect that change (see Iraq's modern history as a clear example of this).  Short of that, international diplomacy can be employed to convince a "scofflaw" nation that it is in their best interest to adhere to international agreements. 

World courts serve only as mouthpieces to justify and explain possible military and diplomatic efforts; such institutions are, on their own, powerless.  Even U.N. military deployments are composed of volunteer national contributions of soldiers and equipment that can be revoked at any time by the contributing nation(s).  There simply is no "planet's ultimate authority" outside of military might. 

Outside of national sovereignty there is only cooperation or intimidation.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 08:54:57 AM
Sorry Franz, but you're wrong.  There IS a 'World Court,' it is one of the functions/departments of the United Nations.  The only thing you're partially right about is there is no means to enforce their findings and or directives.  There is only co-operative international 'pressure' that can be enforced upon a defiant country--and even then that isn't something that can effect change--just as the international pressure that is now being put upon Iran and North Korea.

Added--There again, using the World Court to settle a scuffle about amateur radio--even between countries--is like using a club to kill a fly.  It's overkill.  


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 09:08:23 AM
If an individual country wishes to expand on this (as you say the FCC has done in the United States), I see no reason why this should be viewed as illegitimate.  

I wholeheartedly disagree.  

I do as well, but for this reason.  Just as the NEC (in the US, anyway) is the ultimate authority on how electrical systems can and will be set up, individual jurisdictions can add to the regulations for safety sake because of local conditions--but they can NOT annul any of the conditions that the NEC has laid out as basic regulations!

So it should be with the ITU and the FCC.  The ITU says 'no encryption to obscure the meaning' which should be taken as a basic regulation that cannot be reversed just because someone wants to play with encryption on the ham bands.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 09:13:28 AM
One of the problems is that the spectrum we utilize belongs to the general public. Unless amateurs are providing some benefit to the general public we will soon find that spectrum being given to someone else who will provide benefit for the public....

Again, this will go back to the basic ITU regulations laid out.  Sure, a country can go and auction off higher frequency bands, but if those bands are still used for amateur communications in an adjoining country, the companies who 'buy' the rights to those bands will find their usefulness extremely limited. 

I don't see the wholesale auctioning off of the amateur bands being done to any great extent anytime soon.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 14, 2013, 09:39:32 AM
Just as the NEC (in the US, anyway) is the ultimate authority on how electrical systems can and will be set up, individual jurisdictions can add to the regulations for safety sake because of local conditions--but they can NOT annul any of the conditions that the NEC has laid out as basic regulations!

So it should be with the ITU and the FCC.  The ITU says 'no encryption to obscure the meaning' which should be taken as a basic regulation that cannot be reversed just because someone wants to play with encryption on the ham bands.
The ITU exists to solve certain problems that pre-existed it. Those problems were specifically between nations.  When one nation had a service that interfered with another nation's service, a workable international agreement had to be hammered out and agreed to by all parties to solve that problem.

There is an implicit assumption that problems that existed solely within a nation could, should, and would be worked out internally by that nation's regulatory body.

If the FCC wishes to allow encryption within the amateur service, it most certainly has the sovereign power do so as long as this doesn't have implications that spill over its borders with other nations.  Only when the spillover is an issue across borders does a nation agree to partially give up its sovereignty in exchange for other nations' willingness to do the same for a common benefit.  For example, if U.S. hams were to hear Canadian hams talk amongst themselves with encrypted communications, the folks south of that border would hear these transmissions, but not have much to say about it.  It's nobody's business but the Canadians whether these are even amateur comms!  But if these were to seriously interfere with US amateurs' ability to continue using their service, then a dispute would need to be resolved using the ITU agreements as the basis for defining the arguments on each side.  I believe that this is precisely why certain transmitter power limits (on one or more bands - 440MHz?) are in effect in the U.S. border regions with other countries.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB1SF on July 14, 2013, 09:41:25 AM
I get the feeling that we are slowing coming towards a meeting of minds, Keith.

Perhaps.

Quote
'm finally grasping your narrow world-view of amateur radio emergency communications, and I think you're coming to terms with the justification and acceptance of emergency communications within amateur radio worldwide.

I think it's hardly a "narrow world-view" to point out that an Administration (namely our FCC) has taken the ITU's underlying basis and purpose for our Amateur Radio Service (as basically a "sandbox" for private persons to explore "radio technique" without compensation) and then added so-called "implementing regulations" that fundamentally change that basis and purpose into a "No Budding RF Engineer Left Behind" and/or "First Responder Wannabe" Radio Service.

Quote
This discussion has made me look deeper into this topic and I appreciate that.

Excellent! 

And I well realize that this discussion is not going to change people's minds...let alone immediately change the way the FCC looks at what we do.  This is particularly true as EMCOMM is now so thoroughly entrenched among our fellow US hams as a fundamental reason for our existence...as bogus as that idea may be.

However, the longest journey always begins with the first few steps.  And the realization that there's a fundamental disconnect between the ITU's definition of our Service and the FCC's implementing regulations for same is clearly one of those first steps.

Again, I invite you to have a look at my blog (kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)) where I discuss this and a whole host of other areas where the FCC's implementing regulations for our Service fly in the face of both US federal and international law.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF /  VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on July 14, 2013, 11:04:53 AM
Just as the NEC (in the US, anyway) is the ultimate authority on how electrical systems can and will be set up, individual jurisdictions can add to the regulations for safety sake because of local conditions--but they can NOT annul any of the conditions that the NEC has laid out as basic regulations!

Is that so? I thought that the NEC is only a recommended code that can be adopted in part or in whole or not at all by the local jurisdiction. Most do adopt it as part of their local regulations (for the sake of convenience) but it is up to the local jurisdiction to enforce it. The National Fire Protection Association (who published the NEC) has no authority to enforce anything.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 11:48:55 AM
...If the FCC wishes to allow encryption within the amateur service, it most certainly has the sovereign power do so as long as this doesn't have implications that spill over its borders with other nations.  Only when the spillover is an issue across borders does a nation agree to partially give up its sovereignty in exchange for other nations' willingness to do the same for a common benefit.... 

And I submit that this (encryption) is potentially a big problem, and that alone should stop this proposal in its tracks.  Did you ever hear the joke about the fly in a restaurant customers soup?  He started to complain--and the waiter shushed him, saying "Not so loud, the others will want one too!"

OK, say the US does allow encryption.  Other countries will either follow suit, leave things as they are--or complain mightily that the US is breaking the ITU regulations!  In any event, the ITU regulations are now dirt underfoot--and other countries will probably start violating parts of those regulations that other countries will still want enforced.  What good are the international regulations then?

No, no, NO.  Best leave well enough alone.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 14, 2013, 11:51:41 AM
Is that so? I thought that the NEC is only a recommended code that can be adopted in part or in whole or not at all by the local jurisdiction. Most do adopt it as part of their local regulations (for the sake of convenience) but it is up to the local jurisdiction to enforce it. The National Fire Protection Association (who published the NEC) has no authority to enforce anything.

No, the NFPA doesn't enforce it, the government does.  I suggest you look at the code and the associated documentation again.  It spells out enforcement and not undercutting its minimum regulations.  Don't believe everything you may read in wikipedia.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on July 14, 2013, 12:11:19 PM
OK, say the US does allow encryption.  Other countries will either follow suit, leave things as they are--or complain mightily that the US is breaking the ITU regulations!
I will try once again to make it clear to you how international law (treaties) and the ITU Agreement works:

If one countries actions or regulations don't affect another's, there is no legal basis in which the other country can file a legitimate complaint.

It's much like you (as an individual) trying to bring a case before the U.S. Supreme Court - no matter how important or earth-shattering the arguments, the Court won't hear it unless you can show that you - personally - were damaged by the law in question.

If the court doesn't buy your argument that you were significantly (and usually directly) damaged in some way by the other party's actions, you are not within that court's jurisdiction. This principle applies to nations bringing complaints to an organization such as the ITU.  The ITU simply has no jurisdiction over the internal affairs of any nation!

Quote
In any event, the ITU regulations are now dirt underfoot--and other countries will probably start violating parts of those regulations that other countries will still want enforced.  What good are the international regulations then?

No, no, NO.  Best leave well enough alone.
The purpose of international agreements is mutual benefit.  There is no other reason (other than sheer coercion) for a nation to sign such an agreement!  Nations simply do not give up their sovereign power without assurance that it will receive something in return!  

If the United States wants other nations to do its bidding, you won't find such "agreements" being willingly signed onto by other countries!  Such an "agreement" is more likely to be referred to as a "surrender document."


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 15, 2013, 04:36:45 AM
Just a tip, Franz,  don't be so condescending.  And don't try to 'make it clear' when you're cloudy on an issue yourself.  Your analogy of a case before the Supreme Court doesn't hold water since that court deals with in-country issues and can enforce their decisions, while the World Court deals with disagreement between nations and cannot easily enforce anything except with recommended sanctions against the offending nations.

Oh, and just where did you get the idea that the ITU has jurisdiction over anyone?  That was never said.  What WAS said is that the signatory countries have an obligation to follow those ITU rules, since they gave their tacit agreement to do so when they signed.   73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on July 15, 2013, 08:04:32 AM
Just as the NEC (in the US, anyway) is the ultimate authority on how electrical systems can and will be set up, individual jurisdictions can add to the regulations for safety sake because of local conditions--but they can NOT annul any of the conditions that the NEC has laid out as basic regulations!

Is that so? I thought that the NEC is only a recommended code that can be adopted in part or in whole or not at all by the local jurisdiction. Most do adopt it as part of their local regulations (for the sake of convenience) but it is up to the local jurisdiction to enforce it. The National Fire Protection Association (who published the NEC) has no authority to enforce anything.

You are correct.  In many cases, current editions of the NEC are not adopted by municipalities.  CA, for example, has its own set of electrical safety orders which take precidence over clearance and working distance requirements of the NEC.  And, those are codified as state law.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on July 15, 2013, 08:28:05 AM
....It also seems to me that while it is certainly true that such things as "trunked" repeater systems and cell phones will be the first to go down in an emergency, real "First Responders" have also now started to realize that fact and are taking steps to build their own emergency "backup" communications systems into their emergency planning.  

This includes keeping a supply of those old, analog VHF or UHF hand-helds and repeater systems charged and ready to go in such situations.  What's more, such in-house backup usually costs them next to nothing to maintain.  That's because, very often their old communications infrastructure has remained in place when they made the move to a new trunked and/or encrypted system.

.....

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF / VA3OB
kb1sf.blogspot.com (http://kb1sf.blogspot.com)

Hello, Keith.  Cogent and accurate comments as always.

I share your disdain for trunked-junk, if you recall some of my earlier rants on the subject.  The New Orleans system failure during Hurricane Katrina probably had the greatest impact so far with very real adverse consequences in loss of life, injuries and property loss.

Here’s but the latest trunked-junk failure.  Pretty embarassing for the City of Detroit: On July 5, 2013, the entire Detroit, Michigan police department trunked radio system collapsed.

 “Michigan State Police stepped in to allow Detroit's emergency system to use the state's communication system. This backup was used for several days while crews worked to restore the Detroit system.  Detroit Police Spokeswoman Sergeant Eren Stephens said that during the initial down time there had been some 60 priority one and more than 170 non-emergency calls that had backed up because of the issue.”  Amateur Radio Newsline No. 1874, July 12, 2013

Personally, I’m sick and tired of the Amateur Service being offered as a band-aid for poor choices made by local and state governments.  And, this encryption request is just one of likely many additions to morph things into an auxiliary for agencies having the stupidity to replace conventional repeater systems with failure-prone, unreliable trunked junk.

I know of one that acknowledged their “mistake.”  That was the Dallas, TX police department.  They went from a UHF conventional repeater system to a trunked system and soon went back to the conventional system.  This was several years ago.  They were lucky.  Their problems were mostly poor coverage, not a total loss of the system via single point failure.  The trunked system was given to the Dallas Animal Control to chase stray dogs wth.

73,

Lee
W6EM


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KF5AFN on July 15, 2013, 05:43:43 PM
Even as lowly tech,(for the next 2 weeks) I have the
 awareness to realize, I was granted my license by the FCC not ITU


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 15, 2013, 06:32:22 PM
I'll be sure to tell my voc. school and my boss that next time I see them. 

Who you got your license from makes no never mind, it's the agreements between countries that are being spoken of here--unless you consider yourself a separate country?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KF5AFN on July 15, 2013, 06:58:09 PM
No CJS the OP was about encryption,which I don't agree with, you hijacked this forum to promote your views on global harmony, some of us simply come here to learn from those with more experience to better serve our communities.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 16, 2013, 05:01:00 AM
Hijacked?  Wrong!  The 'global harmony' thing was part of the discussion about how other countries may see our (the USA) allowing encryption.  You know, hams also use HF for emergency communications--and unless specified (as some commenters have done) that encryption be limited to certain bands, allowing encryption may just open a pandora's box of problems.  


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KF5AFN on July 16, 2013, 06:05:28 PM
I'm not sure that a whacker isn't better than a wanker, and you sure qualify as that, you need to remember that this is a nation based on Constitutional law, not international law , no international court means anything on US soil. The Constitution clearly states that the government and it's institutions only exist with the permission of the people, You denegrade when you have the ability to improve. If your not willing to make the FCC better, please move a few miles North.
KF5AFN


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on July 17, 2013, 09:22:59 AM
Now down to namecalling, eh?  Well I'm not going to go down to your level.  If you want to play, you're by yourself.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on July 17, 2013, 06:25:07 PM
.......it's institutions only exist with the permission of the people, You denegrade when you have the ability to improve. If your not willing to make the FCC better, please move a few miles North.
  Interesting spiel.  How many Petitions, Comments, Replies, Objections or Complaints have you filed before the Commission?  Or before Congressional Committees, etc?  Attack or support the issue or its perspective, not people.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 18, 2013, 12:44:11 PM
Why all the fuss now. A poster said the FCC does what the ARRL wants them to do. They came out against it. So the FCC will deny it, right?

So if the conspiracy theorists are correct, its a dead issue. And if it is not dead, then the conspiracy does not exist. Let's see what happens.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N9LCD on July 18, 2013, 03:32:04 PM
Stan:

You forget the rules of all conspiracy theorists:

1.  It's a conspiracy not to have a conspiracy.

2.  If there isn't a conspiracy, invent or otherwise fabricate one!

Jerry

N9LCD

 ;D


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on July 18, 2013, 08:03:12 PM
Haha! That's true Jerry!

Ranks right up there with the bit I heard on 75M about the 70 CM band being confiscated by FEMA for a new emergency radio service.

And the fish that got away... :)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on July 18, 2013, 10:38:47 PM
Ahhhh HA!  I caught you using encryption!  Here's the actual deciphered text of the message that you sent.

Ranks right up there with the bit

I heard on 75M about a new emergency And fish being confiscated by FEMA. That's true Jerry!

for  radio service. the fish that got away... Smiley

 8)  (Denials are to be considered as PROOF of a conspiracy, so best to come clean)    8)


Time to go.  The nurse is coming by with my meds...



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._




Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on July 26, 2013, 05:44:13 PM
Now at a meeting I was at the other night, I finally did meet some "whackers".  Four of them to be exact.  You anti-whackers would have tripped all over yourselves to try and tell these guys what nutjobs they are.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on July 28, 2013, 03:04:39 PM
Now at a meeting I was at the other night, I finally did meet some "whackers".  Four of them to be exact.  You anti-whackers would have tripped all over yourselves to try and tell these guys what nutjobs they are.

Oh do tell...what was their main objectives and what kind of trash were they talkin?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on July 28, 2013, 03:41:10 PM
Oh, that the military and feds were shown up by hams in the use of HF bands in a practice exercise, and that they want to implement hams into a new communications force, and that we are so important now, they will soon be requiring security clearances, etc.  Once they left the meeting, some of the older guys chimed in and laughed out how out there they were.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N9LCD on July 29, 2013, 08:00:31 AM
Maybe those "wackers" are fantasizing about in the military 'cause they couldn't make it into the Boy Scouts.

N9LCD

 :D


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on July 29, 2013, 12:58:49 PM
Some people like bird watching, I like wacker watching.  Please tell, were they in uniform or undercover wackers ?  Did you get a look at their emergency response units (cars), lightbars or undercover grill mounted strobes ? What breed wacker were they, ARES or storm chasing wackers?  I need to document all of this, I need more info then just to say " I saw wackers".  Kinda like saying I saw a UFO and no details.

Thx
Bart


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on July 31, 2013, 04:10:07 PM
Oh, that the military and feds were shown up by hams in the use of HF bands in a practice exercise, and that they want to implement hams into a new communications force, and that we are so important now, they will soon be requiring security clearances, etc.  Once they left the meeting, some of the older guys chimed in and laughed out how out there they were.

That is just too funny....thanks for the share.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on August 01, 2013, 07:05:47 AM
This thread has gone from comical to ridiculous!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on August 01, 2013, 11:24:27 PM
This thread has gone from comical to ridiculous!

Rather fitting for Amateur Emcomm ..


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KC2UGV on August 19, 2013, 11:33:03 AM
So, what happens when the encrypted data just seems like background noise, and other amateurs go ahead and start using the frequencies, thereby interfering with the use of those frequencies?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on August 19, 2013, 12:12:44 PM
Encryption doesn't sound like "background noise", it sounds like whatever mode is used to send the encrypted characters. You are thinking of spread spectrum transmissions.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KC2UGV on August 20, 2013, 04:29:18 PM
Encryption doesn't sound like "background noise", it sounds like whatever mode is used to send the encrypted characters. You are thinking of spread spectrum transmissions.


So, what happens when it just sounds like I'm too close to a plasma TV?

If it's encrypted, I don't know it's there.  I just key up.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KS4VT on August 20, 2013, 04:40:40 PM
Encryption doesn't sound like "background noise", it sounds like whatever mode is used to send the encrypted characters. You are thinking of spread spectrum transmissions.


So, what happens when it just sounds like I'm too close to a plasma TV?

If it's encrypted, I don't know it's there.  I just key up.

First off it sounds most of the other digital modes, like D*, to an analog radio.  Operationally they can switch to clear to advise you that there is an encrypted QSO going on and you need to vacate the frequency.

Don't get me wrong I am not for it, just making a comment.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: AA4PB on August 20, 2013, 05:00:58 PM
"encryption" can be as simple as substituting one character for another. Any mode can be encrypted - it doesn't even have to be digital, although it usually is in this day and age. During WWII text was manually encrypted and then transmitted via CW. Anybody could hear the CW and actually copy the characters that were being sent. The characters didn't make any sense unless you had the key to decrypt the message.

At any rate, unless you are using spread spectrum you still hear the presence of the signal. You just can't understand the content of the message without the key.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on August 29, 2013, 07:09:32 PM
WOW..... just WOW!!!!!
I do love how people can set an argument based on a specific scenario and then run with it and demand to be taken seriously.
Creating a specific scenario and then claiming that ham radio can save the day during that situation is a bit silly. 

When all else fails.  What does that mean?   What situation creates that?  Phones down?  Phones and internet? Every public service radio system in the county plus the above mentioned?  What causes that?  Storms?  Nuclear holocaust? What is the actual situation?  If it's all broke what broke it?  If something broke it, then how is the ham stuff still working when everything else don't?  Do hams have some sort of magical radio network that will pass traffic when the public safety systems are all silent?  I need to hear about this.  I been in public safety radio for a while.  This cool new ham only technology needs to be shared with the public safety people.  You can't simply sit on it and not allow it being shared.  Is it some sort of ultra high tech battery? Some fuel cell that produces power from rain water and allows towers to simply spring from the ground as needed?  I need to hear more about this.  Is there some sort of secret society in ham radio that is the keeper of this tech?  I understand that it needs to be protected, but it would be worth millions.  It could save the starving pigmies in Africa even.  And what benefits for "The Children" it could have.  After all it IS for the children. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on August 30, 2013, 04:23:50 AM
VUL... Your disdain for Emcomm has been well documented in other threads. But you only look at things from your particular location.

In the rural county that I live in, the 911 center, dispatch communications, fire and ems paging systems, police car data exchange systems, fire and police repeaters, and even our own ARES repeater all live in the county seat which has a population of about 1500 people. The tower site where all the antennas live is on a hill in the city. The back up antenna systems are all located on a water tower about a mile away from the main tower site. The court house building is in between the 2 sites and houses all the equipment. Even the back up mobile command bus is parked in the garage of the courthouse. So even a small tornado could completely damage or destroy all of the infrastructure in 1 blow.

Then consider that of the 25 or so active members of our ARES group, only 3 live within a 3 mile radius of the county seat. That would leave 22 members who are dispersed in our county who can be called on to help fill the gap in such an event. Your right about it not being magic. It is simply by geographical location that hams could still put together a working system in such an event. And we train every year with our county officials for such an event.

Will that ever happen? Probably not. But it is comforting to know that if it did, we have neighbors helping neighbors who are ready, willing and trained to help. And that, at least to our ARES group, is what Emcomm is all about. Simply people helping people. Is that really such a bad thing? Maybe people helping people IS the magic!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K5LXP on August 30, 2013, 06:02:51 AM
So even a small tornado could completely damage or destroy all of the infrastructure in 1 blow.

So amateur radio is the backup plan to incompetent government?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on August 30, 2013, 06:25:08 AM
Actually it is the reality of living in a rural area with limited resources. Just like the question of a rural fire department buying Chinese handhelds instead of Motorola in one of the threads. A small tax base means limited resources. And I would gladly exchange some volunteer time to avoid higher taxes. Just like I did as a volunteer fireman for 25 years.

And yes, it is a portion of the back up plan.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on August 30, 2013, 02:34:58 PM
"So amateur radio is the backup plan to incompetent government?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM"


I know of no other kind of government.

A little personal responsibility generally trumps all the top down, heavy taxation and 'enforcement' by those who care less for your families than they do their own career and power base.


"That government which governs BEST governs LEAST."   - An axiom of Free Men


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on August 31, 2013, 04:05:27 PM
Quote
Do hams have some sort of magical radio network that will pass traffic when the public safety systems are all silent?  I need to hear about this.  I been in public safety radio for a while.  This cool new ham only technology needs to be shared with the public safety people.  You can't simply sit on it and not allow it being shared.  Is it some sort of ultra high tech battery? Some fuel cell that produces power from rain water and allows towers to simply spring from the ground as needed?  I need to hear more about this.  Is there some sort of secret society in ham radio that is the keeper of this tech?  I understand that it needs to be protected, but it would be worth millions.

GOOD GRIEF!  I must really be bored to read, much less respond to, such drivel, so I won't waste much of my time doing so.  The concept that you so lust after is generally referred to as DISTRIBUTED RESOURCES and is a rather basic, but proven concept.  If you don't understand it (and I expect you don't based on your writing) SEARCH for it on the internet.  You might actually learn something.
"I been in public safety radio for a while."  I presume you meant to say, "I've been... OR I have been...  Just curious, in what capacity?
Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on August 31, 2013, 04:11:13 PM
Sounded like sarcasm to me, Tom.  If it isn't....  well... ::)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on August 31, 2013, 04:30:05 PM
Quote
Sounded like sarcasm to me, Tom.  If it isn't....  well...

SARCASM??   ME???   Not ME!

Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on August 31, 2013, 05:36:44 PM
NO--No, not you--the passage that you quoted!  BTW, who did you quote?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on August 31, 2013, 06:09:32 PM
"So amateur radio is the backup plan to incompetent government?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM"




NO NO NO.  That is an incorrect statement.
Incompetent amateur radio is the backup plan to incompetent government.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on August 31, 2013, 06:26:33 PM
Now in all seriousness, what is it that hams think they have over public safety radio?
VHF is VHF, UHF is UHF and so on.  While low band VHF is no replacement for HF I can't see much of a need for long distance communications in all but the most dire of situations. 

I am not saying that every police force has all their radios programmed with all the FEMA innerop channels (even though they are required to).  But whats so damn special about ham radio that it's going to be able to pass traffic when the police radio towers are laying on the ground (and as FIB pointed out the ham stuff is on the same towers).

Have you ever heard of talk around?  It's the little button on the police radio that alows them to communicate simplex on the repeater output frequency.  Gee, they got simplex too, just like us hammies.  So if they can only talk 10 miles mobile to mobile on their VHF channel, how is it that you are going to talk any farther?



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on August 31, 2013, 06:41:43 PM
Well hams have something that the public service does not. That is another repeater in the next town that can be utilized without reprogramming all the radios to use it. Changing frequency on a VFO is much easier then reprogramming public service radios. Yes, it can be done, but it takes time. And in the interim, hams can pass needed traffic until the public service stuff gets fully back on its feet. That is what our group is trained to do. Fill the gap while there is a gap in service. Again distributed resources is the key.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on August 31, 2013, 07:32:41 PM
K1CJS wrote:
Quote
BTW, who did you quote?

Oops!  I don't know why I have so much trouble remembering that.  I quoted KB8VUL from Ohio.  And, yes, his previous post to my comment was DRIPPING with sarcasm which is why I responded as I did.
Kinda amusing, too.  I answered his challenge but he chose to ignore my explanation.  Obviously he didn't have an answer.
Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on September 04, 2013, 06:05:02 PM
First off... Tom,your hilarious.  I got better things to do than run right home and check to see if some grammar Nazi like you picked apart my post to prove their self worth.  Ironic that the only accurate thing in your post is you grammar Nazi crap.

As far as your definition of distributed resources, I honestly had to laugh.  The ham repeater in the next town.  Gotta ask,  When the local police is chasing someone or needs assistance do you think they radio into dispatch and ask them to call the next town over?  No, they get on their radio, switch channels and talk directly to them.  It's this thing called interoperability, maybe you have heard of it.   

So, any police dept, and especially the fire departments, which go out on runs together all the time and can ALWAYS talk to the FD in the next town over, are going to have all neighboring departments channels in their radios.  They are also going to have the FEMA interop channels in their radios which are specifically for situations where primary communications are impaired.

So, we are now back to this wonderful technology that ham radio has that the public safety people seem to be lacking.  Do your VHF radios some how talk farther than their radios?  Can't say as I have seen that.  Are your car and HT batteries some new super cell technology that work for days instead of hours before needing recharged?  Nope.  Same battery technology exists on both fronts.  I did see the comment on distributed resources.  And while that does have a bit of merit, on communications coordinator worth his tax payer funded salary is going to be employed long if he's not directed all the departments he oversees to have their radios properly programmed for not only talk around (simplex) but with the channels for all surrounding departments (also with talk around) and the FEMA simplex interop channels.  This of course is the commercial equivalent of a VFO.  Sure a VFO can take you anywhere, but when you only need to go specific places, it's actually sort of a nuisance. 
So again I ask, what is it that ham radio has that is simply not available and needed for communication when the local radio system is impaired?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on September 04, 2013, 10:37:34 PM
Have yet to see a VHF analog radio have interoperability DIRECT to a UHF trunking system. There is a point to point system for the area to pass traffic. But dang it, someone didn't put it in the mobiles. It is a dispatch to dispatch system. And since the dispatch center is down, guess that that's not going to work well either.

You see you probably grew up around a larger community where every department has all the latest toys to use. I can only speak for my area, not yours or any one else. You can continue to compare apples to oranges all you want. All I can say is at the present time, in the scenario I originally presented, that's the way it is in my area. So go on talking about all the things we should have, but do not.

Like I said, I would rather volunteer some time then pay for all those things you seem to think magically appear at every emergency government agency.

Rant on VUL! But until you know what we have and don't have here, don't preach to me about things that you may have and say everyone has it as well. If you really hate the fact that some areas may use hams to help out in an emergency, then stop being a ham yourself. Stop posting that what we do is some kind of sin. It will relieve the stress in your life, and you wont have any more worries about it.

You asked some questions that I thought were compelling, and I took some time to answer based on what happens HERE, not THERE. It was an example that tried to show where certain conditions in MY area we utilize what we have. And that happens to include ham radio. Like it, don't like it, I have stopped caring at this point. But like many other things, it is what it is. No pixie dust or magic. It is what it is.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 05, 2013, 03:21:56 AM
You want to know what ham radio has that the public service radio systems that police and fire departments do not?  That's easy--the rabid emcommers that think they're indispensable!   :D


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KF7GFL on September 05, 2013, 11:15:43 AM
KB8VUL asks a good question, "So again I ask, what is it that ham radio has that is simply not available and needed for communication when the local radio system is impaired?" Doing a bit of reading and looking at real-life situations, as opposed to making up unrealistic zombie apocalypse scenarios, I think it boils down to resources.

K1CJS's last response may have been tongue-in-cheek but he has a point. Let's assume there is a major event that brings down all communications for a particular geographical region. Everyone's first priority is going to be themselves and their families. Once home and family are secured, then professionals and first responders will be able to help those around them. So what happens when the guy responsible for putting all those fancy public radio services back online is still helping his/her family or is in another location and can't get to yours? In some cases, communication will be restored by some amateur radio operator long before the professional is able to get on the scene. Why? Because you don't need anything more than desire, a little studying, and a $15 license to get amateur radio functioning. Servicing those public service radio infrastructures requires much more training, certification, and credentials that are not nearly as ubiquitous.

If you need a recent example of amateur radio use during a disaster, do a bit of research on hurricane Sandy a year ago. Some areas relied on amateur radio for communications while others did not.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on September 05, 2013, 12:51:36 PM
And it gives the people who never really amounted to much in life an easy second chance to feel important, no matter how self perceived that may be.
GOD Bless


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on September 05, 2013, 09:34:32 PM
You want to know what ham radio has that the public service radio systems that police and fire departments do not?  That's easy--the rabid emcommers that think they're indispensable!   :D

BINGO we have a winner ....


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on September 05, 2013, 10:15:25 PM

Have yet to see a VHF analog radio have interoperability DIRECT to a UHF trunking system. There is a point to point system for the area to pass traffic. But dang it, someone didn't put it in the mobiles. It is a dispatch to dispatch system. And since the dispatch center is down, guess that that's not going to work well either.

You see you probably grew up around a larger community where every department has all the latest toys to use. I can only speak for my area, not yours or any one else. You can continue to compare apples to oranges all you want. All I can say is at the present time, in the scenario I originally presented, that's the way it is in my area. So go on talking about all the things we should have, but do not.

Like I said, I would rather volunteer some time then pay for all those things you seem to think magically appear at every emergency government agency.

Rant on VUL! But until you know what we have and don't have here, don't preach to me about things that you may have and say everyone has it as well. If you really hate the fact that some areas may use hams to help out in an emergency, then stop being a ham yourself. Stop posting that what we do is some kind of sin. It will relieve the stress in your life, and you wont have any more worries about it.

You asked some questions that I thought were compelling, and I took some time to answer based on what happens HERE, not THERE. It was an example that tried to show where certain conditions in MY area we utilize what we have. And that happens to include ham radio. Like it, don't like it, I have stopped caring at this point. But like many other things, it is what it is. No pixie dust or magic. It is what it is.

I really haven't played into this thread yet but here goes.

Exactly what type of Emergency Communication do you think the EMCOMM folks do? Do you really think they will be dispatching Police Fire and EMS?

Don't sell your local systems short, check with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept since they handle your after hours dispatching and see exactly what the capabilities are, I think you will be surprised.

I currently work in a 911 Dispatch for a very small town in MA, to be a 911 center you have to have a whole lot of back up systems, not to mention simplex systems as well. We also have all of the surrounding towns programmed not only in dispatch but in all our Police Fire and EMS Vehicles. I seriously doubt there are any Departments in the USA that don't do this.

Guess what ... NONE of it is encrypted, and it doesn't have to be, so long as EMS does not give a Patients name over the radio they are not in violation of HIPPA. Police side can give names all day long, and we do time a Tag or OLN is checked, just no Medical stuff.
Also you wouldn't even be allowed to answer a phone in a 911 center, you must have a certification and a background check completed and that's just for starters.

So what exactly do the ARES/RACES EMCOMMers think they will be doing in regards to communications in a disaster?

73, Craig
W1MSG


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on September 06, 2013, 03:32:30 AM
   

So what exactly do the ARES/RACES EMCOMMers think they will be doing in regards to communications in a disaster?

  More than likely being held in a reserve capacity in a rearward area drinking coffee and checking gear while awaiting replacement orders for front line casulties.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 06, 2013, 05:23:39 AM
...Guess what ... NONE of it is encrypted, and it doesn't have to be, so long as EMS does not give a Patients name over the radio they are not in violation of HIPPA. Police side can give names all day long, and we do time a Tag or OLN is checked, just no Medical stuff....

It's been said before in this thread and elsewhere on this board that there are exemptions to the HIPPA rules about confidentiality that covers just about any communication made over amateur radio.  It is simply not necessary to continue to refer to conforming to  confidentiality issues when there is no need for it!

That is the one reason that this thread is just so much horsesh*t--it raises a supposed issue where there is no issue to raise.  Encryption simply is not necessary, needed OR REQUIRED BECAUSE OF THOSE EXEMPTIONS for passing such information over amateur radio frequencies!

Although I know that it won't be, that should be the only necessary point of this whole discussion.  73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on September 06, 2013, 12:35:53 PM
I have NO need for encryption; I just want to mess with it.  Having seen some really neat stuff in one of my jobs, I'd like to learn more about it (and NO, reading about it doesn't teach very much at all).
So...guess people like me (and I think there are many) are just SOL.  Thanks again "land of the free".
Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 06, 2013, 08:24:44 PM
I have NO need for encryption; I just want to mess with it.  Having seen some really neat stuff in one of my jobs, I'd like to learn more about it (and NO, reading about it doesn't teach very much at all).
So...guess people like me (and I think there are many) are just SOL.  Thanks again "land of the free".
Tom
Well, once upon a time, hams and other experimenters used devices called dummy loads.  So they could operate a transmitter without radiating a signal.......beyond the bench.  Mess around all you want with a dummy load connected to whatever you want to.....mess with.  Make those codecs and algorithms to your heart's content.  If you think speedlimits are too constraining, move to Germany and drive the autobahn.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 06, 2013, 08:37:42 PM
.....
Have you ever heard of talk around?  It's the little button on the police radio that alows them to communicate simplex on the repeater output frequency.  Gee, they got simplex too, just like us hammies.
Talk around to your heart's content with a watt or so on a 700, 800, or 900MHz trunker.  There was reason cops and firefighters couldn't communicate post-Hurricane Katrina.  Trunked system with a dead tunking controller is no system at all, except possibly as a bunch of very low power simplex or in-cell repeaters. 
 
Quote
So if they can only talk 10 miles mobile to mobile on their VHF channel, how is it that you are going to talk any farther?
Try 40M or 60M mobile during the day or 75M at night.  You'd be surprised.
All not needed if and when FEMA shows up with their Sat trucks.....provided the satellite is functional.  Oh, almost forgot.  The ISS.  Certainly could be a very high level repeater, so long as we and the Russians are on good terms.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on September 07, 2013, 12:56:09 PM
Can the admin please setup a forum where you wackers can post a few pics of yourselves in your wacker gear.  I'd luv to see how you transformed your personal vehicles into emergency response units. And how about a few with you decked out in your ecomm garb, orange vests, ARES hats, tactical vests sporting a dozen HTs? I'd like to put a face to these posts:)
Wacker come forth and show ye self. Now serious stuff. I blame the ARRL for promoting this ecomm crap. However I understand they will promote anything that makes them a buck. So I suggest the ARRL start pushing ARUFOC. The amature radio UFO chasers will chase UFOs like the storm wackers chased funnel clouds! The ARRL will promote and back this new group. They can sell ARUFOC hats lined with tin foil so the UFO guys can't read you mind. And orange vests with ARUFOC on the back and lined with foil so the UFO can't get a tractor beam locked on you! ARUFCO magnetic signs for your car that turn red when the UFO puts out too much radiation. At night the marketing boys at the ARRL will stand on top of the building and shine laser lights into the sky and say, "there they are buys, go get'em :)
Presto, overnight a new breed of wacker is born :)
GOD Bless


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 07, 2013, 02:56:07 PM
Can the admin please setup a forum where you wackers can post a few pics of yourselves in your wacker gear.  I'd luv to see how you transformed your personal vehicles into emergency response units. And how about a few with you decked out in your ecomm garb, orange vests, ARES hats, tactical vests sporting a dozen HTs? I'd like to put a face to these posts:)
Wacker come forth and show ye self. ...
  A couple of them in Manatee/Sarasota Florida had SUVs decked out like this....... Plus, Whalen Show Me's and blue light visibars.....  As I remember, the official uniform of the Manatee Amateur Radio Club was an orange vest.

i.ytimg.com/vi/aDtMYs2X-O0/0.jpg (http://i.ytimg.com/vi/aDtMYs2X-O0/0.jpg)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KC2UGV on September 07, 2013, 08:55:59 PM
What do hams have that LEO's and FD's don't have?

Agility
Ability to engineer communcations systems, ad hoc
Ad hoc communications systems, in place

There's more, if one would only read the amateur code.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 07, 2013, 09:18:32 PM
....There's more, if one would only read the amateur code.

Now, that's something you won't hear in wacker ops outside of a repeater auto-IDer.  CW requires focus......


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 08, 2013, 05:14:12 AM
What do hams have that LEO's and FD's don't have?

Agility

Sorry, OM, but there are contradictory viewpoints to every one of your examples.  For this one, I'd venture to say that there are a lot--A LOT--more LEOs and FD personnel that are far more agile, can move faster, and are better trained than the average ham can/is.

Quote
Ability to engineer communcations systems, ad hoc

In most larger police and fire departments there is a person that does just that when needed with a few of the department menbers also able to set systems up.

Quote
Ad hoc communications systems, in place

And just what do fire departments do when at a major fire?  What do police departments do at a major incident?  They are able to do just that--and without a ham radio operator in sight.

Quote
There's more, if one would only read the amateur code.

The amateur code refers to how a radio amateur should run his station and handle himself.  It refers to how an amateur should be ready willing and able to help out, not how they should consider themselves one step removed from a first responder.  73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on September 08, 2013, 05:47:23 AM
   Wow, this IS a learning experience, until now I thought EMCOMMS meant :entry mode communications: i.e. FRS and CB. Can anyone tell me if encryption is legal on my Dick Tracy wrist radio?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 08, 2013, 06:09:32 AM
What do hams have that LEO's and FD's don't have?

Agility
Ability to engineer communcations systems, ad hoc
Ad hoc communications systems, in place

There's more, if one would only read the amateur code.
Although K1CJS has refuted most of what you've said, there is an important one that that you missed that most "REACT-surplus" wackers don't use.  And, local PDs and FDs don't have it.  It's HF mobile/portable operation.  You know, (maybe you don't) ala Field Day.

Why is that better than four-score and 39 trunker-junker, whiz-bang mother /\/\ broadband 700MHz web-surfing terminals in police cruisers?  Simple.  All of that fair weather junk is dependent upon infrastructure being in place and operatonal.  While it will be for most all local fire or police activities, it likely won't be during or after a major storm, earthquake or fire.  Nor, will those wacker-asset repeaters in public safety vaults and co-located on the same towers, either.  That's already been mentioned.

While FEMA, DOD, and state agencies have HF, local governments do not.  Try "getting out" to another area when there aren't cell towers and telephone dial exchanges.  Or, anything remaining mounted on a tower or overhead power or telco line.  Hurricanes are great at eliminating it all.

FEMA can plan ahead and have assets on the way for Hurricanes, but not for earthquakes, fires, and tsunamis.  FEMA satellite trucks require useable highways.  Will those always be available?  (an untimely meteor shower or earth-based military laser could silence the satellites, real fast) Then again, HF mobiles and portables that are from outside the affected areas need roads to get to the affected areas or helo transportation.

So, if you want to "pound the EMCOMM drum," what you said ONLY fits with respect to HF.  All the rest of the orange-vest activites are well covered by local public safety agencies.  If you want to join them, sign on as a reserve volunteer and get properly trained.  It might save your life.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 08, 2013, 06:21:31 AM
  ..... Can anyone tell me if encryption is legal on my Dick Tracy wrist radio?
I dunno.  Ask Sam Sung.  Then again, the NSA decodes EVERYTHING.

I guess I just don't understand.  It has been clearly explained that HIPPA doesn't apply to the use of the Amateur Service during emergencies.

Frankly, if REACTers want "super" Private-Line® for their repeaters, they need to get their hospital sponsors/employers to buy and license their own Part 90 gear and stop trying to convolute the Amateur Service.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 08, 2013, 08:10:34 AM
  Wow, this IS a learning experience, until now I thought EMCOMMS meant :entry mode communications: i.e. FRS and CB. Can anyone tell me if encryption is legal on my Dick Tracy wrist radio?

No, it means 'emergency communication'. 

To your question--Only if you're talking to Dick.   :D


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 08, 2013, 08:18:37 AM
...While FEMA, DOD, and state agencies have HF, local governments do not.  Try "getting out" to another area when there aren't cell towers and telephone dial exchanges.  Or, anything remaining mounted on a tower or overhead power or telco line....

You've brought up some great points!  This is all too true, and this is where ham radio assistance can shine--and where the amateur service was originally meant to lend aid in times of emergency.  It was never meant to supercede local official comm channels as the push from our beloved ARRL would have you believe.  Of course, there are exceptions--like weather spotting--but that's far from taking over official comms.

Quote
...FEMA can plan ahead and have assets on the way for Hurricanes, but not for earthquakes, fires, and tsunamis.  FEMA satellite trucks require useable highways.  Will those always be available?  (an untimely meteor shower or earth-based military laser could silence the satellites, real fast) Then again, HF mobiles and portables that are from outside the affected areas need roads to get to the affected areas or helo transportation....

Not quite always the case, since there have been FEMA equipment airlifted in in times of emergency.  Let's see a ham try to get a helo to get his emergency station equipment to a trouble spot!  

Also true, during times of war or major enemy attack, those airlifting assets can be wiped out, (in addition to our other communications assets) but if that happens--and to ALL of those assets--we've got more to worry about than lending a hand with our radio equipment.  Just plain trying to survive.

But still, you've pointed out what the amateur service should concentrate on.  Thanks and 73!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on September 08, 2013, 09:07:30 AM
Must be a slow day in Fall River also ;)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on September 08, 2013, 02:23:24 PM
W6EM's smart a** reply
Quote
Well, once upon a time, hams and other experimenters used devices called dummy loads.  So they could operate a transmitter without radiating a signal.......beyond the bench.

Smart a** answers rarely resolve an issue and so it is with this one.  Its pretty difficult to compare range with a dummy load attached OR response to interference, both of which are real-life issues with encryption as well as digital radio in general.  This is where experimentation is likely to be most productive.
But, like most smart-a** answer-givers, productivity is far from their mind.  They thrive on insults and demeaning comment; results be damned!
Tom
Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 08, 2013, 05:36:18 PM
Tom:  Perhaps, with the tenor of your remarks, you're displaying an unwillingness to think outside the box.  Maybe using not one, but **two** dummy loads could simulate your interference experiment(s)?

While we're at it, let's talk some more about interference.  He or she who occupies a frequency first is entitled to use it, per the FCC.  Analog, digital or whatever.  Then again, without a VFO, a scrambled-eggs equipped mother /\/\ HT has little choice but another pre-programmed channel anyway.  A pair of those was what you had planned on experimenting with now, wasn't it?  Oh, I forgot, Aztro Spectras had ecryption key devices as well and are pretty cheap, so could be a couple of those.

There is one other tool that might be useful in your surplus radio market research.  Something called an Anechoic Chamber, equipped with an overall exterior Faraday cage.  No RF into the AC and nothing out.

If you could find an AC large enough, several of your REACTive friends and you could experiment to your hearts' content on any frequency or band of your choice.....including 27MHz.


73.


Lee


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 08, 2013, 06:49:23 PM
Tom: One more thing.  I feel and felt strongly enough about why I don't think encryption has **any** place in amateur emergency communications that I filed Comments in RM-11699, as many did.  If you want to have a look at what I said, go to the FCC's ECFS website system and search under that proceeding number for my last name: McVey.

73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on September 10, 2013, 07:12:14 PM
Quote
Tom: One more thing.  I feel and felt strongly enough about why I don't think encryption has **any** place in amateur emergency communications that I filed Comments in RM-11699, as many did.  If you want to have a look at what I said, go to the FCC's ECFS website system and search under that proceeding number for my last name: McVey.

Not interested. (T)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 10, 2013, 07:18:21 PM
Roger-Beep.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on September 17, 2013, 07:43:58 PM
Couple points on the encryption front.

First, if you got the hardware, and you are experimenting then go for it. 
No one will know what you are doing any way.

Second, hams think they need to be aware of everything that is going on with their local repeaters.
Go become a trustee of a local machine that is the main line one that everyone talks on.  Rip it out and install a D-Star, or P-25 only digital repeater and watch the melt down.  It will be called encryption, illegal, and you will be the biggest SOB on the band.  Why?  Because they can't sit and listen to it with their 30 dollar Baofang or their crystal controlled scanner. 
If you are carrying on a conversation then they feel they need to be involved with it.  After all they may have some piece of useless unrelated information that they can break into the conversation with and spout off their self absorbed greatness about.  It's the same reason that the scanner heads bitch about encryption,  They can't decode it.  They will make any and all argument that it's a taxpayer funded system and the taxpayers should be able to hear it.  Or that the government shouldn't be able to communicate with themselves without public over site.  There are a number of reasons that are given.  Boils down to being overly nosy.

Old guard hams will hamper anything that means change. 
They didn't want no code tech licenses. 
We know how that turned out.
This will be no different.

If you REALLY are set on encryption on ham, you have to alter the modulation scheme of your radios and call it another mode.  If you have two radios that can communicate with each other and no one else has that tech, it's pretty much secure, even if it's not "encrypted".  Hell give it another 10 years and communicate with Morse Code.  At that point there will be so few operators that can copy the code that it will have the same effect as AES256 encryption and be perfectly legal.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 18, 2013, 06:31:34 AM
Perhaps there is more to defending open, unencrypted, analog FM use than you've pointed out.

In a true emergency situation where infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, the last thing needed is a dependence on an infrequent or convoluted mode for communications.  Let's think about that for a minute. 

If someone in the impacted area is himself or herself a victim, and they own and can use a simple radio (like a Baofeng or Puxing that you laugh about) for emergency contact with incoming resources, wouldn't it be a shame if it wasn't compatible with what the majority of radio users use arriving to help?

And, I'm not talking about repeaters still being around either.  Those are infrastructure too, just like the public safety repeater and trunked systems.  So, forget about repeaters, the Internet, and other "fair weather" crutches.

The key to post-disaster survival and intercommunication effectiveness is not who you can exclude, but who you can include......

As for "experimentation," with encryption, do it all you want above 1296MHz.  "Oh, but I can't buy any /\/\ surplus junk to use above 900Mhz."  So much for real experimentation.

73


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on September 18, 2013, 06:39:34 PM
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-dismisses-encryption-petition (http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-dismisses-encryption-petition):

Quote
09/18/2013

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 §97.113, 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.



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on September 18, 2013, 07:01:06 PM
I am SOOOOO Shocked! (sarcasm)

(https://lh3.ggpht.com/-lTszFSg636E/UJU73p-cjuI/AAAAAAAAARM/fcPcZ71T7YU/s1600/shocked_face.jpg)



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on September 18, 2013, 08:14:19 PM

In a true emergency situation where infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, the last thing needed is a dependence on an infrequent or convoluted mode for communications.  Let's think about that for a minute. 




Once again, ham radio is about NOTHING other than EMCOMM.  Do you ever tire of trying to screw up a perfectly good technical hobby with your EMCOMM crap.  I mean really.  You sir are as about as dumb as the fool that would show up to a disaster scene with a set of two radios that will only talk to each other.  I mean wow.  I have expermented with radios that radios that were only able to talk to each other.  They were based on old Cobra radar detectors that I had modified to TX and RX FM.  Not hard to do, bt they had no other radios that I knew of to communicate with.  Of course every K55 radar unit in every Ohio State patrol car could hear them TX because they were tuned to those freqs 2.4Ghz or close I believe. 
That not withstanding, I would never show up to provide communications for someone that actually needed to communicate farther than a half mile and was line of site. 

As far as your half witted attempt to say that Moto don't make radios that are encrypted above 1.2Ghz, well your right and wrong.  First, they do make any and all sort of 2.4 4.9 5.2 5.3 and above wireless devices.  Granted it would take a bit of work to get them to pass voice (like two computers and a chat software) but that is taking it a bit far.  Instead I would probably employ a couple UHF or 800 radios into a high power attenuator pad feeding an up-converter or a simple frequency multiplier. a doubler or tripler most likely.  That's actually very OLD technology that for the most part has long gone away.  Basically the radio becomes the entire IF section of the radio and you set the actual TX freq by the new master oscillator.  It's all a bit technical from there, but entirely possible.  TXing actual P-25 in this method any digital MUXed (TDMA) stuff would be sort of difficult becasue you are only able to TX FM with a simple solution like this.  Those modes have angular modulation techniques applied to them and a hint of AM as well.  When you get into C4FM and QAM it gets more difficult.  Mind you this sort of think requires the use of mathematics and a soldering iron (that's the think that gets real hot on one end that makes the funny soft wire melt when its applied to it).  I don't what to confuse you here with the highly technical stuff.  I realize that you have mastered the operation of a Baofunk (funky Bowel) radio.  Which is quite the accomplishment.

So let people enjoy the HOBBY for what it is, a hobby.  You EMCOMM guys are highly appreciated for all that you try valiantly to do.  You have no idea how many lives you have already saved.  Because after all, laughter is the BEST medicine.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K5LXP on September 19, 2013, 02:45:27 PM

Stick a fork in it, it's done.

" 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. "

http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-dismisses-encryption-petition (http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-dismisses-encryption-petition)


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 19, 2013, 05:30:54 PM
.....  First, they do make any and all sort of 2.4 4.9 5.2 5.3 and above wireless devices.
I think you must mean Motorola Mobility, what is now part of Google, and not Motorola "Solutions," the Icahnized skeleton of Vertex Standard's technology remaining.

 
Quote
.....I would probably employ a couple UHF or 800 radios into a high power attenuator pad feeding an up-converter or a simple frequency multiplier. a doubler or tripler most likely.  That's actually very OLD technology that for the most part has long gone away.  Basically the radio becomes the entire IF section of the radio and you set the actual TX freq by the new master oscillator.  It's all a bit technical from there, but entirely possible.  TXing actual P-25 in this method any digital MUXed (TDMA) stuff would be sort of difficult becasue you are only able to TX FM with a simple solution like this.  Those modes have angular modulation techniques applied to them and a hint of AM as well.  When you get into C4FM and QAM it gets more difficult.  Mind you this sort of think requires the use of mathematics and a soldering iron (that's the think that gets real hot on one end that makes the funny soft wire melt when its applied to it).  I don't what to confuse you here with the highly technical stuff.  I realize that you have mastered the operation of a Baofunk (funky Bowel) radio.  Which is quite the accomplishment.

Don't waste your time.  I know more about Bessel and Fourier than you ever will.


BTW, this thread should now be closed.  Encryption has been quashed by Scot Stone....

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0918/DA-13-1918A1.pdf (http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db0918/DA-13-1918A1.pdf)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 20, 2013, 04:54:59 AM
Re:  Reply 166  

How about cooling off.  There is room for everyone in this hobby--emcommers, experimenters, ratchet-jawers, contesters and all the rest.

Just because one person's cup of tea tastes bitter doesn't mean that that person doesn't drink it.

WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER!!!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on September 20, 2013, 08:09:15 AM
    Is it possible that this topic and responses is an encryption within it s self? If so I can understand why I am having trouble deciphering it.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 20, 2013, 09:17:39 AM
    Is it possible that this topic and responses is an encryption within it s self? If so I can understand why I am having trouble deciphering it.

What I find interesting is [that] somehow, what I said inferred I was a huge proponent of the over emphasis of Emcomm by our League.  I am not.  I am far from that.  In all things, people can go overboard.  One's choices might appear excessive to another (ham-sexy mobile with screw driver, Texas Bug-Catcher, etc. or Emcomm Wacker-mobile).  Each enjoy at least one facet of amateur radio or we wouldn't have gone to the trouble to get licensed.

I don't get on the air much anymore, as I am more interested in bench work.  But, on the other hand, I want to be prepared if confronted with a crisis.  I had several in my working years involving breakdown in public communications.  As we progress and grow more dependent as a society on walking widgetry, we don't stop and ask ourselves what if........we couldn't use the widgets.  Or plastic.  Or turn on the spout.  The TV.  The lights.  We need to do that or we will find ourselves totally helpless.

The last thing amateur radio need do is make itself less able to communicate with any other amateur anywhere in the world.  Think about that for a minute.  And, like I said, I'm not an Emcommer.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on September 20, 2013, 09:26:05 PM
Quote
WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER!!!

Perhaps W6EM could best answer that question!

Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on September 20, 2013, 09:51:35 PM

From W6EM:
Quote
Each enjoy at least one facet of amateur radio or we wouldn't have gone to the trouble to get licensed.

Funny!  That isn't the message I took from your comments to me on the previous page (11)  Didn't sound to me as though there was ANY ROOM for my interests at all!

                                         Roger-Beep.

Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: NN4RH on September 21, 2013, 04:25:18 AM

Funny!  That isn't the message I took from your comments to me on the previous page (11)  Didn't sound to me as though there was ANY ROOM for my interests at all!


You're totally misreading Lee's posts and making a fool of yourself.

Calm down. Read what people actually are saying, and not what you fantasize that they are saying.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on September 21, 2013, 08:42:09 PM
Don't waste your time.  I know more about Bessel and Fourier than you ever will.


Gee you sound pretty sure of yourself there.

I bet your the best Micor guy in the country and can tune a MoTrac 70 with his eyes closed right....

Guess I should go turn in my keys to the shop van and go back to doing computers. 
Gee wait, most of the newer radio systems actually rely on computers to run.
So I know computers and know RF and even which end of a soldering iron gets hot. 
You sit here and continue to pontificate your greatness there bub.... I will continue getting paid for mine.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 22, 2013, 07:33:16 PM
Don't waste your time.  I know more about Bessel and Fourier than you ever will.


Gee you sound pretty sure of yourself there.

I bet your the best Micor guy in the country and can tune a MoTrac 70 with his eyes closed right....

The least you could do is get the old nomenclature right.  Motracs were just Motracs.  The next ones were the Mocom 70.  Then, I think it was the Mitrek.  Then, Micor's turn.  Then MCX.  Then Mostar.  Then Maxtrac.  Then Maratrac. Then Spectra.  Whew, out of breath.  Then, along came Icahn and cell phones and it all got crazy.

Quote
Guess I should go turn in my keys to the shop van and go back to doing computers. 
Gee wait, most of the newer radio systems actually rely on computers to run.
So I know computers and know RF and even which end of a soldering iron gets hot. 
You sit here and continue to pontificate your greatness there bub.... I will continue getting paid for mine.
Nah, don't turn in anything.  Good luck with your van work. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 22, 2013, 07:36:45 PM

From W6EM:
Quote
Each enjoy at least one facet of amateur radio or we wouldn't have gone to the trouble to get licensed.

Funny!  That isn't the message I took from your comments to me on the previous page (11)  Didn't sound to me as though there was ANY ROOM for my interests at all!

                                         Roger-Beep.

Tom
Tom, you can experiment so long as you comply with Part 97 rules.  Have fun.  73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on September 24, 2013, 12:58:32 PM
Re:  Reply 166  

How about cooling off.  There is room for everyone in this hobby--emcommers, experimenters, ratchet-jawers, contesters and all the rest.

Just because one person's cup of tea tastes bitter doesn't mean that that person doesn't drink it.


Sorry but no room in this hobby for the wackers, you give us legitimate hobbyist a bad name. Please get it through your heads you are not emergency communications officers, you are not emergency responders, nor do you contribute anything to society no matter what the ARES clowns or ARRL tell you.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on September 25, 2013, 06:38:50 AM
Sorry but no room in this hobby for the wackers, you give us legitimate hobbyist a bad name. Please get it through your heads you are not emergency communications officers, you are not emergency responders, nor do you contribute anything to society no matter what the ARES clowns or ARRL tell you.

On that you're partially right--but watch who you label.  I'm as much against the active wackers who show up and get in the way with their decorated 'emergency vehicles' and their 'look at me' vests as the next guy.

Face it, there are other things in this hobby that raise other individuals ire just as much as the wackers seem to raise yours.  If the wackers keep to themselves and stay out of the way, they've got the same right to transmit on the ham bands as you do--if they have their ham license.  So get over yourself and your self-righteous indignation.  You're no better than they are the way you're spouting off.    


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on September 25, 2013, 01:48:14 PM
CJS,
From your response I think you Sir are the wacker as well. Can we please get a pic of your emergency response vehicle?
Maybe one of you in your orange vest ?
GOD Bless


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on September 26, 2013, 04:43:37 AM
K1CJS is most definitely not a Wacker.  Most Wackers have a penchant for bragging about how they've helped in the last fifteen local exercises.  Whether true or not.  Probably not.

Also, they like to brag openly about their "mobiles," with capabilities and pictures, etc., with tales of light bars, sirens, magnetic sign placads for the doors, etc.  No need to ask.  They have avatars and such displaying the pride in their creations.  Most already have /\/\ gear with encryption capability installed at the ready.  Saw one at a recent ham fest.  Black Crown Victoria Police Interceptor surplus vehicle, with antennas and call plates and looked inside to confirm it wasn't a LEO.

K1CJS has posted rational, reasonable material here.  Plus, from reading his posts, it's obvious he's far beyond 1st grade English grammar.

73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on September 27, 2013, 02:59:36 AM
Ah yes at the Hamfest. Reminds me of a little incident that happened at NEARFest a couple years ago. I meet up with a group twice a year at NEARFest. We all know each other pretty well and have a good time. Well one of the guys went out for dinner and came back around 10:30pm, when he drove in he went past the area where the whacker congregate. I guess they didn't like his speed and started yelling at him to slow down, he stopped and some words were exchanged. Not sure what the exchange was but I'm pretty sure he told them a thing or two.

Well shortly after a group of us were walking around checking out the nightly activities when another group passed us, as they did one of them yelled out Thats him with the white shirt. Well upon hearing that my friend goes over to them and asks what the problem is and they start in on him about speeding. A couple of them were obviously a bit impaired, especially this one big guy wearing a traffic vest. Lets just say it started to get out of hand, we attempted to walk away and they kept at it, following along. At one point enough was enough and the big guy was shown a Badge and told to walk away or it would not end well, eventually they did walk away. I must also add there was this one little guy that kept his distance and was egging the whole thing on.
Anyway we went on our way, we stopped at the building where there was some live music. While walking back to our area we meet up with one of the Deerfield Police, young guy, very polite, and he asks us whats going on. Well the little guy was again hiding in the shadows yelling show him your fake badge, hehehe, well the officer was quite surprised when he found out he was talking with 2 Federal Officers and a Maine Police Officer in our group. We chatted for a few minutes and were on our way. In the background we could hear him tell junior, they are exactly who they say they are and you need to call it a night... Most fun I have ever had at a Hamfest. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N0YXB on September 27, 2013, 09:19:58 AM
CJS,
From your response I think you Sir are the wacker as well. Can we please get a pic of your emergency response vehicle?
Maybe one of you in your orange vest ?
GOD Bless

You haven't been around eHAM long if you believe CJS is a whacker. 
Namaste,


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on September 29, 2013, 12:57:04 PM
Don't waste your time.  I know more about Bessel and Fourier than you ever will.


Gee you sound pretty sure of yourself there.

I bet your the best Micor guy in the country and can tune a MoTrac 70 with his eyes closed right....

The least you could do is get the old nomenclature right.  Motracs were just Motracs.  The next ones were the Mocom 70.  Then, I think it was the Mitrek.  Then, Micor's turn.  Then MCX.  Then Mostar.  Then Maxtrac.  Then Maratrac. Then Spectra.  Whew, out of breath.  Then, along came Icahn and cell phones and it all got crazy.

Quote
Guess I should go turn in my keys to the shop van and go back to doing computers. 
Gee wait, most of the newer radio systems actually rely on computers to run.
So I know computers and know RF and even which end of a soldering iron gets hot. 
You sit here and continue to pontificate your greatness there bub.... I will continue getting paid for mine.
Nah, don't turn in anything.  Good luck with your van work. 

Well, if you are / were in the two-way industry I can't see how these ARES hard liners can't drive you nuts with their idiocy.  How their ham radios on similar frequencies are so much better than the stuff issued to police and fire and how the communications coordinators are fools and hams are so much better equip to deal with communications in times of a disaster.  Personally I read this crap and my head want's to explode.  I have been to 911 centers during minor disasters like when the hurricane force winds came ripping through central Ohio.  Comms were effected, sure.  That's why I was out working.  We lost telephone lines interconnecting sites, lost the main link to the tower from dispatch.  I disabled the lost sited, and the sheriff ran on control stations until the telco got the lines fixed.  At one point the officers were communicating on car to car channels (simplex) but things got done.  People got taken care of and no one died that I can recall, at least from lack of emergency response.  The hams were giving out info on where you could buy ICE and fuel.  Now, that was useful information don't get me wrong.  But at no time were the hams out in the police cars providing comms for public safety.  And I don't know that has ever happened in the last 10 years anyplace. 

Point is that there are things that can be communicated by ham radio.  And those things are important.  But the idea of this "When All else fails" thing is a farce and falling into the league trap of being able to save the world with ham radio is comical at best and has a strong possibility of being VERY dangerous.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on October 04, 2013, 07:22:04 PM
Now, ultimately this thread was on the topic of encryption.  So lets get back to that.  Rules say no.  A recent attempt at a report and order said no.  Seems the short answer here is NO.  Now, if you have a burning itch, there is a cream for that. 

Look at it like this.
To run encryption you are going to need a few things.
First is radios that support it.  They are all high tier Motorola's, Harris, Thales and other high dollar brands.
Basic used radio is going to set you back $300 at minimum.
Then you need encryption boards and carriers for them to install them.  Looking at another $100 per radio.
Don't forget that you will need to have the radio flash upgraded so the firmware supports encryption.
Cost varies from 300 to 1000 bucks.

Lastly you need a key loader.  $400ish will fill need.

Once you figure it all out and apply the keys to all the radios that need keys you are in business, for about $2000
So the solution to running secure on ham.... Don't.  You are in at $2000 buy in.  Hedge your bets, file for a commercial license and get a frequency that you can legally operate your encrypted radios on and be done with it.

Conversely you could contact your EMA director and get them to authorize you on one of the FEMA freqs that are specifically for a disaster or another EMA licensed freq and you have the radios programmed to those frequencies.  You are then fully covered.  You can talk encrypted to your hearts content and do so legally. 



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on October 04, 2013, 09:07:21 PM
Oooooh, no need to pay any money to add strong encryption capability for a ham who already operates sound card DIGImodes.

To send/receive a LOT of strongly encrypted messages over radio quite easily, all that is needed is:

1.  A normal computer.

2.  FREEware like WINMOR (for example).

3.  Install PGP compatible FREEware onto the computer and follow the simple instructions to encipher/decipher your messages.  

4.  Send/receive the resulting file(s) through your transceiver using the soundcard like any other data file.  

Data is data. The PGP encryption will work fine for any file which could be sent over internet, because WINMOR is a full error correction mode. Sure, long files will be slower than internet because radio transfer rate is lower. PGP is perfectly fine for this application. Standard packet can do this easily on VHF/UHF links while the WINMOR software is excellent on HF and can of course be used also on VHF/UHF.


UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS PRESENTLY ILLEGAL IN THE "LAND OF THE FREE & etc."
Politicians have done everything in their power to see that that they and those who work
for them are allowed to communicate privately over radio. However, they become highly
agitated when mere human beings communicate privately. So kids, if you try this,
very soon, many LARGE men with no necks (and some LARGE women with no necks)
WILL show-up at your radio station . . .

   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(                 >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(       :o       >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(                 >:( >:( >:(
   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

. . . and it will go down hill rapidly from there. "Film at 11".

de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

 



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on October 05, 2013, 06:02:15 AM
This thread is getting old.  We need something new.  Hey, I know !  Why don't you wackers tell us why you should carry a gun when out doing your orange vest crap.  Let me get some popcorn and let's get this new topic going :)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on October 05, 2013, 06:37:46 AM
Politicians have done everything in their power to see that that they and those who work
for them are allowed to communicate privately over radio. However, they become highly
agitated when mere human beings communicate privately. So kids, if you try this,
very soon, many LARGE men with no necks (and some LARGE women with no necks)
WILL show-up at your radio station . . .

   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(                 >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(       :o       >:( >:( >:(
 >:( >:(                 >:( >:( >:(
   >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

. . . and it will go down hill rapidly from there. "Film at 11".

de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
My view has been that amateur radio is kept free of encryption because of the need to enforce rules about its purpose and use.  Once hams start to send encrypted transmissions, others would be unable to determine whether the transmission was in the furtherance of a business (for example). 

Unrestricted encrypted traffic from amateur operators would doubtless lead to exploitation of ham frequencies for purposes outside of the scope of ham radio.  After all, who doesn't want high power, free licenses, and plenty of bands and bandwidth?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on October 05, 2013, 08:00:14 AM
My view has been that amateur radio is kept free of encryption because of the need to enforce rules about its purpose and use.  Once hams start to send encrypted transmissions, others would be unable to determine whether the transmission was in the furtherance of a business (for example). 

Unrestricted encrypted traffic from amateur operators would doubtless lead to exploitation of ham frequencies for purposes outside of the scope of ham radio.  After all, who doesn't want high power, free licenses, and plenty of bands and bandwidth?

You've got the main reason that the hams aren't allowed encryption on the ham bands at all.  Too bad that these people who want change can't realize that.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on October 05, 2013, 03:29:54 PM
N3HFS -

I appreciate you views - really!

I was neither saying 'let's do it' nor 'let's not'.  However, the TECHNICAL question of how to have strong encryption over radio, using a very average ham station for zero dollars - that is what I was addressing. The odds of this proposal ever passing were slightly lower than the odds of Bill Clinton being a virgin: no chance.

Back to twisting wires for me.  I'm rebuilding a cool little radio transceiver!



73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on October 06, 2013, 12:43:58 AM
Quote
Why don't you wackers tell us why you should carry a gun when out doing your orange vest crap.  Let me get some popcorn and let's get this new topic going

I have observed that most of the disrespectful, ill-tempered replies to this thread, and others which cover controversial subjects (with one notable exception),  seem to come from 8-land. Wonder if there's a connection there?  Gotta admit, I've found no shortage of the same types in day-to-day encounters.  Wonder if its the water?
Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KD8GTP on October 06, 2013, 06:24:37 AM
Quote
Why don't you wackers tell us why you should carry a gun when out doing your orange vest crap.  Let me get some popcorn and let's get this new topic going

I have observed that most of the disrespectful, ill-tempered replies to this thread, and others which cover controversial subjects (with one notable exception),  seem to come from 8-land. Wonder if there's a connection there?  Gotta admit, I've found no shortage of the same types in day-to-day encounters.  Wonder if its the water?
Tom

Great to hear from you Tom,
Can we get a pic of your emergency response vehicle, Please?
And tell me, why do you feel the need to be armed when doing your orange vest thing? I appreciate your right to own a firearm but why the need to carry when doing 'orange vest' work? 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on October 06, 2013, 08:18:45 AM
Re: KD8GDP  reply #192

  Perhaps WB6GDN doesn't want to go through the hassle of disconnecting his dash mount camera to take a picture of his rig (response vehicle)  and anyone carrying a firearm may have a Vested interest (orange or otherwise) in protecting their ASSets. Jeesh, where the hell is this thread going?



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on October 06, 2013, 05:25:42 PM
GTP, thanks for confirming my observations.

JKA,  no, don't have a dashcam.  Haven't found a way to mount it on the handlebars yet (don't own a vehicle).  Besides, it gets in the way of the siren/pa switches and the computer.  Tried mounting it on the tin-foil hat but the reflections from the fluorescent green vest cause flares in the images so they're not useable.  Also, don't own a "rig".  I do have a bicycle and a radio, though (I don't speak "hamspeak", plain old English has always worked well for me).  By the way, does anyone know of a smaller high capacity battery that won't get in the way of the pedals?  That siren uses a lot of juice while "in pursuit" and the old lead-acid battery just don't hack it.  Also, I need to get a smaller antenna!  That 102" whip sometimes causes the "response vehicle" to tip over in a tight corner!  Kinda rough on the knees, you know!  Another thing, where can I get a badge that doesn't rust after a few weeks?  Ordered the last one from some guy in Hong Kong (I think, maybe it was Beijing) but not good quality.  Besides, he spelled "rescue" lescue.  Sure don't want to appear "amateurish" !

Sure is nice to find a group that tries to be so helpful.  I will be coming here often to get more advice.  I know I can count on this group to set me straight!

Tom


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 06, 2013, 05:40:59 PM
I have observed that most of the disrespectful, ill-tempered replies to this thread, and others which cover controversial subjects (with one notable exception),  seem to come from 8-land. Wonder if there's a connection there?  Gotta admit, I've found no shortage of the same types in day-to-day encounters.  Wonder if its the water?
Tom
Tom:

Am I the exception?

Gosh what a statement about 8-land.  I just returned from a week-long jaunt up to Dayton 8-land and I always enjoy it.  Lots of very friendly folks at every place I go.  More so than here in AL.  Also, great electonics store in Midwest Electonics of Dayton.  Reminded me of what Silicon Valley in CA used to be.  Loaded up on stuff that you can't find here in AL.  Better prices than Skycraft in Orlando and even some of the better  hamfests in the southeast.

 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 06, 2013, 05:47:19 PM
Ah yes at the Hamfest. Reminds me of a little incident that happened at NEARFest a couple years ago. I meet up with a group twice a year at NEARFest. We all know each other pretty well and have a good time. Well one of the guys went out for dinner and came back around 10:30pm, when he drove in he went past the area where the whacker congregate. I guess they didn't like his speed and started yelling at him to slow down, he stopped and some words were exchanged. Not sure what the exchange was but I'm pretty sure he told them a thing or two.

Well shortly after a group of us were walking around checking out the nightly activities when another group passed us, as they did one of them yelled out Thats him with the white shirt. Well upon hearing that my friend goes over to them and asks what the problem is and they start in on him about speeding. A couple of them were obviously a bit impaired, especially this one big guy wearing a traffic vest. Lets just say it started to get out of hand, we attempted to walk away and they kept at it, following along. At one point enough was enough and the big guy was shown a Badge and told to walk away or it would not end well, eventually they did walk away. I must also add there was this one little guy that kept his distance and was egging the whole thing on.
Anyway we went on our way, we stopped at the building where there was some live music. While walking back to our area we meet up with one of the Deerfield Police, young guy, very polite, and he asks us whats going on. Well the little guy was again hiding in the shadows yelling show him your fake badge, hehehe, well the officer was quite surprised when he found out he was talking with 2 Federal Officers and a Maine Police Officer in our group. We chatted for a few minutes and were on our way. In the background we could hear him tell junior, they are exactly who they say they are and you need to call it a night... Most fun I have ever had at a Hamfest. 
Too much.  Probably were a bunch of "REACTors" who QSYed to amateur radio. 



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on October 06, 2013, 05:54:39 PM
W1JKA asks a valid question. And I would propose another question to those who call people doing something to help their neighbors. If we are whackers and all the other derogatory things we are called because you oppose what we do so much, why bother to read and respond in an emergency communications forum? I ask because I would think a forum called what it is would be a place to exchange pertinent information and learn from others experiences, not to be bombarded by derogatory remarks aimed at others simply to cause trouble.

The real losers are those who try to glean useful information from those who give it, but find it hard to do when others just post to simply be derogatory, flooding a thread with useless verbal vomit that I am sure they would not use at the dinner table.

Does this mean I support over zealous people who become involved in encomm? No. Does that mean I should treat them like something the dog did on the carpet? Also no. Just as racism condemns an entire group of people, so do remarks that try to lump all people involved in encomm into 1 group. So just as racism still exists today in some peoples hearts, so does the hatred of all people involved in encomm. Sad, but true.

The true meaning of "Elmer" is being lost to those who scream the loudest.

So the battle rages on. Also sad but true.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 06, 2013, 07:34:15 PM
W1JKA asks a valid question. And I would propose another question to those who call people doing something to help their neighbors. If we are whackers and all the other derogatory things we are called because you oppose what we do so much, why bother to read and respond in an emergency communications forum? I ask because I would think a forum called what it is would be a place to exchange pertinent information and learn from others experiences, not to be bombarded by derogatory remarks aimed at others simply to cause trouble.

The real losers are those who try to glean useful information from those who give it, but find it hard to do when others just post to simply be derogatory, flooding a thread with useless verbal vomit that I am sure they would not use at the dinner table.

Does this mean I support over zealous people who become involved in encomm? No. Does that mean I should treat them like something the dog did on the carpet? Also no. Just as racism condemns an entire group of people, so do remarks that try to lump all people involved in encomm into 1 group. So just as racism still exists today in some peoples hearts, so does the hatred of all people involved in encomm. Sad, but true.

The true meaning of "Elmer" is being lost to those who scream the loudest.

So the battle rages on. Also sad but true.

I don’t think there is a serious parallel between dislike of certain human behaviors and traits and racial discrimination.  Are we guilty of unjustifiable discrimination when we criticize those demonstrating behaviors which we find offensive?  Like chewing tobacco, spittoons (or lack thereof), cigars, cigarettes, reefers, coke-tubes, hash pipes, beer bottles thrown about, body tattoos, etc.

Granted, we are going a bit far when we say things like “everybody in 8-land is a tad unfriendly.”

The subject of Encryption opens up Pandora’s Box with respect to denigration of the basis and purpose of the amateur service.  The ARRL, far more eloquently than a lot of others, said so much in their official FCC Comments.  I guess my greatest fear is the confiscation of our spectrum by pin-head hospital administrators and ambulance companies using the Amateur Service instead of  purchasing Part 90 systems for routine hospital business.  Yes, dispatching employees, ambulances running Code 3, etc., is routine business.  And, if encryption in our service were permissible, who’s going to know?

If Wackers wish to don their orange vests, flack-hats, and speaker-mikes in order to rush to Krispy-Kreme to transport donuts to the men in blue, so be it.  But, when they drive de-commissioned Crown Victoria Police Interceptors loaded with lights and antennas and a siren posing as a PA, that’s a tad too much.  And, are getting very close to being accused of impersonating peace officers.  I can almost see the headlines: “Ham operator arrested for impersonating a peace officer.”

My definition of EMCOMM is basic “Boy Scout.”  Be prepared.  A working transportable 12V HF radio, wire for an antenna, batteries, and a means to charge them or operate from a vehicle.  That way, with no infrastructure, including VHF and UHF repeaters, amateur radio can indeed be there when all else fails.  All the rest, including ARRL correspondence courses and the extensive diatribe in this thread, doesn’t matter…….  Group activities aren’t nearly as important as what each of us, as individuals, could do if need be.  That has to be protected and preserved.  Maintaining an unblemished societal reputation of amateur radio is an integral part of that ability.  And, unabated Wackers put it all at risk…..

73,

Lee



  


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: WB6DGN on October 06, 2013, 08:54:45 PM
Quote
Gosh what a statement about 8-land.  I just returned from a week-long jaunt up to Dayton 8-land and I always enjoy it.  Lots of very friendly folks at every place I go.  More so than here in AL.

Quote
Granted, we are going a bit far when we say things like “everybody in 8-land is a tad unfriendly.”

Lee,
Apparently your reading comprehension is a bit lacking.  NO WHERE did I ever say that EVERYONE is a bit unfriendly but ONLY that I've encountered MANY such people.  AND, conversely, because I've encountered many doesn't suggest that EVERYONE is that way.
On the contrary, I have many friends that I like and admire in and around my community.
However, in accordance with YOUR agenda, you try to distort what I say to suit your own wishes.  Don't you think its about time to let this "vendetta" go?  You don't like me and, frankly, I don't like you (or, rather, the things you say) so LET IT GO.  Is it so hard to just ignore me?  Go your own way, pursue your own activities and contacts and just PRETEND THAT I DON'T EXIST.  That's what I do regarding you.  And, no, I made no reference to YOU in any of my posts.  Until you barged in here, I had, honestly, forgotten all about you.  My reference was to another ham that I knew from a previous job, if you must know, and he's the one who was responsible for me to start looking when I found my last job in 8-land.
So, NO Lee, you're easily forgotten in my mind and I suggest that you do the same with me.  It surely can't be that hard.  If you're truly from the SF Bay Area, you know that people are very good at "forgive and forget" and have a "live and let live" attitude.  I don't like you; you don't like me; we're even NOW FORGET IT.
Tom



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W9FIB on October 07, 2013, 03:58:14 AM
Lee,

I agree with what your saying. My point was geared more for the people who lump ALL people who prepare into 1 category, be it whackers or whatever. Individual criticism for any particular trait of a few people would not fall into this. I bet a few of those who are doing the lumping would say your in the same group simply because you are prepared on hf. And that is the group that I feel do more harm then good.

As I have said, I do not support such over zealous people do who fall into that category of behavior, but to include those who are trying to do things the correct way, is the root of my criticism. And that lumping together can be just as dangerous to the future of amateur radio as those individuals that make an @$$ of themselves.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on October 07, 2013, 04:54:47 AM
Unfortunate as it is some people take the Emergency Communications thing a bit too far. They attempt to make it more than it is, by adding Emergency to the name they feel as though their response is needed and required for major events, even if its not wanted they attempt to force the issue. In another thread they are discussed being deployed to take pictures of a disaster area and send them in. I cant believe any EOC allowing radio op's to roam around in a disaster area. Another thread a while back spoke of carrying weapons, REALLY ... Your a Volunteer, if you think you must carry a weapon, STAY HOME! Otherwise let the people who are trained and qualified handle the firearms and you handle your 2m HT at the Shelter.

On another note I will be attending NEARFest in New Hampshire on Friday, I will probably see 4 or 5 decommissioned Crown Vic's with antenna's all over them, as well as the few guys wearing fancy vests with big Gold Badges stating their status as an Amateur Radio Operator. Magnetic signs on all types of vehicles with Emergency Communications and yellow lights all over the place. These are the folks that capture the spot light and give Emergency Communications a bad name. Not to mention the vendors that will be there selling lightbars, vests, and other assorted emergency responder gear.

Here is a video that is quite amusing, the title is enough to make me giggle ..  http://vidoz.net/video/YbrQ20BbkeH.html

I deployed to Katrina with the Army as an MP to provide Law Enforcement support and search and rescue, I can say that I didn't see any Emcomm operators while in New Orleans, the EOC that was set up had more than adequate communications to talk with a variety of services that were present. We didn't use our encrypted gear, but we did provide commo guys and equipment to the EOC so we would have comm's.

The encryption thing failed the common sense test and was not approved by the FCC. Finally common sense used by a Government Agency. It would open Pandora's box to everyone using the Ham Bands for what ever they wanted to because no one would who or what they were doing, not to mention HF Long Distance communications that would be quickly adopted by Terrorists both Foreign and Domestic.

Anyway my 2 cents worth if its even worth that.. Stay tuned for some amusing Photo's from NEARFest !

73,

Craig W1MSG


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 07, 2013, 07:06:50 AM
I have observed that most of the disrespectful, ill-tempered replies to this thread, and others which cover controversial subjects (with one notable exception),  seem to come from 8-land. Wonder if there's a connection there?  Gotta admit, I've found no shortage of the same types in day-to-day encounters.  Wonder if its the water?
Tom
Tom:  In response to your claim that I have "poor reading comprehension," I'm again quoting just what you said.  Your pontifications of finding "the same types in day-to-day encounters" and "wonder if it's the water" clearly show extension of your bias to any and all people from 8-land.

My responses, including this one, have nothing to do with like or dislike of you.  This one was made to defend the vast majority of good people of "8-land" who all drink the water.  (And, consume German cuisine at Schmidt's or like Graeter's ice cream.)

Perhaps you should pen your posts a bit more carefully and/or sit on them overnight; and re-read them before you make them public.

73.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 08, 2013, 06:02:23 PM
Unfortunate as it is some people take the Emergency Communications thing a bit too far. They attempt to make it more than it is, by adding Emergency to the name they feel as though their response is needed and required for major events, even if its not wanted they attempt to force the issue...........

73,

Craig W1MSG
  Craig:  To add to your point, the State of Tennessee "Jack Daniel's" their Wacker populace by allowing licensed amateurs to purchase callplates with "Emergency" across the bottom.

73,

Lee


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on October 09, 2013, 05:14:00 AM
Unfortunate as it is some people take the Emergency Communications thing a bit too far. They attempt to make it more than it is, by adding Emergency to the name they feel as though their response is needed and required for major events, even if its not wanted they attempt to force the issue....

You know, you've hit the major point of all the foolishness right there.  The really sad part of it is that the very point you cite is being pushed by--of all entities--the ARRL, the defender of the hobby and the ham bands, as necessary to preserve those same ham bands for ham uses.

I submit that if the ARRL wasn't pushing emergency communications and their "When all else fails" mantra, that there wouldn't be a tenth of the foolishness of decommissioned police cars with antennas, light bars, and 'ham radio' and 'emergency communications' plastered all over them, reflective vests, walkie talkies hung on belts with a speaker/mike clipped to collars or pockets, and badges with 'Amateur radio operator' and callsigns carried in wallets or worn openly.

Now, I'm not saying that the ARRL promotes things like that, but they promote the cause of the proliferation of those things, which is almost as bad.  If the open push for all things to do with emergency communications were to be dialed down somewhat by the ARRL, maybe the foolishness would abate somewhat--but I wouldn't count on it now--now that these things have been seen as a part of the ham radio/emergency communication package.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on October 09, 2013, 05:33:43 PM
Probably why the entire encryption thing even came up .. There was no merit to the proposal especially since most emergency services don't even use it, and those that do use it to defeat scanner land. The reasoning that they have it so we need it just didn't pass the test of what Amateur radio is. The "When All Else Fails" thing just doesn't stand true. When all else fails, so will Amateur Radio, no matter what anyone says. I loved the post about having repeaters in adjacent areas, well those repeaters are probably sharing the same towers as the real Emergency Services. I know we have all the surrounding area Frequencies in our radios and actually go direct with adjacent jurisdictions when something of immediate importance is going on.

Well I am looking forward to Friday and NEARFest is always fun people watching, CJS if you make it up for the Fest look for my Jeep, I will be parked inside. Dark Blue, Black Hardtop with Veteran Tag's cant miss it, it stands out for all the right reasons ...

73,
Craig W1MSG


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on October 09, 2013, 08:31:54 PM
W1MSG's opinion: "When All Else Fails" thing just doesn't stand true. When all else fails, so will Amateur Radio ... ".  

The facts do not support your opinion. As one very recent case in point: Colorado.

The many thousands of people in Colorado who just last month experienced the horribly broad swath of severe flooding which destroyed a great deal of area infrastructure would likely disagree with you. Thanks given to the hams of Colorado began with the badged public servants, right from the initial stages of the disaster. Ham radio operators did indeed use their various skills and equipment and volunteer their TIME to keep remote cities, communities, camps and isolated individuals connected 'when all else failed'. In many cases hams were the ONLY means of communications in/out of those isolated areas. They also used their communications capabilities for enhancing search/rescue and recovery efforts. I was from that area and have many friends and family still in that part of the State who gave me first person accounts. Remember that Western counties are often larger than many Eastern States. The damage was and is, immense!

You must have known about this, because there have been many articles written on this web site and elsewhere about the heartfelt thanks given to ham radio operators by the governor of Colorado and echoed all the way down through the chain of command. Those hams did a great job and when the time came that they were no longer needed, they packed-up and went back to their homes & lives. This was only one of the many incidents which occur world wide where hams are very useful, sometimes even vital.

Encryption was not mentioned, but ham volunteers certainly were. It would be silly to confuse the two.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on October 10, 2013, 03:39:22 AM
Ray we are talking Apples and Oranges. The Emergency Services Communications system did not Fail, they just didn't have people in those remote areas. It was fortunate that there were Amateur Radio Operators that did live in those areas and were able to report on the conditions.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: N3HFS on October 10, 2013, 05:37:30 AM
The Emergency Services Communications system did not Fail, they just didn't have people in those remote areas.
Right. A system sitting there, ready to use but without operators where needed, is not a failure when an emergency strikes.

Please read that sarcastically, because this is what amateur emergency communications is about: When there's no officials OR their equipment available, hams are still distributed amongst the "civilian" population and can get emergency (sometimes lifesaving) communications to where they are needed.

Now, the folks that live and breathe "amateur emergency communications" by associating strongly with officials don't have the kind of distributed nature that the entire population of (willing) hams have, so by their very nature they can be no more effective than any other "volunteer officer" (and are too often far less so).    

This, I believe, is the dichotomy of opinions that is keeping this thread alive for so long.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on October 10, 2013, 05:39:52 AM
That is why it has been said time and again that ham radio can be an important part of emergency communications situations--in certain areas.  Colorado was and is indeed such an area--but the eastern seaboard certainly is NOT.  Yet the rabid emergency communications enthusiasts would have you believe that wherever you go, ham radio is an indispensable part of any and all emergency situations.  That simply is not true.

In Colorado during the recent flooding, ham radio did indeed play an important role--but there is no doubt that it isn't the role that the nuts with their re-purposed police cruisers, orange vests, and their habit of showing up whether they're needed or not would have had it be.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on October 10, 2013, 06:50:31 AM
That is why it has been said time and again that ham radio can be an important part of emergency communications situations--in certain areas.  Colorado was and is indeed such an area--but the eastern seaboard certainly is NOT.  Yet the rabid emergency communications enthusiasts would have you believe that wherever you go, ham radio is an indispensable part of any and all emergency situations.  That simply is not true.

In Colorado during the recent flooding, ham radio did indeed play an important role--but there is no doubt that it isn't the role that the nuts with their re-purposed police cruisers, orange vests, and their habit of showing up whether they're needed or not would have had it be.

DITTO


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: GREGWTH7MMMAG on October 10, 2013, 05:42:48 PM
Can someone get some pictures of these repurposed police cars?  I've yet to see hams around here with them.  Usually the thugs with 22" wheels sport the police cars.  Other than a few odd vehicles, I would say most around here have pickups or suv's. 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 10, 2013, 06:03:14 PM
Can someone get some pictures of these repurposed police cars?  I've yet to see hams around here with them.  Usually the thugs with 22" wheels sport the police cars.  Other than a few odd vehicles, I would say most around here have pickups or suv's. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQeDp0yQZT4



Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on October 10, 2013, 09:30:05 PM
W1MSG: "The Emergency Services Communications system did not Fail, they just didn't have people in those remote areas. "

We see this event differently.  That being the case, for the sake of discussion, let's just say that there is an emergency where the civil communications infrastructure remains (miraculously) intact. Civil government systems are -by nature- built on the low bid, to minimum specifications and then once installed, usually manned with barely enough paid people to do the job - on an normal day.  //and usually for a princely cost to we the people... //   There is very little surge capacity designed into these systems because nobody is willing to sign the check for 'all that unnecessary capacity'.  I've seen it a dozen times.  So, when an EMERGENCY occurs, these 'just enough' systems are often simply overwhelmed, even IF they are are not physically taken off-line. Usually though, it is a combination of both physical damage/impairment of equipment and a severe shortage of 'surge' capability in equipment & personnel which fails during a huge increase of suddenly needed communication carrying capability for which the system(s) were never designed.  

The 'solution' for many departments is dependence upon cell phones for 'surge'.  Cell phones are amazing. They do however have their own wide web of dependencies. Of those towers still intact in Colorado (many were literally destroyed) , many had no power. Emergency power generators are ground mounted: you see the problem of generators on the ground in a flood. Like many floods, hurricanes and large wildfires ... this and many other emergencies could not be handled by the routine communications infrastructure. Enter ham radio volunteers.

>>> This would be a good discussion, but in another thread.  Regional differences are a significant factor, both in terrain and in "culture" of taxation -v- self-reliance as a solution for problems like these.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Ps. I know of a 3 county EOC built on 'nice' flat land which was chosen due to the low cost.  It was built on an old river bed. One flood, and three counties will go blind.  Politicians!  geeeeesh!    ::)


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 11, 2013, 12:23:03 PM
.....Civil government systems are -by nature- built on the low bid, to minimum specifications and then once installed, usually manned with barely enough paid people to do the job - on an normal day.  //and usually for a princely cost to we the people... //   There is very little surge capacity designed into these systems because nobody is willing to sign the check for 'all that unnecessary capacity'.  I've seen it a dozen times.  So, when an EMERGENCY occurs, these 'just enough' systems are often simply overwhelmed, even IF they are are not physically taken off-line.

Ray:

Not to ‘short circuit’ Craig’s opportunity, but apparently you haven’t heard about the ‘700MHz Rollout,’ that has been ballyhooed by the Commission and the big vendors, to urge public safety agencies to migrate to 700MHz where trunked systems, broadband and the Internet will be in EVERY PS vehicle.  Money?  Not a problem.  Gazillions in Federal DHS grants to buy all the millions of dollars worth of Batwing /\/\other /\/\ gear.  Let me say that again.  Gazillions of dollars of grant money.  Cheap, low bid?  Where have you been?   Simply ‘plug-in’ the /\/\ spec and presto, nobody else can meet the need.

As for failure of trunked radio, there are too many numerous examples to begin.  Common characteristic:  take out the trunking controller, no more system.  Happened following Katrina in New Orleans and probably the most notorious, even though Motorola managed to get a seat on the “Lessons-learned” FCC panel and helped with program damage control…….No, it wasn’t their gear, it was M/A Comm.  But, the 700MHz “program” had to be defended, so the specific details were not widely discussed in the proceedings.

Public safety systems are only as good as the design and that includes the basic concept.  Probably the funniest example involves the Dallas TX PD.  They put in a new trunked system.  Kept it for a few months.  Long enough to find out it didn’t work as well as their former UHF voter system.  So, back they went and gave the trunked gear to the Dallas Dog Catcher.

Boatloads of money to buy systems, so that’s not an excuse.  But, if public safety comms do fail, they do need help.  No argument there.  So, whether a trunked system, or a conventional repeater or just remote base simplex that conks out, our REACT-special VHF/UHF HTs and mobiles will be there.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on October 11, 2013, 01:52:30 PM
Em -

Sounds like you're in the business.  I loved your " /\/\BATWING/\/\" thing!  ha ha

Where have I been?  Small town America lately - which I prefer.  Here, the question is usually 'can we afford to put in a stop light'?  Gazzilions of  tax payers dollars (our tax dollars, returned to use as stray pennies after they fall out of the pockets of politicians ) don't seem to be coming our way - at least not after the post 9/11 flurry of interest in survivable systems a over a decade ago. 

You are alluding to the key point; 'yet another silver bullet' from a huge name in the industry. I am certain that you remember when the older trunked systems were supposed to have solved it all too and the system before that ad nausium.  I am certain that you remember the claims of 'robust interoperability and self-healing' systems ...   YMMV because mileage varied on that.  In some places and with some systems it was good. Many horror stories from other implementations, which evidently you know about.

I'm getting old, so I try to stay out of it, but here locally we're just recently into P25 compliance and people here learned that P25 is good when you have enough signal strength, but that the fringe area reception - where many of our first responders live in the mostly volunteer fire/rescue community - the satisfaction with even simple P25 is low compared to basic narrow FM VHF which was replaced per federal edict. Much of the local system relies on wire guyed, microwave towers for interconnection of repeaters for their county and State interoperability.  We are in a hurricane prone area.  'Nuf said about what full hurricane force winds do to such installations.

Will the new 700 MHz systems you mention, which we are told will someday be bought using 'free' money from The Fed, actually perform exceedingly better than the previous UHF trunked systems?  Who knows?  For many of these systems, the ultimate quality Assurance loop begins when the customer's system seriously degrades after the check clears for the expensive 'upgrade'.   ouch!

In short - systems designed for a specific set of users, doing 'normal' tasking are rarely capable of handling the surge required during wide scale emergencies. It's usually too big of a jump to go from retrieving data on license plates during a traffic stop, of dispatching fire/rescue to running wide scale multiple search & rescue, shelter operations and etc. This 'back channel traffic' often falls to volunteers, both for boots on the ground work (under supervision), with the many retired nurses who come to the shelters and etc. and for communications - at least here it does.  For this area, which is sometimes isolated by heavy storms/hurricanes, contact with 'higher' in Richmond has sometimes required HF ham radio from our EOC to their EOC.  For our non-badged community, it's one of many ways in which we help our neighbors when needed by supporting them with extra hands as needed.

de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._

Ps. I am officially stealing your '/\/\ BATWING /\/\ " logo thingie.   ;D

 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 11, 2013, 02:19:54 PM
Ray:  Many good points you made.  No longer in "the business," as was there as a tech too many years ago to mention, and later as a major user of a remote base VHF system with microwave and fiber links as a utility manager.

However, as a "/\/\" observer over the years, and a used-to-be batlabs.com lurker, I try to stay aways away, yet informed to a degree.  Last /\/\ radios personally were/are analog Spectras and low band Maxtracs on 10 and 6.  There "was" a P200 hand held I had on 10 as well, but, got hurt in my last move.  :-(

I can appreciate channel loading as an issue.  The fair weather performance of a given system is what is marketed, of course.  The sad truth of it is, those in government at a very high level (FCC PSHSB or DHS) should have long ago acted in the best interests of small local governments and objectively put the concept systems through a series of adverse consequence evaluations and produce a report telling it as it is.  Including the Achilles' Heels, where they are.  With respect to P25 and digital systems generally, what you describe is pretty well known.  Again, had someone discussed weak signal performance, bet that those spec'ing would have stayed with NB analog on the move to new reduced channel bandwidth.  Of course, "defacto" encryption of P25 to cripple the average scanner is attractive.

Am constantly reminded these days that we have the best federal government that money can buy...... 

73.

Lee


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on October 11, 2013, 08:33:31 PM
As much as I would like to stay on the encryption topic, there are some points being made here that need recognized.  First is the definition of a Wacker and the whole EMCOMM mantra that is being pushed by the league.  Yes, I have an axe to grind,  but it's only with certain operators.  These are not the guys that have set aside a spare radio and antenna "just in case" they would need to assist with communications.  These are the guys that use ham radio as it was meant to be, as a hobby and for the enjoyment and possibly the furthering of radio communications technology. The ones  that get me are the ones that you either never hear, because they only operate and in fact only got licensed because they are Supermen that are going to save the world with ham radio.  Of course the other type is the guy that either operates like they are some LEO dispatcher or continually are pushing or discussing the effectiveness and absolute need for EMCOMM.  They treat ham radio as if it was public safety communications and think they need sirens, lightbars and such for their ham radio endeavors. 

Now I say that with a bar on my truck and a siren connected into the radio. 
Siren does PA, radio repeat and air horn functionality.  Siren stuff has no buttons to turn it on.  In other words it don't go woo woo.
Horn is Handy for scaring deer out of the road.
PA is Handier for calling in the members of the Scout troop when they are off in the woods and it's dinner time or to warn the camp of the occasional storm coming in.  (Got a real tornado siren now so will just be calling in the Scouts for dinner now.)
Real handy for creating laughter when the local school football team is running wind sprints as I roll by.   Hollaring RUN FOREST!!!! RUNN!!!!  is always good for a laugh.

The bar is simple.  I was heating my house with corn.  Toted 110 bushels home at a time in a gravity wagon.  Got to be below 20 MPH and part of the trip is on a state route.  Getting people to realize to pay attention when the combined vehicle weight is 16000 is rather important.  Keeps me from slamming on brakes and crap so yeah, I use it for that.  Not much else. 
I got all sorts of comms gear in the truck, but I am a ham and am fairly active.  Would I help in a situation if needed, sure.  But I ain't about to spend time training on how to talk on the radio in any special way.  I don't see a need in using a tactical call sign and although I have a number of spare radios sitting around none are designated for the "Go Kit".  If it gets that bad that I need a Go kit, I will be breaking out a go away kit consisting of firearms and lots of ammo to make those that feel they need my stuff more than I do to GO AWAY... one way or another.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W6EM on October 11, 2013, 08:53:07 PM
Now, that's a good one.  A "go-away" kit.  An olive drab ammo can instead of an orange tool box.....


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on October 14, 2013, 04:57:34 AM
...Well I am looking forward to Friday and NEARFest is always fun people watching, CJS if you make it up for the Fest look for my Jeep, I will be parked inside. Dark Blue, Black Hardtop with Veteran Tag's cant miss it, it stands out for all the right reasons ...

Sorry Craig, I couldn't--but I did try.  Had something come up (as it usually does in my family!)  Thanks for the thought, though.  73!


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1MSG on October 14, 2013, 09:26:21 PM
...Well I am looking forward to Friday and NEARFest is always fun people watching, CJS if you make it up for the Fest look for my Jeep, I will be parked inside. Dark Blue, Black Hardtop with Veteran Tag's cant miss it, it stands out for all the right reasons ...

Sorry Craig, I couldn't--but I did try.  Had something come up (as it usually does in my family!)  Thanks for the thought, though.  73!

Well you didn't miss much, wasn't as busy as it usually is. The HRO booth had almost nothing there if that tells ya anything. The Whackers were there. I even saw a Decommissioned Black and White Crown Vic, Seems like 90% of them are From MA. My Phone camera was screwed up so no pictures, but I'll keep a look out I am sure someone got pictures..

Maybe in the Spring !

73, Craig W1MSG


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KB8VUL on October 31, 2013, 08:50:47 PM
Something else I noticed as I was going back through this. 
Ray, your comments on public safety being built by low bid is comical.
You try to defend ham radio and it's communications infrastructure, which is built with the discarded remnants of public safety radio in most cases to defend ham radio infrastructure. 
You imply that the overloading of a trunked radio system would never happen on ham radio with single freq conventional repeaters.
Please tell me your not trying to be serious.

trunked radio systems by design and implementation are far more resilient than a conventional repeater.
Heck, a trunked system even has the ability in certain failure modes to mimic conventional repeaters, and more over, with the programming being done right, non-essential  personnel's radios simply will not talk when a system has reached fail soft because the talk groups they use are not programmed with failsoft frequencies.
Getting to the level of being in fail soft is no simple failure either. 
There are the obviously the master system level controllers in a trunked system that allow traffic to pass from site to site.
Then each site has a controller so that the individual sites can stand alone as a trunking system with the local controller.
Both have to fail before you get to the point of being in fail soft.  And once you get to that point the public safety folks can still communicate.
How is what we have better than that?
Hell we can't even keep the squirrels off the weather net when a storm is coming through. 
You are going to sit there straight faced and try to tell me that everyone will behave properly during a situation requiring the activation of EMCOMM operators.
You can't really expect anyone to believe that.  RIGHT??
You need to check the news.  Recently in New Jersey there was a story of how kids with the cheap import radios are getting on the police frequencies and chatting it up causing officer issues.  You expect them to stay off the ham bands why?
Got news, there are A-HOLE ham operators too.  There are those guys that get their jollys keying up during any sort of communication and farting, playing music or just making an ass of themselves. Although some of them are operating on low power HT's and the like others will drive a signal down the throat of the repeater that no one can talk through, and get much enjoyment doing it.  They are also the ones that use the term wacker in any sentence about ham radio and make it a point to give them the most grief. 
Sorry man, but you logic is flawed.  If I had communications that I needed to get through, I will take the batwing trunk system every day over some conventional hammie repeater and twice as often on Sunday.  Those systems, while fallible, have internal abilities to deal with that sort of interference.  They simply put the channel being interferred with out of service and direct the subscriber to another channel.  More over, there is a log of who (radio ID) did what.  If someone is screwing around, everyone knows who is doing it.  If someone has cloned an ID, then the ID can be restricted from the system.
 How are we doing that with ham radio.  We ain't.  Which is too bad, as it would come in very handy at times.

 
 


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on November 01, 2013, 10:04:12 AM
K8VUL

I am glad that the systems in your area were all bought on the highest bid, have MORE than sufficient throughput and extra personnel to handle all contingencies, no matter how rare or minor including: shelter comms , Red Cross liaison, status reporting to next of kin, lost and found pets on top of the primary design for public safety.  Unfortunately, I am not rich enough to handle the tax burden to live alongside you in The Emerald City, where everything works all the time. It must be marvelous (and expensive).

(http://web.mit.edu/4.617/www/Images/cuddon-%20emeraldcity3.jpg)

... but I do know from experience how it works in the places I have lived, which represent a more median way of life. I have not seen a city/county communication system yet which had enough surge capacity of throughput and the otherwise excess personnel on stand-by, just waiting for the relatively rare "extreme" situations, like the Colorado flooding, our hurricanes & etc.  That would be rightly seen as excess spending (re: Washington DC) .  I have seen many local LEOs running chronic overtime to handle even the normal shifts, the healthcare and their staff seriously under staffed and underfunded and etc. So our volunteers: nurses, retired doctors, cooks , churches and a few hams are greatly appreciated in this area  - on the rare occasion - when a bit of extra help is needed: neighbors helping neighbors. Around here, this is considered normal and just 'good manners'.

I can only speak from experience. Naturally, you are in a city far away, so your mileage may vary.


de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Ps. Jammers?  BT&DT - the sheriffs office in Laramer county Colorado had a problem as you describe.  It was a long time ago - Y2K.  It was solved in a few hours by a single ham who was pat of the huge call-out to back-up the tri-country area for Y2K transition. He located the transmitter in about one hour with his VHF doppler DF set in his truck.  The van full of deputies handled it as soon as the house was located. Three morons, one of whom was ACTIVE DUTY AIR FORCE began blithering about trying to start a shooting war with the Feds - lunatics.  That made the jump from it only being 'three drunks with a ham radio' to domestic terrorism - even before 9/11. Again - the sheriff's office had suffered this for months; an hour or two hour of a radio techie with a home made DF set on his pick-up truck solved it (Good job Bart!).  Small wonder they like hams in that area.  This is the same area hit by the horrible flooding just a few months ago where hams again received great praise for their excellent community support.

What is the longest single thread on record on E-Ham?  Are we going to set the record for this thread?


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W1JKA on November 01, 2013, 03:55:18 PM
I'll keep it rolling: Picture this, if every gun owner in the U.S. also owned a small UHF/VHF HT with a small solar charger we would have COMPLETE country wide EMCOMM coverage just by line of sight alone. I admit command and control would be a little sketchy at first but as with everything else it would eventually sort itself out and communications would be passed.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on November 02, 2013, 06:25:20 AM
K8VUL

I am glad that the systems in your area were all bought on the highest bid, have MORE than sufficient throughput and extra personnel to handle all contingencies, no matter how rare or minor including: shelter comms , Red Cross liaison, status reporting to next of kin, lost and found pets on top of the primary design for public safety.  Unfortunately, I am not rich enough to handle the tax burden to live alongside you in The Emerald City, where everything works all the time. It must be marvelous (and expensive).....

And here it goes--from one extreme to another.  Lunacy in its finest form.

Nobody said that the most expensive, highest bid systems were always used, but on the other hand, the lowest bid weren't always used either.  Saying that that IS the case isn't doing justice to anyone.  The public service comms systems bids aren't designed to handle every single contingency no matter how far fetched it could be either.  They ARE designed, however, to be flexible enough to be able to be useful during emergency situations, seeing that those situations are less than 1 percent of the total time the system is in use.

I said it before, I'll say it again--this thread has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: K1CJS on November 02, 2013, 06:55:55 AM
W1MSG: "The Emergency Services Communications system did not Fail, they just didn't have people in those remote areas. "

We see this event differently.  That being the case, for the sake of discussion, let's just say that there is an emergency where the civil communications infrastructure remains (miraculously) intact....

Let's also not confuse purposed, functioning systems in high population areas with systems in areas that are for all intents rural--with little population.  There can be a system in place with relays and repeaters, but if there is a lack of LEOs and or public safety/service personnel in that area, that system can be next to useless.  That could have been the situation in Colorado during the flooding.


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: W7ASA on November 05, 2013, 08:41:49 PM
K1CJS say:  "And here it goes--from one extreme to another."

CORRECT! and as intended to be. (Please see below.)

Because of this resorting to straw man arguments , that is, making up statements which the other person never said, yet claiming that those hams who do volunteer work 'said this or or that',  I decided to do this myself - once - to make that point using an hyperbole of the all-or-nothing, black or white, ("couch potato" OR "whacker") straw man argument which is found too often in what should be a rational and interesting discussion among the fraternity of ham radio operators.  ( - and frankly to have some fun with it. I liked the Oz picture very much).

---

QQQ: If ham volunteers are never needed, then why are we occasionally activated by our State and local governments?
( Provided emergency power, operating space, water, food &etc. )

If hams are not called out in your area - then that's how it is in your area.  I believe you and have never said otherwise as it relates to - you. However, we are "activated" (their term - not mine)  here -rarely- so,  evidently we are needed or at least very strongly wanted on those rare occasions when the situation warrants it. That is how it is here and I have no idea WHY that is such a sore spot for others who do not believe that hams are seen as an asset in many communities. OTOH - in the next county over, they make no use of ham volunteers, using only government and registered NGO support.  To each their own no worries.


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._
  


Title: RE: Once again whackers wanna screw up the hobby... Encryption
Post by: KF7VXA on December 08, 2013, 03:04:52 PM
Not sure if I posted this already, but the hospital and EMT's just use "Patient #1, #2 etc." to ID the patients, then they can say anything they want about a patient and then figure it out when the patient arrives at the hospital, no encryption needed.
HIPPA not violated.

73's John KF7VXA