[HamWAN PSDR] Encryption on HamWAN

Bryan Fields Bryan at bryanfields.net
Sun Jul 28 14:10:23 PDT 2019

On 7/19/19 3:17 PM, Thom Wescott wrote:
> Nigel,
> Thanks for the reminder, I'm not one to argue that, but it does bring up a
> question.  There is not much of the web left that is not HTTPS, I'm
> thinking particularly of emergency management sites such  as WebEOC. Is
> this violation likely to be excused when providing communications support
> in a real public emergency?

I take a much different view of it.

97.113 (a)4 says "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning"
97.311 (a) says "SS emission transmissions must not be used for the purpose of
obscuring the meaning of any communication"

Note that encryption is not called out by name here.  It simply states the
intent must not be to obscure the communication.  Based on this my view is
that having a link layer encryption in the amateur service (ie on the radios)
is not permitted, authentication is, and encryption with a well published key
used only for authentication is permitted.

As we get higher up in the stack, L4 HTTPS is forced upon you by the server.
It's not the end users intent to encrypt it, and certainly you're not
intending to obscure it.  Since your intent is not to obscure the meaning,
it's not in violation of part 97.

This hasn't been a problem so the FCC has not clarified this.

I take the view that some https traffic is permitted on the ham band.  If it's
that much of a concern, run it part 15, but you lose out on 3.4 GHz which is
the only good option for backhaul in many areas.

Bryan Fields

727-409-1194 - Voice

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