FCC Opens Rulemaking to Allow Encryption in Amateur Radio Service

Status
Not open for further replies.

rdale

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
11,380
Location
Lansing, MI
Nice find! This could offer some real advantages for emergency communications... Hope the FCC moves ahead on this.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
1,915
Location
parma,ohio
encryption on emergency ham frequencys

I wounder how thats going to work i own a XTS-2500 UHF with ADP and it works great would be nice if that is whats used is ADP.
 

Thunderknight

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
2,009
Location
Bletchley Park
Of course if people really understood what is, and more importantly, is NOT covered by HIPAA that would alleviate some of these concerns.

Even if the FCC were to allow this, would they set the encryption type as a rules requirement (perhaps something like AES), or would they leave it to the ham community. Would Yaesu have their own encryption, Icom theirs, etc?
How would the FCC or an OO know if the ham was communicating as part of a covered emergency situation/training, or was just chatting with their friend if they couldn't monitor it. Would all ham encryption keys be kept in a managed database with FCC and OO access?

Hmm.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,838
Most of the comments indicate the need for encryption to follow HIPAA mandates for patient privacy. The problem is that most radio communications is exempt from these mandates.

HIPAA Didn’t Kill the Radio Star | Public Safety Communications
So dispatch agencies can transmit identifiable information to ambulance services, including the patient’s name and address, if necessary to enable the ambulance service to locate and identify the patient. Ambulance services may transmit patient information to other health-care providers over the radio if that information is needed for the purpose of treatment. Further, dispatch centers and ambulance services are not required to encrypt radio communications, or institute new privacy technologies so that people with scanners can no longer hear radio dispatches. HIPAA permits “incidental disclosures” of PHI to occur when the covered entity simply cannot help the fact that another party might legitimately overhear the information.
http://www.911dispatch.com/info/hipaa_position.pdf
Myth No. 3: Dispatch centers must convert all communications equipment to digital or
institute new privacy technologies so that people with scanners can no longer hear radio
dispatches.
Fact: HIPAA does not prohibit dispatch centers from communicating with ambulance services,
which is necessary for response and patient treatment, even though everyone in "scannerland"
can listen in! These are called "incidental disclosures" under HIPAA, meaning they are
legitimate disclosures with unavoidable side-effects, and are permissible under HIPAA.
Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (emphasis added)
Q: Does the Privacy Rule require hospitals and doctors' offices to be retrofitted, to provide private rooms, and soundproof walls to avoid any possibility that a conversation is overheard?

A: No, the Privacy Rule does not require these types of structural changes be made to facilities.

Covered entities must have in place appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the privacy of PHI. "Reasonable safeguards" mean that covered entities must make reasonable efforts to prevent uses and disclosures not permitted by the rule. The Department does not consider facility restructuring to be a requirement under this standard. In determining what is reasonable, the Department will take into account the concerns of covered entities regarding potential effects on patient care and financial burden.

For example, the Privacy Rule does not require the following types of structural or systems changes:
• Private rooms.
• Soundproofing of rooms.
• Encryption of wireless or other emergency medical radio communications which can be intercepted by scanners.
• Encryption of telephone systems.

Covered entities must provide reasonable safeguards to avoid prohibited disclosures. The rule does not require that all risk be eliminated to satisfy this standard. Covered entities must review their own practices and determine what steps are reasonable to safeguard their patient information.

Examples of the types of adjustments or modifications to facilities or systems that may constitute reasonable safeguards are:
• Pharmacies could ask waiting customers to stand a few feet back from a counter used for patient counseling.
• Providers could add curtains or screens to areas where oral communications often occur between doctors and patients or among professionals treating the patient.
• In an area where multiple patient-staff communications routinely occur, use of cubicles, dividers, shields, or similar barriers may constitute a reasonable safeguard. For example, a large clinic intake area may reasonably use cubicles or shield-type dividers, rather than separate rooms.

In assessing what is "reasonable," covered entities may consider the viewpoint of prudent professionals.
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
7,473
Location
Illinois
Nice find! This could offer some real advantages for emergency communications... Hope the FCC moves ahead on this.
Do we NOT have enough encryption elsewhere in the spectrum?? WHY the hell do we think we need it in the amateur radio community??
Wth, are we federal "wannabe's" now or what?
...Just another STUPID idea hatched by the commission which hopefully evaporates as quickly as their common sense!! :mad:

Oops, my bad! I forgot about all the hams that have purchased mototurbo, and adp equipped radios with itchy thumbs waiting to flip that enc switch?? I have a bargain xts with enc but ya don't see me crying about not being able to use it, ... because amateur radio is NOT the place for it!!!
Alright, I'm out.

73,
n9zas
 
Last edited:

n9mxq

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
1,756
Location
Belvidere IL
This discussion should get interesting..

I don't have any encryption capable radios.. and don't plan on having any.
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
7,473
Location
Illinois
This discussion should get interesting..

I don't have any encryption capable radios.. and don't plan on having any.
I really didn't either, when i bought my 2500 I didn't realize at the time that it was enabled.
I hope the ARES actors in my area don't read much...

73,
n9zas
 

sflmonitor

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
678
Location
Sunny South Florida
I'd like to see what type of encryption they would propose to use. How it would be managed/regulated and who would manage it? Would it be a static key or changed periodically? How would it be loaded in radios? OTAR, KVL, etc? It's difficult enough to manage encryption within an agency, where all equipment is accounted for. I can't imagine this being an easy task (that is, if it ever gets off the ground). But my most important question is why encryption is even needed in any ham operation in the first place?
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
7,473
Location
Illinois
I'd like to see what type of encryption they would propose to use. How it would be managed/regulated and who would manage it? Would it be a static key or changed periodically? How would it be loaded in radios? OTAR, KVL, etc? It's difficult enough to manage encryption within an agency, where all equipment is accounted for. I can't imagine this being an easy task (that is, if it ever gets off the ground). But my most important question is why encryption is even needed in any ham operation in the first place?
Exactly! That question needs to be presented to don, the ham on the east coast who for some reason, thinks it's needed...NOT. :mad:

73,
n9zas
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
I cannot possibly see a benefit of having encryption for amateur radio. I think that they have pushed things too far with this one.
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
7,473
Location
Illinois
I cannot possibly see a benefit of having encryption for amateur radio. I think that they have pushed things too far with this one.

Yep, much like the stupid decision to allow inversion scrambling or the FRS channels to be incorporated in to the same radios marketed for GMRS, but that's a different topic I know.
One of the FEW decisions in recent history that have actually been a advantage to the public is to require OTA TV stations to broadcast digitally, since it's actually made television enjoyable again for some.
Anyway to stay on topic, I suspect the whole encryption booger has originated by a ARES member more than likely wanting to be on the same playing field with public safety agencies on the east coast, but I could be wrong.
This whole proposal needs to go right in the garbage!

73,
n9zas
 
D

DaveNF2G

Guest
Exactly! That question needs to be presented to don, the ham on the east coast who for some reason, thinks it's needed...NOT. :mad:

73,
n9zas
Most importantly, these arguments need to be made directly to the FCC.

This is an actual rulemaking proceeding in progress now. The comment period will not last forever. People need to get to the Electronic Filing System at FCC.gov and participate formally in the process or else none of this discussion will mean a thing.
 

rdale

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
11,380
Location
Lansing, MI
The advantages are many... For starters, if primary comms for emergency managers are down, they can use the ham bands to pass messages along without media or scanner listeners getting it (wrong) and passing along to the public.
 

fineshot1

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
2,504
Location
NJ USA (Republic of NJ)
Do we NOT have enough encryption elsewhere in the spectrum?? WHY the hell do we think we need it in the amateur radio community??
Wth, are we federal "wannabe's" now or what?
...Just another STUPID idea hatched by the commission which hopefully evaporates as quickly as their common sense!! :mad:

Oops, my bad! I forgot about all the hams that have purchased mototurbo, and adp equipped radios with itchy thumbs waiting to flip that enc switch?? I have a bargain xts with enc but ya don't see me crying about not being able to use it, ... because amateur radio is NOT the place for it!!!
Alright, I'm out.

73,
n9zas
Very well said - thank you
 

WB4CS

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
900
Location
Northern Alabama
The advantages are many... For starters, if primary comms for emergency managers are down, they can use the ham bands to pass messages along without media or scanner listeners getting it (wrong) and passing along to the public.
Scenario #1: What if in an emergency I'm laying in the rubble of my house that's just been destroyed by a tornado. The only repeater I can reach with my handheld is encrypted and I don't have the encryption key. So, I die because a few hams want to play pretend-FEMA-pretend-cops and be encrypted.

Scenario #2: A few hams are talking on 2 meters, and even though there's no emergency net up, they decide they want to do some naughty things on the air their not supposed to. They turn on encryption and only they can hear what they're saying on the air.

Scenario #3: A local ham club loves the idea of keeping their club repeater available to members only. In order to get the repeater encryption key, you must pay the $40/yr membership fee. Soon the entire 2/70cm band is full of private, encrypted repeaters. Pay-to-play ham radio.

Amateur radio is for open communication between ALL hams, not a select few with an encryption key.

Anyone that sees encryption in the hams bands as a good idea obviously has no idea what the amateur radio service is all about.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top