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Old 29-08-2013, 22:14   #76
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I put a transmitter onboard, especially because I could do it rather cheaply on sale, because I wanted to be "part of the solution" and add one more vessel transmitting and receiving which I believe ultimately adds more safety and strengthens the AIS network.


While I understand the security concerns, if everyone is in receive only mode, they will not be receiving much information. The system works better as more people participate...
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Old 29-08-2013, 22:50   #77
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Ah, c'mon, AIS is nothing compared to a real stuff - they are not only following you, but they are frying your brains from satellites! I know that, my doctor has confirmed that I am onto a real thing! I am using a tinfoil hat and I recommend anyone concerned about their privacy, to do the same. As well, turning off navlights, and in general getting rid of any electicity onboard may be a good way to improve privacy, because the BAD GUYS are out there, watching, tracking you on their computers, and are only waiting to do BAD things to you! The world is a dangerous place and we are prey!
I'm with Sea Frog on this. They're everywhere. WATCH OUT!!!
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:03   #78
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Well it is a fantastic tool for collision avoidance.
I was crossing a busy shipping lane under sail obliquely last week and noted a number of ships on our AIS watchmate screen that were potential collisions. My CPA alarm would sound so I took note of the vessels course and speed off my screen. They were over 12nm away and still not visible. On two occasions a cargo vessel made a 5 degree course change to avoid me as I was transmitting as a Sailing Vessel. The CPA (closest point of approach) distance would increase.
So due to having an AIS transponder it is now possible for ships to avoid sailing craft well over the horizon by making a small course change early. And given that the sail boats out there have poor nav light ranges compared to cargo vessels, I now wouldn't sail without mine near shipping channels.
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:22   #79
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
It is very easy to write a script to visit these websites every few hours and gather data on any AIS transmitting vessel within range of these websites receivers. Using this script every few hours, one would not only know your current location, but where you've been for as long as you've been transmitting AIS and within range of a station sending data to the website.
You don't need to write a script for that. Sites like Marinetraffic already do this for you. I've been using that a lot during my last holiday (looking at operation patters for dredgers and pilots etc...)

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What would you think about anyone/everyone tracking every move of your car? What if there was a GPS receiver in your car coupled with a transmitter and a public website anyone could go and re-create the last 24 hours movement of your car? I would think any government in a first world country would shut down such a 'service' pretty quickly.
Governments of all first world countries already require cars to be trackable and identifiable (via licence plates) and they have required transponders for airplanes for quite some time. So there is a precedent.
(BTW, where I live there is a website where you can enter a licence plate of any car you've seen on the street, and you'll get the owner, address and all...)



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2) What if display of static data was a simple 'opt-in' feature? IOW, the proven vessel owner would agree to the display of static data. That would protect the privacy of those that have such desire, and also allow those who wish to be seen and identified.
The system will not work without broadcasting something that identifies the vessel. So allowing to opt out of broadcasting the MMSI doesn't really make sense.
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Old 29-08-2013, 23:58   #80
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Ais is a wonderful bit of modern technology. It is just another tool in the box for collision avoidance, not a replacement for any other means of detecting other vessels including such archaic methods as looking out the widows:-) . As an inveterate singlehander, I fully appreciate all the additional information provided by ais. With ais overlayed on radar, frequently I find vessels with ais before they show up as a radar target and I know from experience how nice it is to be seen electronically - sailboats are notoriously difficult to spot at sea. I expect it is only a matter of time before it is required on all boats in most first world countries. It was after all developed as a surveillance device to keep the government types happy before all its other benefits became widely used.
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Old 30-08-2013, 06:02   #81
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
You don't need to write a script for that. Sites like Marinetraffic already do this for you. I've been using that a lot during my last holiday (looking at operation patters for dredgers and pilots etc...)
IIRC, the websites keep 24 hours of data, the script I mentioned can track your vessel indefinitely.

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
Governments of all first world countries already require cars to be trackable and identifiable (via licence plates) and they have required transponders for airplanes for quite some time. So there is a precedent.
(BTW, where I live there is a website where you can enter a licence plate of any car you've seen on the street, and you'll get the owner, address and all...)
The act of displaying identifying information alongside exact location is the breach of privacy. Being able to look up a car license plate and match it to the owner doesn't include location information.

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
The system will not work without broadcasting something that identifies the vessel. So allowing to opt out of broadcasting the MMSI doesn't really make sense.
Sorry, apparently I wasn't clear. I'm suggesting the websites show only dynamic data, the VHF broadcast would still include static data.

Since the websites are 'vanity' only and don't serve any value towards navigation, the static data need not be displayed on the websites. My 'opt-in' suggestion covers a vessel owner/operator who desires their static data to be displayed on the website.
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Old 30-08-2013, 07:24   #82
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Sorry, i should have said the only targets an AIS receiver will pickup is what is transmitted from another boat, ATON, etc The statement was meant to convey that online AIS mapping is not accurate and cannot be relied on.
Actually that depends, its as accurate as there are receivers. Many VTS schemes now have abandoned radar tracking of vessels and now use shoreside AIS receivers to track vessels in port approach systems.

Quote:
The act of displaying identifying information alongside exact location is the breach of privacy. Being able to look up a car license plate and match it to the owner doesn't include location information.
The IMO has asked member governments to ban internet based rebroadcasting of AIS information. However in practice with the proliferation of quite legal AIS receivers , there is really little they can do, which has led to the situation we have today . Bizarrely marinetraffic.com started as a Greek university project. ( ie government sponsored)

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Sorry, apparently I wasn't clear. I'm suggesting the websites show only dynamic data, the VHF broadcast would still include static data.
Yes I think there is a clear case of optionally allowing MMSI IDs not to be broadcast. or perhaps asigning an MMSI, that is not publicly searchable. ( which is the real issue). That way you could still call the ship by its MMSI, but you couldnt easily gets its name and hence its identity.

The IMO ( if you read the transcripts) has a real issue about AIS becoming some sort of tracking system.

Quote:
It was after all developed as a surveillance device to keep the government types happy before all its other benefits became widely used.
Actually its was developed by the IMO to be specifically NOT a surveillance device for governments, but Im afraid various "homeland security" types dont see it that way .

It looks however that Satellite based AIS tracking is going to keep the spooks happy.

Quote:
Sorry, apparently I wasn't clear. I'm suggesting the websites show only dynamic data, the VHF broadcast would still include static data.
Since the websites get feeds from shore based receivers, its hard to force them to not display certain types of data. People have protection under data protection laws, Things rarely do.

dave
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Old 30-08-2013, 08:36   #83
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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The IMO has asked member governments to ban internet based rebroadcasting of AIS information. However in practice with the proliferation of quite legal AIS receivers , there is really little they can do, which has led to the situation we have today . Bizarrely marinetraffic.com started as a Greek university project. ( ie government sponsored)
The reality is the current websites (mentioned previously) are operating businesses. Yes, government can stop them. But first, government has to declare that what is being published is against the law. Then, the businesses breaking the law will stop, most voluntarily, some will require 'encouragement'.

After that, the data we're talking about isn't interesting enough for rogue websites (unlike music/movie sharing sites), hence the game of 'whack-a-mole' won't be unwieldy.

Quote:
Since the websites get feeds from shore based receivers, its hard to force them to not display certain types of data. People have protection under data protection laws, Things rarely do.
Not true. It is commonly understood that location tracking a cellphone/car implies the owner/user is within close proximity. Hence, you can't track a cellphone/car and claim 'it's a thing and not a person'. Policy-makers simply need to connect the dots with AIS, which the same analogy applies in the recreational boating space. To date, with AIS mostly deployed on large commercial vessels, nobody has cared.

(Those that are thinking it, please refrain and don't turn this into a NSA thread)


Quote:
Yes I think there is a clear case of optionally allowing MMSI IDs not to be broadcast. or perhaps asigning an MMSI, that is not publicly searchable. ( which is the real issue). That way you could still call the ship by its MMSI, but you couldnt easily gets its name and hence its identity.

The IMO ( if you read the transcripts) has a real issue about AIS becoming some sort of tracking system.
I see your point. Even in the VHF broadcast, identifying MMSI isn't really required, a simple pseudonym tag for use in DSC hailing is good enough.

I find no use for MMSI to be broadcast on the AIS websites.
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Old 30-08-2013, 09:52   #84
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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The reality is the current websites (mentioned previously) are operating businesses. Yes, government can stop them. But first, government has to declare that what is being published is against the law. Then, the businesses breaking the law will stop, most voluntarily, some will require 'encouragement'.

After that, the data we're talking about isn't interesting enough for rogue websites (unlike music/movie sharing sites), hence the game of 'whack-a-mole' won't be unwieldy.



Not true. It is commonly understood that location tracking a cellphone/car implies the owner/user is within close proximity. Hence, you can't track a cellphone/car and claim 'it's a thing and not a person'. Policy-makers simply need to connect the dots with AIS, which the same analogy applies in the recreational boating space. To date, with AIS mostly deployed on large commercial vessels, nobody has cared.
Well , MarineTraffic is an open community based project, available free.

It would require concerted action by a large number of sea faring nations to effectively ban Internet AIS. In practice since AIS receivers are legal, it would be very difficult to police such bans, and most would be ineffective.

The easiest way is to remove the link between MMSI and vessel identify from the public domain. That database is managed by the ITU and s currently publicly searchable. That could easily change.

Im not sure the link between cellphone tracking and boats is similar. But fundementally I agree with you. Internet AIS should not be capable of identifying your vessel name.

( mind you all you have to do is changed the registered name and leave the ships radio license in the old name) hey presto you've disappeared.

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Old 30-08-2013, 13:05   #85
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Well , MarineTraffic is an open community based project, available free.
Someone is pocketing the money derived from advertising on MarineTraffic.com. If what MT is publishing becomes illegal, advertisers would go away, and MT would have some decisions to make.

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It would require concerted action by a large number of sea faring nations to effectively ban Internet AIS. In practice since AIS receivers are legal, it would be very difficult to police such bans, and most would be ineffective.

The easiest way is to remove the link between MMSI and vessel identify from the public domain. That database is managed by the ITU and s currently publicly searchable. That could easily change.

Im not sure the link between cellphone tracking and boats is similar. But fundementally I agree with you. Internet AIS should not be capable of identifying your vessel name.

( mind you all you have to do is changed the registered name and leave the ships radio license in the old name) hey presto you've disappeared.

dave
I do like the idea of killing it at the source vs. chasing websites.
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Old 30-08-2013, 14:07   #86
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Since there is no privacy anymore, we should all run through the streets naked.
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Old 30-08-2013, 14:12   #87
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Since there is no privacy anymore, we should all run through the streets naked.
Thats a perfect analogy. Because if someone is hit by a bus and killed it will be as effective as not using the AIS because Uncle Sam can see them and being hit by a ship. They will still be dead... but they will feel better because their 'rights' have been protected


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Old 30-08-2013, 14:21   #88
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

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Thats a perfect analogy. Because if someone is hit by a bus and killed it will be as effective as not using the AIS because Uncle Sam can see them and being hit by a ship. They will still be dead... but they will feel better because their 'rights' have been protected


Mark
Uncle Sam is not publishing my location on a public website.

Not that I agree with Uncle Sam tracking me, but that's a topic for a different thread.
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Old 30-08-2013, 14:44   #89
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Re: AIS: A Creepy Experience.

Seeing other boats isn't nearly as important as them seeing you.
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Old 30-08-2013, 14:56   #90
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I experience AIS as a great device. As we were cruising the North Sea with 23 boats during the North Sea Triangle Challange it was convenient to see the others on my Ipad navionics chart overlay. In heavy winds and poor visibility it was also great to see commercial ships and oil rigs on screen on big distance. Before we left I renewed my VHF Antenna and used the best cable I could find and due to some of the oil rigs giving relay to the www relatves at home could see the "Point Barrow" all the way while other sailing boats were not that visible all time. Great tool and I installed switches (safe rocket launch buttons) for "alarm" and "silent" mode althoug piracy is not really an ussue in Europe. (youtube SV Point Barrow)
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