I received this email
This is NOT an April Fool's joke!
The FCC has just opened for comment RM-11831, a proposal for rule
making that would do two things the the US amateur radio
1) remove paragraph (c) of 97.221. This would disallow narrow-bandwidth ARQ modes of 500 Hz or less from outside the specified 97.221 sub bands for automatically controlled digital stations. This will require all Winlink HF gateway stations, regardless of mode/technique, to only operate within these narrow sub bands.
2) modify the wording of 97.309(4) thusly:
(4) An amateur station transmitting a RTTY or data emission using a digital code specified in this paragraph may use any technique whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly, *such as CLOVER, G-TOR, or PacTOR
,* (remove *-*, add the following
and the protocol used can be be monitored, in it's entirety, by 3rd parties, with freely available open source software
, for the purpose of facilitating communications
This effectively eliminates Pactor
2, 3, and 4 from the US amateur bands unless SCS steps up and publishes complete technical specifications including their proprietary signal processing methods, and produces an open-source monitoring program allowing on-air eavesdropping by third parties.
The Winlink Team will have to produce monitoring software
for an unconnected eavesdropper for WINMOR, ARDOP. VARA's author must do the same. The alternative is for Winlink to close shop for US licensees on HF amateur bands.
See and read the new proceeding from the link below. The 30-day comment period opened on 28 March.
Unless we receive support from users on this serious threat, Winlink will be forced to close shop on HF in the USA. US and non-US users and gateway operators are urged to educate themselves and comment!
Lor Kutchins, W3QA
Winlink Development Team
Amateur Radio Safety