Sunday, June 9, 2013

Statement on PRISM at aprs.fi

Dear aprs.fi users,

You may be aware of reports alleging that aprs.fi and several other APRS sites have joined a secret U.S. government program called PRISM to give the National Security Agency direct access to our servers. We would like to respond to the press reports, and give you the facts.

aprs.fi is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. We hadn't even heard of PRISM before yesterday.

When governments ask aprs.fi for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure. Any suggestion that aprs.fi is disclosing information about our users’ APRS activity on such a scale is completely false.

We strongly encourage all governments to be much more transparent about all programs aimed at keeping the public safe. It's the only way to protect everyone's civil liberties and create the safe and free society we all want over the long term. We here at aprs.fi understand that the U.S. and other governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety—including sometimes by using surveillance. But the level of secrecy around the current legal procedures undermines the freedoms we all cherish.

3 comments:

Robbie said...

If they would want to monitor APRS traffic, I doubt they would ask aprs.fi for it. The APRS-IS is an open network and all data can be received without a valid passcode. So if they wanted to, they would, in my humble opionion, just store all the data straight from the aprs-is network. Or is there other 'private' data about us beside aprs reports on aprs.fi ?

Tony Toews said...

However aprs.fi is only a view of the APRSIS data/infrastructure. I realize that you can't speak for the APRSIS infrastructure but that's where I'd be the most interested in such comments. That said I've always assumed the government agencies could track all that data anyhow.

You've done a fine, fine job with APRS.FI. It has proven to be quite useful in one particular situation when I travelled in unfamiliar territory and getting directions from local amateurs. They could see where I was and tell me that the next exit was the one that I wanted. That I missed the only gas station for 70 kms and had to back track was not their fault. :)

Sterling Coffey said...

I wasn't aware until this blog popped up? Where's the source?