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Battle over allowing encrypted communications on amateur radio frequencies
EMERGENCY ‐ AMATEUR RADIO NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW! Please forward this message to other hams. The most current version of this message is at Please use that version. FCC is currently processing a request for rule-making, RM-11699, that would allow the use of Amateur ...
Peter da Silva's profile photoJohn A. Morris's profile photoRick Tait's profile photoPeter Bachman's profile photo
My immediate reaction was 'why not', so this is an article that actually needs to be read. The points it makes are compelling. 
Trying to make sure all the amateur radio operators are talking on an encrypted channel during an emergency just so the hospital won't get sued seems like an unnecessary burden that could result in messages not getting through. Amateur radio is not the problem here, it's HIPAA that needs to be modified. In an emergency you don't need to complicate things by making sure everyone has the correct encryption keys. These volunteers are willing to step in at a moments notice so why make things harder for them?
This is interesting, complex and probably entirely wrong headed, especially the we have to look harmless part. I participated in a DARPA contest on this and have taught for FEMA besides having been deeply involved in HIPAA encryption policy to come up with acceptable Internet approaches.

For the DARPA contest we used unencrypted Twitter which is monitored by the Red Cross command center pretty effectively. Then there's a way to use identity based encryption from there.

I'm not sure how the HAMs should deal with it exactly but the only way to protect the sensitive PHI is to encrypt it. That said HIPAA does not mandate encryption so there's nothing to change.
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