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Author Topic: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum  (Read 12660 times)

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AirNav Development

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New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« on: August 11, 2011, 04:42:53 PM »
Visit the New Board:
http://www.airnavsystems.com/forum/index.php?board=16.0

From now on AirNav Systems RadarBox Server engine will automatically create a new entry on:
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/airnavsystems
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/airnavsystems
- Forum (implementation in development): http://www.airnavsystems.com/forum/index.php?board=16.0

This entry will be automatically created each time a 7500, 7600 or 7700 Squawk is detected on AirNav RadarBox Network (currently the world't biggest ADS-B network).

Alert details include:
- Alert Time
- Received Squawk
- Flight ID
- Registration
- Aircraft
- Company
- Routing
- Altitude
- Speed
- V/S
- Heading

Hope you enjoy this new feature.

bratters

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2011, 08:13:38 PM »
Airnav- here in the UK there are specific regulations covering what may be published as a result of monitering certain transmisssions.

I suspect that if you start posting alerts on Twitter and Facebook you will quickly draw a lot of unwanted attention from the authorities.

Suggest you have a careful look here

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/spectrum-enforcement/?a=0

tarbat

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 08:41:25 PM »
I agree bratters.  As I posted elsewhere, I really question the wisdom of posting this type of alert on a public forum or twitter.  Could be very worrying for relatives/friends of anyone on the flight.

bratters

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 09:01:36 PM »
Indeed it could Tarbat and I have no doubt this will not be lost on Ofcom.

As we are already engaged in a hobby which in the strict interpretation of the law is illegal, publishing this sort of information seems to be inviting trouble.

With the current furore in the UK about hacking et al, publishing intercepted aircraft alerts could really cock things up for us.

Hope to hell the popular press don't spot it.


orkney

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 08:50:21 AM »
Hello

If Airnav should have to remove this, Why hasn't everyone written to ofcom about these on flightradar24's twitter http://twitter.com/#!/flightradar24 these have been done automatically by them since 11th of July and in a facebook poll by them on the 10th of July a large majority of their users were in favour. Also, Would this law apply since Airnav is not a UK company?

Andrew

bratters

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 09:31:57 AM »
Hello

If Airnav should have to remove this, Why hasn't everyone written to ofcom about these on flightradar24's twitter http://twitter.com/#!/flightradar24 these have been done automatically by them since 11th of July and in a facebook poll by them on the 10th of July a large majority of their users were in favour. Also, Would this law apply since Airnav is not a UK company?

Andrew


Frankly Andrew your reply beggars belief.

In simple terms, unless one has a license to do so, it is an offence in this country (UK) to intercept proscribed radio signals and it is a further offence to publish what is heard from such an action. No questions, no arguments, no popular vote by Facebook contributors and no excuses that "everyone does it"  - it is an offense under our laws.

The "discussions" we have had on here about the default setting for data-sharing clearly indicate that we are all, including Airnav, fully aware of the legalities but if you have any doubts about it, consult the legislation yourself.

Not everyone reads twitter or facebook but should a complaint be made to Ofcom you can in this instance expect some action. The widespread publishing of alerts will not go down well and could be seen as a provocation. Why take the risk in upsetting the regulators who, up till now, have turned a blind eye to the activities of the hobby?

Ofcom have vast powers. They could simply confiscate some of our members equipment just to prove a point.

Why annoy them when it could provoke a clampdown? It's not worth the risk.

eyeinthesky

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 11:03:52 AM »
I say scrap this idea.
Using the Canon 10x30 IS Binoculars with Image Stabilisation, Brilliant job on a clear day.

CoastGuardJon

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2011, 11:53:07 AM »
No, let it run, it's time someone tested the water.   Archaic laws don't get altered until they're challenged, does anyone seriously think Ofcom and other authorities are going to bother wasting resources (which they don't have, and are being cut continually by Conservative Cameron) chasing innocent aircraft enthusiasts who aren't out on the streets looting, stealing and causing wilful damage.  Good on you AN!
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Budgie

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 12:07:18 PM »
I also don't agree that these alerts should be publicised, at least not until the alert has been confirmed and what ever the emergency situation is has been dealt with by the emergency services.
It has the potential to cause stress to those who have family on board the flight and hinder the emergency services in dealing with the situation.

As for Ofcom, I think they would be hard pushed to start proceedings against an individual for the follow reasons:
1. The Radarbox software is set to automatically feed data to AirNav whenever the software is started. This is the default and users have no control to stop this until they can access the correct control area of the program.
2. The individual has no control over what AirNav choose to do with any data they obtain from your software. As such, any publication by AirNav is solely their responsibility and you cannot be held accountable for their actions.

That's not to say that Ofcom couldn't change the rules though! 

bratters

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2011, 01:01:14 PM »
I also don't agree that these alerts should be publicised, at least not until the alert has been confirmed and what ever the emergency situation is has been dealt with by the emergency services.
It has the potential to cause stress to those who have family on board the flight and hinder the emergency services in dealing with the situation.

As for Ofcom, I think they would be hard pushed to start proceedings against an individual for the follow reasons:
1. The Radarbox software is set to automatically feed data to AirNav whenever the software is started. This is the default and users have no control to stop this until they can access the correct control area of the program.
2. The individual has no control over what AirNav choose to do with any data they obtain from your software. As such, any publication by AirNav is solely their responsibility and you cannot be held accountable for their actions.

That's not to say that Ofcom couldn't change the rules though! 

Hi Budgie 

Whilst owning receiving equipment is not in itself an offence, using it to monitor a designated frequency for which you are not licensed is.  I am lnformed that theoretically simply switching the box on and opening the prog. could be deemed an offense. Failing to unset your default feed would be a second offence - publishing the information.

However I have some sympathy with Jon's point about testing the waters, archaic laws and innocent aircraft enthusiasts but the current row over hacking shows that the public (and the government) are not sympathetic to "snooping" right now. Ofcom may well be persuaded to make noises to show they're alive and kicking.

Personally I think that aircraft alerts for hijacking, medical, mechanical or whatever issues published on say facebook are not for the benefit of "innocent aircraft spotters" - they are there for a much wider public who's interests are likely to be considerably more mawkish and sensational.

As others have said, this is distasteful and frankly doesn't show us honest hobbyists in the best of lights.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 01:03:43 PM by bratters »

tarbat

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2011, 01:35:36 PM »
Whilst owning receiving equipment is not in itself an offence, using it to monitor a designated frequency for which you are not licensed is.

I don't think the UK legal position is that clear, although I'm not a legal expert!!.  ModeS and ADS/B are navigation transmissions, and the OFCOM guidance says that:

Quote from: OFCOM
A license is not required to use a radio receiver or scanner as long as it is not capable of transmission. It is not illegal to sell, buy or own a scanner or any other receiver but it should only be used to listen to transmissions meant for general reception.

The services that can be listened to under the definition of general reception are:
a.  licensed broadcasting stations;
b.  amateur and citizens' band radio transmissions; and
c.  weather and navigation transmissions

See http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/spectrum-enforcement/guidance
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 01:39:34 PM by tarbat »

bratters

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 02:02:53 PM »
Hi tarbat - encoded transmissions requiring specialist receivers are almost certainly not intended for general reception. Were that the case, they would be made more readily available.

This might help:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/publication/ra_info/ra169.htm

Alerts are not sent out by aircraft for the benefit of the general public. Think what would happen if a live news channel like SKY or Five Live started broadcasting "breaking news" details of aircraft sending alerts.

Immediate prosecutions would follow as would imprisonment for all involved. A black & white case of hacking. As for facebook........

(Just my opinion of course.)

tarbat

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2011, 02:54:32 PM »
This might help:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/publication/ra_info/ra169.htm

I guess it comes down to what OFCOM mean by "navigation broadcasts", which they include in their list of "services that you can listen to".

Don't get me wrong, I still don't approve of publishing such alerts on twitter, etc., but I just don't think the legal position on reception is clear cut, given OFCOM's vague non-definition of "navigation broadcasts".

Budgie

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2011, 03:24:39 PM »
Technically, the signals we get from the aircraft are "Broadcasts", in that they are transmitted with no single intended recipient so they could fall into the "General Reception" category.
However, they could also be subject to:
Quote
Under Section 5(1)(b) of the WT Act 1949 it is an offence if a person "otherwise than under the authority of a designated person,

(i) uses any wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of any message whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not, of which neither the person using the apparatus nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient;

...in that we are not one of the intended recipients.

Clear as mud. :D

bearcat

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Re: New: Automatic Squawk Alerts on Twitter, Facebook and Forum
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2011, 04:18:39 PM »
The Ofcom debate has been aired many times on many forums. This is about the moral responsibilty of posting flights/aircraft with emergencies on the web which can only cause unnecessary upset and anxiety to anyone concerned.

What is it supposed to bring to the table? Watch an aircraft go round a hold to dump fuel!

In fact I would question one of the items posted on twitter about a hijack. Has anyone seen this reported? If this is untrue the the post must be verging on libel. Does this impact on the sharer? If false messages continue and get into the press then it can only bring this hobby into disrepute with the public and authorities.

If this is how your data is going to be used then I am glad I don't share.

We hear the Shiptrax has delayed the correction of bugs in Radarbox. Surely the time and energy taken to create this feed should have been used to correct these long awaited fixes.