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Author Topic: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?  (Read 29570 times)

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Bell 407

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Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« on: November 06, 2013, 05:29:12 AM »
A simple question: Could AirNav Development please explain their reason(s) for implementing database encryption in V5?

Thank you,

Bell 407

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 01:19:19 PM »
With nearly 100 views from the users of this forum but over 24 hours later I still kindly request an answer to the posed question from AirNav Development.

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tarbat

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 01:29:46 PM »
I didn't answer before because you specifically wanted an answer from Airnav Development, but I'm willing to have a go anyway.  My guess is that Airnav are trying to protect the intellectual property of the navdata database, by ensuring that the database can only be used by users of their software (ANRB), and not by users of other competing products.

Bell 407

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2013, 01:33:44 PM »
Thank you Tarbat, appreciate your candid response.

But yes, I still do think I (we) would like to hear specifically from AirNav Development as to their exact reasons for database encryption. If that is forthcoming then it can be debated properly.

Thank you,

AirNav Support

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 01:42:27 PM »
Bell 407,

Firstly we prefer if there is any direct questions to us that you use the emails or contact methods provided as we don't always read every forum post and its easily tracked that way.

The reasons behind the encryption were simple, we are using routines to gather route information from the network as well as the vast work of the database updaters regarding aircraft details and we have found some of this data was being passed around outside of RadarBox uses. We believe this data has been gathered from RadarBox users and data and the benefit of this should not be used by others not using RadarBox and therefore we wanted to encrypt this data to not allow it to be passed around.

We may have been short sighted in realising that valid tools and SQL queries are run on the database to users to enhance there database or for reports as mentioned in the beta thread. However at this time there isn't any easy way indentified to rectify the issues mentioned above and allow valid tools to be used.
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Bell 407

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 02:20:21 PM »
Thank you AirNav Development for responding. It is much appreciated. I posted this question as a direct question to you but posted it on the forum as I believe there are many users who are certainly interested in this debate.

Your reasons you post are valid I suppose from your perspective. But let me pose a question to you and other users that goes to the core of “Who Actually Owns the Data” you are talking about?

Non-sharing of Data
I have your product plugged in at home and from the very first day I started using your product it collected data from my box, my antenna (so to speak) and saved it on my PC. I paid you for this privilege and you sent me the hardware and software. So my interpretation is that this is where the contract ended. Surely, and this is the crux of the matter, I believe therefore I am the owner of that data my RadarBox is collecting. I have spent many years developing a database of information that is unique to me and my area of reception. I would therefore like to, and should be entitled to, interrogate that data as and how I please. Therefore using 3rd party database software to do this is of no interest to AirNav. Correct?

Sharing of Data
The above may be interpreted differently however, when it comes to the whole sharing of data with the AirNav network. I am still the owner of the data I share with the network. I would interpret this as being correct? Yes, AirNav have the computer hardware and the expense of running a database to collect this data but you are collecting it from us the public or user of your hardware. Surely you have no proprietary right to locking us out of that data?

Personally, I am very passionate about this issue. Yes, I am one of the developers of the NavData Editing Tool Software, but I can assure you I am not the clever one in this development. I made a request to my colleague who is a database specialist to assist me with the issue I was having. I was lost in all the threads posted by some very clever users as to how to import and extract database information using SQL. I requested my colleague to allow me to work in the environment of MS Excel. At least I know that programme. And I know many many people know how to use MS Excel. Suddenly a new world of interest was opened up to me when I could manage my own database in MS Excel and your product became even more interesting to me.

To make it quite clear, the NavData Editing Tool has been made freely available to users. We have not made a cent off it but we are truly humbled by the reach that this small programme has had and how it has impacted on other users of your product. The positive response received was incredible.

To be honest the clunkyness of you asking us as users to have to update our own database through the single cell entry process is sheer madness. To give you an example. When FAJS changed to FAOR last year it took me all of 10 minutes to make this change in the database using the NavData Editing Tool. Please remember that your way would have required me to make copy and paste changes to more than 748 cells. Totally impractical to say the least.

So, in closing, I would like to extend this request, on behalf of most Average Joe users of your product, to please reconsider your need to encrypt your database files in V5. As I have said in a previous thread, I believe this is counter-intuitive to the information age that we all live in. Data moves around the world in many shapes and forms, and right now I am a part owner in that data which you are now locking me out of.

I would also like to request other users to post their comments especially about the beginning part of this post to test whether my understanding of who owns this data is correct?

Thank you,

AirNav Support

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 02:43:18 PM »
Let just make one item very clear as this being lost in a few posts we have read so far from customers and yourself, any data in databases are still accessible to RadarBox users, we are not locking out anyone, it is however only accessible through RadarBox.

We have said that yes we were short sighted when it came to those users who are adding/changing there database via other tools and trying to think of way for this to be possible.

However we are right to be concerned for example if we provide route data (either through route data being added after gathering from airlines or through our network routines to indentify routes) being passed into the public domain.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 02:48:15 PM by AirNav Support »
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Bell 407

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 02:53:58 PM »
Tried to post using the Quote button but that is not working. So here goes:

Let just make one item very clear as this being lost in a few posts we have read so far from customers and yourself, any data in databases are still accessible to RadarBox users, we are not locking out anyone, it is however only accessible through RadarBox.

Yes, but you are locking users into the clunkyness of your programme design. There is no freedom to do detailed Search and Replace functionality like MS Excel does for example. Speed is important. Multiple copy and paste into cells like you want users to do is painfully slow.

However we are right to be concerned for example if we provide route data (either through route data being added after gathering from airlines or through our network routines to identify routes) being passed into the public domain.

Yes fair enough I agree to that so happy to concede that point. But remember that is only one component of the entire NavData.db3 database but encryption blocks the entire database for users.

AirNav Support

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 03:02:29 PM »
We agree that updates using other tools are much easier but the example that we are concerned about mentioned above also applies to Aircraft Data as well as Routes Data. This is our concern and why we have taken this step. This is why MyLog is not encrypted.

If there is an alternative that protects the data from being copied and passed around easily but allows to be updated through other tools then we will be happy to listen and take it on.
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Runway 31

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 03:03:43 PM »
Bell 407,

You have asked a question and I will ask a question in return. What is the purpose of the Navdata?.  The answer, to allow the details of the aircraft being picked up by the user to be identified and to display that information on screen.  This it does along with displaying other information such as routes, airport locations etc.  It is there for no other reason and without it the box would be useless.

I haven't discussed this with Airnav nor the other updaters but I will offer this and it is my own personal viewpoint.

When I got my box back in 2009 the database was a joke with lots of aircraft missing information and for a lot of them that were provided with the info it was incorrect or incomplete.  I started to update my Navdata myself but as you state while database explorer is sufficient for dealing with one or two records at a time for any more than that it is inadequate.

I then took the opportunity to become a database updater to allow me to update the database to ensure that I was able to be provided with the correct information and in doing so this also ensured that the other users of the box had the same information available to them.  In doing so over the last 3 years the team as a whole and myself personally have invested a vast amount of time and energy investigating the various information sources, scouring the web, online national registers etc to put together a database that is fit for purpose even if a very small minority of detractors feel otherwise.  Radarbox data contributes very little to the compilation of the database other than providing hex codes which are useless on their own.  A small number of users also contribute their sightings of unknown aircraft for which I am very appreciative.

To get back to your question, I will give you my reason why I am happy that encryption is in place.  The Navdata in its previous unencrypted form was available for anyone to download and use it as they pleased.  While it was being used for Radarbox users that's fine and I am happy for it to be used for that purpose.  However it was also available for download by anyone else who wanted it and was being used for various purposes out with personal use and Radarbox users.  As I stated earlier the team as a whole and myself personally have invested heavily in our time and effort in building the database to its present form so I object very strongly to our efforts being poached by others for their financial gain or for users of other receivers who contribute nothing in return to us  Radarbox users.

Subscribers to certain databases will find that without the information from the Airnav Navdata their updates will be rather lighter in future as will users of other receiver types who have been the recipients of the results of the teams labour. 

Unfortunately all this has consequence for users of your utility who find that they can no longer manipulate their database easily but I would expect that if you and your friend found that the utility had been poached and someone was looking to make financial gain from it that you would do what you could to prevent that.  Database explorer as you say is clunky and I believe consideration should be given to making it more user friendly.  As you and others have been using the results of my labours for a couple of years your databases should be in good order and the capabilities of database explorer should normally  be sufficient for general housekeeping.  You stated that FAJS changing to FAOR took 10 minutes using the utility for your own personal use, it took me a lot less time than that to change it on the updater for all users once Chris advised me and it was available on the Navdata in time for the changeover date.

Alan
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 03:05:35 PM by Runway 31 »

Bell 407

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 03:42:28 PM »
Afternoon Alan and AirNav Support,

Thank you for your detailed reply. At last we are getting somewhere and debating this issue. There are however, very differing opinions on this.

Radarbox data contributes very little to the compilation of the database other than providing hex codes which are useless on their own.  A small number of users also contribute their sightings of unknown aircraft for which I am very appreciative.

This does explain quite a lot then because the overture from AirNav has always been that they are significantly dependent on feeders to update their database? That was why I asked the question about who owns the data? If you are saying Radarbox contributions are minimal then it changes the outlook on encryption.

As I stated earlier the team as a whole and myself personally have invested heavily in our time and effort in building the database to its present form so I object very strongly to our efforts being poached by others for their financial gain or for users of other receivers who contribute nothing in return to us Radarbox users.

I suppose this is and will be the crux of the issue for AirNav. The investment that you have made is congratulated as an immense effort has gone into the work that you and the team have done. But surely by the same token, I too as a single user have invested a lot of personal time and effort in developing my own database which is now only accessible through Radarbox.

… but I would expect that if you and your friend found that the utility had been poached and someone was looking to make financial gain from it that you would do what you could to prevent that.

As you and others have been using the results of my labours for a couple of years your databases should be in good order …


True, but then maybe I am too altruistic in my outlook. The programme we created was for the good of other users. Call me naïve but that is how I see it. AirNav on the other hand is a company and operate as such and so their outlook has to be different to mine.

You stated that FAJS changing to FAOR took 10 minutes using the utility for your own personal use, it took me a lot less time than that to change it on the updater for all users once Chris advised me and it was available on the Navdata in time for the changeover date.

Yes, but I would summise that your knowledge of databases and SQL is significantly greater than mine and therefore we had to develop a tool that would allow me to perform the tasks I was looking for for myself. Also you have direct access to the AirNav database and so can bulk edit and update at your own free will. Users do not have that luxury with V5.

Database explorer as you say is clunky and I believe consideration should be given to making it more user friendly.

I think that that would be a significant improvement in V5 and so I would request that AirNav Development provide some thoughts on this issue to the users as to how this could be developed.

Thank you,

Runway 31

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 04:21:11 PM »
Bell 407,

The feeders feed data in as much as they provide the information to show where it should be shown on the screen.  The Navdata translates that hex code and provides the information that we see.

The utility was maybe created for others but I dont think you would say the same if it was lining someones pocket.

I dont have any SQL knowledge but have direct access to the database and any entries I make are available for all users including your good self.  Just for info, I cannot get an unencrypted database for my own use but then as my main concern is to see the info on my screen I don't keep it to myself but enter it in the database where it is available for all Radarbox users.

As you state Airnav are a company, a small one at that and the crux of the matter is that Airnav have got to look after their interests first and foremost.  I hope that a solution can be found with I believe the best answer being a more friendly interface for database explorer which allows easier manipulation of the data but still gives the security required by Airnav.

Alan

Bell 407

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Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »
Thanks for the opportunity to debate the issue. Had hoped for more comments from other users. But maybe they will still be forthcoming.

All the best with V5.

Thank you,

John Racars

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2013, 07:36:37 AM »
Hi Bell 407,

Thank you and Support, Tarbat and Alan for this interesting discussion. i tryed earlier this week to bring this subject in discussion but that was no succes. I presume my English is not so good that I can debate like you do.

However, as far I can follow this discussion I total agree with Bell 407 until sofar and find it verry, verry pity that NavData is encrypted within the launce of the new Beta-version.
Best Regards from the Netherlands, John Racars
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Netcop

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Re: Why the need for encryption of DB3 database?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2013, 06:47:52 PM »
Нi All,

Firstly, I want to express my absolute support to Bell 407 in his aspiration to keep Navdata unencrypted.

But if AirNav stays on position to encrypt the database, then my position is as follows. We have been waiting for this upgrade for several years (by the way, why is it called 5.х? it’s really just 4.4). I believe that most RadarBox long time users  would agree with me that we are ready to wait a bit longer to give AirNav time to develop and implement in software a more appropriate interface to work with the database. As well as a tool for smooth migration of current users’  photobases to the new version (it’s a separate story).

I also insist that AirNav must continue to support their 3.13/4.03 users in their system in an "old way" even if the new v5 will be officially released. Bulk database upgrades will be not be available for these users for sure, but I believe that most of creators of their own databases will not be interested in this kind of upgrade anyway.

Thank you,
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