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Seriously? There are restrictions against, say, sending a stream of packets with PGP encrypted payloads? Why? I mean, what could you do over amateur radio with encrypted comms that you couldn't do over the Internet?

And how do hams share information that should be private, like a bitcoin wallet's private key? How do you shell in to the admin interface of a remote tower? You just don't, over amateur radio?

The regulations in question all talk about not "obscuring the meaning of a message", so protocols that use authentication without encryption are typically considered acceptable.

Other than that: right, you just don't. Hams share information that should be private via other communication mechanisms; amateur radio is public.

That's correct. The bands are for public use, commercial use is forbidden. The only way to effectively enforce that is to prohibit encrypted communications. Using amateur radio bands to send sensitive data is a huge mistake, that's what something like the Internet would be much better suited for.

Note that encryption is banned, but digital signatures are not. In theory you could configure SSH to authenticate but not encrypt a connection.

Administering an expensive, high power piece of hardware in the clear, with a "perfect" authentication and authorisation scheme, would require balls of steel. Someone should try it, maybe write a book about it. For science.

For PGP encrypted, yup, it's not allowed. PGP plaintext signatures are presumably allowed as they do not obscuring the meaning of the communication. That was my thesis in 2004 and I believe it to still be true based on Part 97.

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