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Re: [CQ-Contest] Reverse Beacon Network Question

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Reverse Beacon Network Question
From: David Gilbert <xdavid@cis-broadband.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:18:49 -0700
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I think you're getting all worked up over nothing, or at the very least 
focusing on the spec of dust and ignoring the mountain.

I was interested one day in trying to grab the latitude and longitude 
for all the callsigns worked by our local club in a previous year's 
contest.  I was going to use it to work up a chart of beam headings as a 
function of time and frequency as a guide for the current year's event.  
I asked my oldest son (software guru) if it was possible to write an 
automated script that periodically pinged (without spamming) the QRZ.com 
website to extract that information, and within a few minutes he 
described how that could be rather easily coded.  I never followed 
through on it, but in theory it should be possible based upon your 
callsign alone (much more easily extracted from published contest logs 
than from either PSK or RBN) to automatically obtain:

a.  your name
b.  your address
c.  your latitude and longitude
d.  your email address if you ever identified it in conjunction with 
either your callsign, name, or address
e.  a detailed map with directions to your home
f.  an aerial view of your house by porting your address and/or latitude 
and longitude into Google Earth
g.  pictures of yourself, your family, your friends, your pets
h.  etc

All of that could be done without manual human involvement, and as an IT 
guy I should think that you would know that already.  And as an IT guy 
focused particularly on databases, I'm sure you could appreciate the 
extensive profile that could be automatically generated on you Using 
keywords for triggers) from the many posts you've made to various ham 
radio forums under either WN3VAW or W3WN (5,514 to date on hamisland.net 
alone).  Whether you realize it or not, you've left a huge trail.

Whatever anyone finds out about your from PSK or RBN is going to be 
trivial compared with all of that.

Dave   AB7E

p.s.  It isn't even required for your callsign to be in a log 
somewhere.  It is trivial to download the entire FCC amateur radio 
database and just go from there.  Same with the Canadian database.  I've 
pulled both in the past just to prove to myself that I could create an 
artificial master "Call History File" by filtering the government 
callsign database through the Super Check Partial database of active 
contesters.  And yes, it can be done.

> W3WN said:
> Did you know that there is a group of amateurs who are spotting&  storing
> PSK stations -- and harvesting the calls, and finding their email addresses?
> I didn't...
> But if someone is going to take the trouble to do that with PSK, imagine
> what they might do with the output from a cluster or an RBN type of spotting
> system.  And what will they do with it?
> I work in IT.  Part of my job is to manage my firm's data security. ANYTHING
> that potentially can provide clues to one's identity, that can potentially
> be used for a security breach or an attempt at identity theft raises my
> eyebrows.  So I have to wonder... what will come of all this data once the
> contest is over?
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