How does Internet Amateur Radio Linking and the Third Party Rules play out?
Third Party Traffic for USA Licensees is prohibited under FCC 97.115 when the contacted country is not party to a Third Party Agreement.
A list of countries who we have Third Party Traffic agreements can be found at: http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/io/3rdparty.html
This list is most important for the countries NOT on it. Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Ireland and many others do not have Third Party agreements with us.
So are we legal is we handle internet traffic originating or terminating in a country without a Third Party Traffic Agreement, unless the traffic is exactly between ourself as the licensed Amateur and a Specific licensed Amateur operating the other end?
Perhaps looking at when the traffic is being transmitted via radio and when it is on the internet could be useful?
Since the message originates as a net message and usually travels at least some distance, if even mere feet, as an internet message at each end, could it be argued it is Internet Traffic that just happens to use an Amateur Radio link as part of its travels?
Seems a reasonable, if incomplete argument. The glaring question is how do you claim it as Internet Traffic when the addressing structure and network design is known to use a licensed service? The WinLink or DStar aspect really couldn’t be claimed as incidental when it is by design part of the system.
The push of technology will likely lead to a revisiting of Third Party Traffic rules, though presently one wonders if as a control operator would a person be legally on sounder ground to refuse any questionable traffic from or to countries without a Third Party Traffic Agreement?