[App_rpt-users] Letter to the community

Stacy kg7qin at arrl.net
Sun Jan 3 17:50:43 UTC 2021

Also posted to:


- - - -

The groundwork was laid for what was to become PTTLink on 29 December
2020 after the unannounced and uncoordinated actions taken by the
AllStarLink Board of Directors.  At approximately 5:00 pm Pacific (0100
UTC, 30 December), the admin committee became aware of multiple
catastrophic system outages.   Attempts to login to systems to remediate
were presented with new IP addresses and messages that the host keys
were unknown.   Further investigation revealed that the DNS zone record
was updated at the registrar for allstarlink.org moving it from the long
time home of caustic-sea.allstarlink.org to Cloudflare.  In addition, an
investigation into the IP addresses being presented revealed that they
belonged to Google.  (For more information on the AllStarLink admin
committee visit: https://wiki.allstarlink.org/wiki/Admin_Committee).
Since the admin team was not previously granted access to the DNS
control panel, it was unknown at this time if this was the board, or a
bad actor. 

The lead system administrator, Stacy Olivas (KG7QIN) immediately posted
to the AllStarLink Slack #operations channel upon notification of the
outages asking if anyone was messing with DNS to which he received no
replies.  At that time all members of the AllStarLink Board of Directors
were present or available on Slack as well as those working on their
behalf and are believed to have precipitated the outage. 

Due to this catastrophic outage, actions were taken by the long-time
administration and development teams to stabilize the network and this
required the use of Jim Dixon’s lapsed domain -- pttlink.org.  Due to
there being zero coordination regarding what was happening, all the
existing data and systems remained in place and merely needed minor
updates and configuration changes to use the pttlink.org domain to
ensure continued operation of node registration services. 

The shocking and unprecedented actions taken and continue to be taken by
the AllStarLink Board of Directors which include (but are not limited to): 


    changing of DNS without advance notice, coordination or explanation
    to the admin and development team causing an outage


    termination of the AllStarLink Slack accounts for several members of
    the development and admin team without notice or explanation


    revocation of node numbers and user access of members without notice
    or explanation


    continued sending of unsolicited email to users registered with PTTLink.

This is considered by the undersigned members of the admin committee to
be indicative of poor judgment and a lack of foresight by the
AllStarLink Board.

There have been several posts made alleging theft of data from the old
AllStarLink system.  No such actions have been taken by the admin
committee and we repudiate these meritless allegations.  As previously
stated, due to the action of the AllStarLink Board of Directors, all
existing data and systems (to include user data) were abandoned in
place.  In addition, and contrary to statements published by the
AllStarLink Board, all servers under control of the admin committee have
and shall remain housed in secure commercial data centers. 
Additionally, we have received commitments from donors of these
resources that PTTLink may continue to utilize them.  These resources,
which were formerly donated to keeping the AllStarLInk Network running
for the benefit of the thousands of users worldwide, will continue to be
available and keeping the PTTLink systems running in the same manner. 
The safeguarding of data has been and always will be of the utmost
importance to the admin committee and PTTLink team

The admin committee understands that there are many unanswered questions
regarding the events surrounding the outage of 29 December and the
subsequent migration to the PTTLink Network, which was officially formed
on 30 December 2020.  In an act of good faith and to assuage any
concerns users may have regarding their data, the PTTLink team commits
to the following:

All users who were registered with the AllStarLink system have the
opportunity toOPT INto remain registered with the PTTLink network. 
Users only need to point their nodes at the PTTLink registration server
before 3 February 2021 to have their user and associated node data
retained.  This applies to all nodes that a user may have.  On 3
February 2021, any nodes which have not been registered with PTTLink
after 2 January 2021 will be removed.  Any user accounts that no longer
have nodes associated with them as a result of this removal will also be
removed from the PTTLink user database.

Users can accomplish this by adding to the /etc/asterisk/iax.conf file
an additional registration line, duplicating their existing AllStarLink
node number and password and changing the registration server from
register.allstarlink.org to register.pttlink.org similar to the following:

register=<node number>:<password>@register.pttlink.org

Any registered user who does not wish to wait until 3 February to have
their registration information removed from the PTTLink database can
submit a written request (from the registered email account on file)
with the subject line of “Request to remove my user and node data from
PTTLink” which also contains within the body your callsign and a
statement from you requesting to have your user data removed.  Send this
email request to helpdesk at pttlink.org <mailto:helpdesk at pttlink.org>.  
You will receive an automatic reply with a ticket number assigned to
your request.  Your request will be processed within 7 days upon receipt
and you will receive confirmation back that your account and data have
been removed (if the requirements of this request are met).  This is
limited to one email per user and one callsign/user account only. 
Emails with requests for removal of multiple user accounts/callsigns
(bulk requests) will be rejected without further action taken and will
require resubmission as individual requests.  Requests to remove data
that do not match the email account on file will also be rejected
without further action taken. 

Additionally, no node number assigned as of 3 February, will be
reassigned in the PTTLink network for the period of 1 year, such that
should someone wish to acquire their original AllStarLink node number
after the removals, they can.

PTTLink’s Pledge to the Community


    PTTLink is committed to the fair, open and equitable treatment of
    all volunteers and users, without regard to race, ethnicity,
    national origin, gender, religion, age, marital status, sexual
    orientation, gender identity or disability.


    PTTLink is committed to the principles of open-source software and
    adherence to the licenses which have fostered tremendous innovation
    within the ham radio community;


    PTTLink is committed to fostering and furthering innovation and the
    development of the app_rpt and related programs, and all forms of
    Voice over IP, Radio over IP and associated communications and
    telecommunications systems and technologies for the benefit of the
    ham radio community;


    PTTLink will adhere to the safeguarding of all data on PTTLink
    systems and respect users wishes with regards to the storage and
    handling of this data.


    PTTLink recognizes the free exchange of ideas is necessary to a
    healthy, functioning organization. As such we are committed to open
    communication and pledge to never censor discussions between our users. 


    PTTLink will not revoke credentials or users without notice, and
    without the ability to challenge this for review. 

To request more information regarding this statement or for assistance
with the use of PTTLink, you can send an email to the PTTLink Helpdesk
at helpdesk at pttlink.org <mailto:helpdesk at pttlink.org>

Additionally, the following resources are available:

User management and registration portal:  https://www.pttlink.org

Wiki: https://wiki.pttlink.org

Statistics server:  http://stats.pttlink.org 

System status dashboard:  https://grafana.pttlink.org

Signed the PTTLink Team, Developers, and Supporters on 3 January 2020.

PTTLink Team:

Juan Carlos Pérez, KM4NNO (XE1F)

Bryan Fields, W9CRJeremy Lincicome, W0JRL

Stacy Olivas, KG7QIN

PTTLink Developers:Jason Kendall, VE3YCA

Jeremy Lincicome, W0JRL

Stacy Olivas, KG7QIN

Juan Carlos Pérez, KM4NNO (XE1F)

PTTLink Supporters:

Oscar Flores, XE2MFT

Pablo Mejia, XE2PMP

Note:  In addition to the individuals listed above, there are many
others within the community who have expressed support for the
information contained within this letter.   However, they have elected
to not sign their names to it out of fear of retribution from the
AllStarLink Board.  This retribution includes (but is not limited to) 
the revocation of their assigned AllStarLInk nodes and servers, and the
censorship of posts made on the AllStarLink Community forum.

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