Letter to the community

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):

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

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

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

IV. 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 to OPT IN to 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.

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@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

  1. 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.

  2. 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;

  3. 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;

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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@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, W9CR
Jeremy 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.

Also posted to:

Edit: added also posted to, fixed numbering in two places
Fixed register line and removed duplicate “Also posted to” line

This is just the icing on the cake.

While you complain that the ASL team forked the network, which they never did, but they did boot YOU out of the administration of ASL.

Now YOU are trying to bring the user of ASL into your new forked network using the database that belongs to ASL. What more you are using the pttlink domain name that belonged to Jim Dixon estate, and that domain name was transferred to the ASL admin team by the heirs of Jim.

So to sum it up. on top of using a database, some hardware that were donated to ASL and now Domain name and IP addresses,that are the property of ASL you try to split the user base puting in danger a network of thousands of repeaters cause YOU are butt hurt.

I just can’t wait for a ham that is also an attorney to come on here and will help ASL to put you back in your place.

Being a volunteer does not give YOU any rights to the incorporated entity of allstarlink inc. and it’s IP/hardware/database.

The network is running smoothly, and that is without the O so Mighty admin team that you stated were none but YOU in a previous message.

Crazy!

Pierre
VE2PF

···

Le dim. 3 janv. 2021 à 12:59, Stacy via AllStarLink Discussion Groups <noreply@community.allstarlink.org> a écrit :

kg7qin
January 3

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 to OPT IN to 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=:@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@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@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, W9CR
Jeremy 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.

Also posted to:

Also posted to:

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r/pttlink - Letter to the community

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[App_rpt-users] Letter to the community


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3 Likes

While I feel that most of what is said by Stacy 100% wrong, I’ve asked that this post not be taken down. I think people should make their own choice to follow pttlink and fork the network or stay here at AllStarLink. The ironic thing about this is that I always worried about HamVoIP forking the network but it’s our own volunteers who have done that.

Please don’t turn this topic in to a rant. The board has been mostly silent in part to prevent this from turning into a big bitch session. Opinions are welcome but keep it civil. I will close the topic if it gets out of hand.

4 Likes

As most of us, I do not know enough about it to comment on it.

What I do know, having been around open source dev before, is that forks often split the development potential, and serve fewer ‘as well’ each time it happens. Group efforts raise the potential.

I simply applaud all volunteers for their hard work.

2 Likes

I’m sure, like many, I’m now trying to understand what this means to my club that just finished getting AllStar working. I know, our club, as well as others, leverage the capability to link to other AllStar node in listen mode during weather events. This is beneficial to us in North Texas.

I, too, don’t have the history that has led to this so can’t comment beyond what I see as a potential negative impact to a possible severe weather storm spotter tool.

73 - W5JWS

Let’s say we end up with two separate networks. ASL and PTTlink. How would things work at that point? Since the PTTlink website is basically a carbon copy of the ASL website would they coexist with each other or would a person have to have a node on each network? While I’m not new to Allstar I’m also not an expert on it either. I’m just trying to figure things out going forward.

With the information I do have, the situation was bound to happen one of these days.

There are people that give implication to groups, just to get an aura of usefulness, but in the end they only break havoc and the project fails or disappear.

The director of ASL had no choice than to act in the way they acted cause the wolf was in the sheepfold and to fix the problem they had to burn bridges, even if it meant to shake the whole community.

The memo the director team sent on the 29th was clear, it was in the making for 2 years. You don’t need to prepare for such an event in a few days, you need to get things right on the first try.

And they did it right. It obfuscated some people, and they are the one that are acting in a foolish way.

I have a big doubt that the directors are keeping things quiet as they prepare to respond in the best way they could.

I admire them as it is clear I did not have the same flegme as they did.

···

Le dim. 3 janv. 2021 à 16:56, John Smyder via AllStarLink Discussion Groups <noreply@community.allstarlink.org> a écrit :

w5jws
January 3

I’m sure, like many, I’m now trying to understand what this means to my club that just finished getting AllStar working. I know, our club, as well as others, leverage the capability to link to other AllStar node in listen mode during weather events. This is beneficial to us in North Texas.

I, too, don’t have the history that has led to this so can’t comment beyond what I see as a potential negative impact to a possible severe weather storm spotter tool.

73 - W5JWS


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Stacy,

From all outward appearances What has happened here is the Allstarlink
Board (people who actually have the right to control the Allstarlink
system) decided to move it to a single entity rather than utilizing
volunteer and donated services for its daily operations.

Actually from a Board’s perspective, a smart decision when it comes to
dealing with responsibility and liability in the performance of their
duties.

Evidently there was some friction between the volunteer ADMIN group
(Past and Present)not wanting to give up control and the BOARD needing
to perform their duty to protect Allstarlink and its assets. Sound a lot
like and ego issue to most of us in the cyber world.

To me the Board is free to make those decisions (whether we like it or
not) They have the right to do as they please. Just as if they were JIM
DIXON.

For all those that performed as volunteers and donated services We of
the Allstar User Community owe you a lot. We Thank You

By your group pirating the Allstar Database with everyone’s account
info, your group is now no different than a disgruntled employee trying
to punish his employer.

No matter how you look at it Allstarlink has rights to manage a system
that neither You nor I do.

No doubt operating cost will be greater in the future and it will
require some of us to donate to keep the great Allstar Service alive. I
for one am willing to help towards that goal.

Your WEB site pttlink.org states “PTTLink is not affiliated with
AllStarLink”.
Yet you display the Allstar Logo in the header and the “AllStar is a
registered trademark of AllStarLink, Inc” at the bottom.

I will not be a participant in the split between the Allstar Users you
are now trying to create. I get the hurt feelings but your and others
suspected resistive actions (affirmed now) is most likely why you
weren’t part of the transition process.

Larry - N7FM

···

On 1/3/21 9:59 AM, Stacy via AllStarLink Discussion Groups wrote:

[kg7qin] kg7qin https://community.allstarlink.org/u/kg7qin
January 3

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
http://allstarlink.org moving it from the long time home of
caustic-sea.allstarlink.org http://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
http://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 http://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 to OPT IN to 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 http://register.allstarlink.org to
register.pttlink.org http://register.pttlink.org similar to the following:

register=:@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@pttlink.org mailto:helpdesk@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@pttlink.org mailto:helpdesk@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, W9CR
Jeremy 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.

Also posted to:

Also posted to:

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4 Likes

Tim - While you may want to leave the post up, I’d encourage you to remove the links instructing people to change to the ptt servers. As search engines pick up this info, the first post will be the returned result when people are looking for config info and like most do, they will only read the info in the first post and not realize the changes they are making. I know everyone at AllStarLink have previously left questionable posts in place, but bad info of this nature should really be removed or heavily redacted.

2 Likes

Rather than weigh in on this latest drama (and because I’m confused about it) I would like to point out what should have been obvious.

Drama like this does two things that drive people away. This first is that it confuses people. The second is that, for those who aren’t confused, it polarizes people. The end result is that people who would otherwise be enthusiastic about these things will simply go away to something with less drama and more fun. This is especially true when we are talking about something that is a hobby for most of us.

So now we have AllStarLink, HamVoIP, and PTTLink. I assume there are others. I’ve been enjoying this Asterisk based technology for years now. I doubt that I am the only one who has now gone from gaining a comfortable grasp on things to becoming increasingly confused.

Amateur radio is a hobby that is about communication. This latest drama is yet another example of poor communication that results in more failure. I believe that with a bit of work on things like emotional IQ these issues could be cleared up. The result would likely:

  • Better advance the state of the art.
  • Increase friendships.
  • Decrease drama.
  • Attract more hams to the technology.
  • Attract more non-hams to the hobby.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe this latest flair up does somehow accomplish those things and I’m too dense to see it.

There is my $0.02
73
Thor

3 Likes

This is an email I sent to show the way I feel about all this.
Remove my info from the pttlink.org.

I also think this was a bad idea causing problems for people trying to use their nodes. Could have been done by letting the people that wanted to change do it which would not have hindered the connections. Bad idea on you all’s part.

···

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Stacy via AllStarLink Discussion Groups <noreply@community.allstarlink.org> wrote:

kg7qin
January 3

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 to OPT IN to 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=:@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@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@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, W9CR
Jeremy 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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r/pttlink - Letter to the community

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[App_rpt-users] Letter to the community


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Larry, you have stated the exact sentiment I feel about this. I’ve been using Allstar since 2009. It had bumps…we lost Jim… but the system was able to continue. There have been outtages but they were fixed. This current situation is nothing more than egos and whiners. Because of this uncertainty I and others in our little network have modified rpt.conf to have each others node into, eliminating the need for any external services. At some time when this situation stabilizes we may go back to needing rpt_extnodes. There is one very large network that has established its own registration service. At the bottom line I and most others will stay with ASL. Its the official one and I trust them to do what is right. And I support them 100%.

It only takes a whois look at pttlink.org and notice the DNS server hostnames to understand the mentality behind it.

Don’t ruin a good thing just because you can.

73 Y’all from Texas
GeorgeC W2DB 2360

I would like to congratulate the individual members of the AllStarLink Board for their recent, decisive action to regain control of their organization.

Parts of the registration system were poorly architected, troublesome and incapable of scaling, and the decision by the Board to change the system infrastructure was not undertaken lightly.

“Cutovers” of complex sytems affecting potentially thousands of users and nodes are always challenging. Considering the minimal disruption caused by this cutover, which the Board felt under the circumstances had to be performed in “stealth” mode, confirms that it was extremely well-planned and executed.

AllStarLink users can be confident that their Board is fully competent in technical, administrative, and financial matters and is now in a much better position to successfully guide AllStarLink into the future.

2 Likes

Thanks Tim,

I guess I’m dismayed, and don’t fully appreciate what has happened. When hamvoip was established, it seems they still relied on by the AllstarLink infrastructure to operate, node registration servers, etc. Doug offered a “better” app_rpt. I kind of understood his concern, as I had a similar experience. Back in the ACID days, someone had worked an upgrade from CentOS 5 to 6, which they never got working. I found out about it and had it operational in a week. I liked it because it would work with the newer chipsets, but Jim was no longer interested in it. Oh well, I had fun and useful hardware I found to be more stable for my nodes. As AllstarLink evolved, I stuck with ASL, mostly because I understood it better; there were other reasons, not worth discussing here.

This time it appears the only change is the infrastructure (servers); what appears to be a mirror of AllstarLink. The only difference I can see, and part of my dismay, is what is being offered that would answer the question, why? The “why not” is what is most glaring. Two registration systems will separate the nodes into two groups, never the twain shall meet, at least automatically (mirrored node structure?) I’m also concerned with the strong arm approach of limiting transition to 30 days. I guess I just don’t understand why.

Thanks,
Bob
K6ECM

Hi Bob, Answers are coming. Stay tuned.

Please see our update at Re-Engineering Update #1 from the Allstarlink Board of Directors

Edit: I’m closing this topic as the announcement should answer any lingering questions. The community has been largely supportive and we truly appreciate that.