Terms, Conditions and Privacy Policy

By using the ARSFI.org or Winlink.org servers and gateway stations (“the system”) and by creating and maintaining an account in the system, you agree with, understand, and hold the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., its contributors, developers, administrators, officers, and system operators harmless per the conditions set forth here. You also agree to the following terms and conditions, policies, and operating guidelines.

The Winlink Common Message Servers (CMS) and the participating Winlink stations (RMS gateways) make available publicly accessible ("Public Domain") information and data from the National Weather Service, the U.S. Government and other third-party sources. You must use such information with care as it may be inaccurate or out-of-date. The Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., its contributors, developers, administrators and system operators expressly disclaim responsibility for the content stored or transported by the system.

The information stored and transported by the system may be used freely by you as long as you operate in compliance with the rules governing Amateur Radio where you are located. Before using information obtained through the system, special attention should be given to the date and time of the data being displayed as well as the date and time of transport. Information passing through the system is not guaranteed to be accurate or current. The developers, administrators and system operators of the system will apply their best efforts to inspect and remove content prohibited by rules governing Amateur Radio. Should a message or data appear to be in violation of the these rules, administrators and system operators have the right to hold or destroy the prohibited data, content or message.

The system administrators and participating station sysops strive to make the Winlink service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, because individuals who provide Winlink radio email service are volunteers and that many aspects of system administration are not automated, the timely delivery of data or messages may not always be possible, and, therefore, is not guaranteed.

Special care, automated tools and design is provided by the developers and administrators to protect the system, you and your computers from spam, malware and viruses, but freedom from these is not guaranteed. The system provides you with options for spam control. You are ultimately responsible to properly use them.

You assume the entire risk related to your use of information or data received or sent over the system. This information or data is provided "as is", and the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., its contributors, developers, administrators, and system operators disclaim any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., its contributors, developers, administrators or operators be liable you or to any third-party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages resulting from any use or misuse of the system, from data or information acquired from it, or for any failure of the system to perform in any way.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy (“Policy”) discloses the general privacy practices of the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc., located at 6143 Anchor Lane, Rockledge, FL 32955, U.S., and its projects, subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “ARSFI,” "Winlink," “We,” or “Us”). Any changes to this Policy will be posted on this page with an updated “effective date” posted at the end of this Policy.

Privacy and Amateur Radio Email
You understand and agree that email content sent and received over the Winlink system is not private. By most countries' amateur radio rules--to which each radio licensee must abide--content may not be encrypted with the intention to obscure it. Message content transported through the system over public or government radio frequencies, over the internet, or over private networks may be accessed by anyone with appropriate equipment and software. However, the policy and practice of ARSFI and Winlink administrators and system operators is to never disclose the content of messages sent over the system unless expressly permitted by the affected user, or requested by law enforcement, regulatory or defense agencies, health and safety agencies, or similar organizations in support of life- or property-threatening mitigation efforts, search and rescue, legal inquiries, or incident investigations. In addition, radio gateway sysops regularly monitor the messages sent and received through their stations in order to comply with their license regulations. System administrators also regularly monitor messages sent through the system to insure message content conforms to regulatory requirements under amateur radio rules.

Our Pledge
Your personally identifying information will not be sold, traded or used for commercial gain. Ever.

Information Collected and Purposes of Collection
While visiting any of ARSFI’s websites including but not limited to, winlink.org; and arsfi.org (“Site”, "System"), or while using client email software to create an account, We may ask you to register and/or provide Us with information that personally identifies you (“Personal Information,” "Personal Data"). Personal Information may include, but is not limited to, your name, phone number, street address, and e-mail address. This is generally the same Personal Information made public by your licensing authority. On any page that collects Personal Information you provide, We will specifically describe what information is required in order to enable your interaction with the System, provide you with the product or service you are requesting, respond to your inquiry or comment, or other uses as described in this Policy. We may also log IP addresses (the location of a computer on the Internet) from visitors like yourself for administration and troubleshooting purposes and to determine site usage.

We may also use Personal Information to contact you regarding administration of your account, or for your safety, should you employ radio email for emergency or contingency communications. You will at all times be able to opt out from receiving communications from Us. Please refer to “Opting-Out” section below for more details.

We reserve the right to disclose Personal Information when needed for your safety or to comply with the law or a legal process, to cooperate with investigations of purported unlawful activities, and to identify persons violating the law or our Terms of Use applicable to a given Site or the System. In the event of a change in control of ARSFI (a non-profit, public-benefit entity), our databases, including any Personal Information, will be transferred to the new owning entity.

Related Third Party Products/Services
If you sign up to register software, or to obtain a product or service We offer, We may share Personal Information with a third party such as a credit card processor and/or shipping and fulfillment services company, in order to provide you with the product or service you are requesting. These third parties are required to comply with this policy and to protect your information in the same way We do. They are not permitted to retain or use Personal Information for any purpose unrelated to providing the product or service you requested. By choosing to sign up for such products or services, you are agreeing to and acknowledging the release and use of your Personal Information to such third parties for such purposes, if necessary.

Unrelated Third Party Products/Services
You may use Winlink email messaging to communicate with third parties. Some of these third parties may also collect their own copies of your Personal Information as you provide it to them. We encourage you to check the applicable privacy policy for that third party prior to disclosing Personal Information to such third parties.

Third party sites linked to and from the Site are not necessarily under the control of ARSFI. We shall have no responsibilities or liabilities whatsoever for the content or privacy practices of any such linked site or any link or linking program at any time. We do not necessarily endorse companies (or related products or services) to or from which the Site is linked. If you decide to access any of the third party sites linked to the Site, you do so entirely at your own risk.

This Privacy Policy only addresses the collection, use and dissemination of Personal Information you submit to Us via our Sites or software, and not any Personal Information you may disclose to other parties (including via third parties on or through the Site or System). Different policies may apply to Personal Information you give to such third parties, and ARSFI shall not be responsible for the use or dissemination of any such Personal Information.

Cookies
We may employ cookies (i.e., small data text files that websites send to your browser and are stored on your system) and other similar technologies (e.g., web beacons, pixels, tags, device identifiers, and web analytics services) to recognize you and/or your devices and to track your usage of the Site to help tailor it to your interests and needs. By tracking usage, We can also best determine the features that serve you best. In addition, by identifying your computer (but not any Personal Information) to our server, these tools also may allow you to avoid retyping your e-mail addresses, usernames and passwords each time you access the Site.

You may decline cookies by selecting an option on your browser. If you do so, however, portions of the Site which require registration may not be accessible to you, and you may need to re-submit certain registration information each time you access the Site.

Children’s Privacy
ARSFI cares about the safety of children and their use of the Internet. Therefore, in accordance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, We will never knowingly request or solicit personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13 without verifiable parental consent. In the event that We receive actual knowledge that We have collected such personal information without the requisite and verifiable parental consent, We will delete that information from our database as quickly as is practicable.

Opting-Out
We respect your privacy and ability to choose whether to share information with Us and any third party. When choosing to use certain features or services on the Site, you can choose whether to share optional Personal Information in connection with that feature or service. If you receive communications from Us that you prefer not to receive, you may request to opt out from receiving these communications by contacting Us at [email protected].

You may "opt-out" altogether from providing Personal Information to Us by not registering on the Site, or not creating a radio email account in the System, and thereby not providing Personal Information. Although it provides convenience and useful help information for users, the web sites of Winlink and ARSFI are not required to use our software or our radio email service. You may also choose at a later date to confirm the accuracy of your Personal Information that you have provided to Us by editing your account information online, or inactivate your account altogether by contacting Us at [email protected].

Certain portions of the Site and certain services provided on the Site, however, do require registration and logging-in in order to access or use these areas and services. If you choose not to register or provide certain information, these areas will not be accessible to you.

Your messages sent using the system are retained after delivery for 30 days and then automatically purged. Your Winlink account, all content you may have provided including your Personal Information, is retained as long as you maintain use of the system. It is entirely deleted and can not be recovered if you do not use your account via radio or telnet for 400 days. Personal information stored on our web servers is automatically deleted and can not be recovered if you do not log in for exactly one year. If you maintain an active radio email account, you can log in to the web site and your account Personal Information will be restored to the web site from our email servers.

Security
ARSFI maintains industry standard safeguards to help protect the security, integrity, and privacy of the Personal Information that you provide to Us. Please understand, however, that there are inherent security risks in any online medium, and no guarantee can be made against unauthorized access by third parties. This does not pertain to your email message content, for which you agree there is no privacy whatsoever as previously described.

For Users Located in the European Union
Given that ARSFI and Winlink are established in the U.S., your Personal Data will be transferred to the U.S. for processing, where less strict privacy protections may apply to your Personal Data than those in the EU. However, ARSFI will take reasonable measures to ensure your Personal Data remain protected in compliance with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

You acknowledge that the transfer of your Personal Data to the U.S. is necessary for the purposes described above. You have the right to request access to, correction of, or erasure of your Personal Data. You may also request restrictions on or object to certain Processing of your Personal Data, or request the portability of your Personal Data. If you would like to make any such requests or would like more information about your rights related to your Personal Data, you can contact ARSFI's or Winlink's administrator: [email protected] or [email protected]. You understand and agree that ARSFI’s ability to comply with your requests regarding the Processing of your Personal Data may be limited by our internal policies, and applicable laws and regulatory requirements that ARSFI is required to comply with. You acknowledge that the Personal Data collection, use, processing and transfer activities described in this Policy are necessary for the performance of the services rendered by ARSFI and Winlink. Therefore your requests may result in the denial of access and services to you.

You also have a right to lodge a complaint with your country’s supervisory authority.

ARSFI will retain a copy of your Personal Data until completion of the purposes listed in this Policy or for as long as reasonably necessary for ARSFI to comply with applicable law and ARSFI’s internal retention policies.

How to Contact Us
If you have any questions or comments about this Policy, please contact Us at: [email protected].

Notice to Freelance Authors
ARSFI respects the intellectual property of others. The licensors of articles appearing on our Site have assured Us that they have the right to authorize electronic distribution of the articles they provide to Us. If you are a freelance author, and if you have questions or concerns regarding the electronic distribution of your article(s), We recommend that you contact your publisher directly. If you dispute the right of your publisher to authorize electronic distribution of your article(s), you may provide Us with a written notification of your claim. Your notification to Us must be in writing and must include all of the following information:

A full and complete identification of your article(s) (namely, the title and listed author(s), publication in which it appears on our Site, the original publication date, and the web page on our Site in which it appears);
Your name, address, telephone number, facsimile number and e-mail address;
A statement that you own the copyright at issue or that you are acting on behalf of the owner (and, if acting, the name, address and telephone number of the copyright owner for whom you are acting), and, if the copyright has been registered, a copy of the copyright registration or its number and date; and
A statement that you have a good faith belief that electronic distribution of the article(s) has not been authorized by the copyright owner, its licensees or agents, or by applicable law.
Your contact information must be accurate and complete so that We can confirm the authenticity of your request and follow up with you if We have difficulty identifying your article. You must sign your notification and affirm to the truth of items (1) – (4) in the form of a statement, sworn and notarized, under penalty of perjury.

You must send this request to Us at the following address by U.S. Mail or overnight courier. (We regret that We cannot process notifications by fax, telephone, telegram, or e-mail.)

Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.
Attn: Secretary
6143 Anchor Lane
Rockledge, FL 32955

Effective Date and Changes
This Policy is effective as of 5/24/2018. ARSFI reserves the right to modify the terms of this policy at any time and in our sole discretion, by posting a change notice to this page. Your continued use of the Site following our posting of a change in the Policy will constitute binding acknowledgement and acceptance of those changes.

Winlink System Policies and Operating Guidelines

Winlink (WL2K) is a global radio email service. Most gateway sysops and users are subject to amateur radio regulations. Winlink is also used for MARS and government and non-government agency communications on frequencies outside the amateur bands. Different regulations apply to those users. It is always the responsibility of all radio licensees to operate within the laws and rules that apply to their license and location. Winlink administrators and volunteer gateway station operators exercise the self-regulation customs common in amateur radio, and so, to assist Winlink participants to stay out of trouble, and to foster orderly operations, you agree to these guidelines and policies by maintaining an account and using the system. Operating within these guidelines will keep most operators within the laws that govern their radio license, and avoid administrative actions against your account.

Do Not Interfere
Listen first! Because a live human being (control operator) is always present at the initiating station, there is one common theme paramount to the successful operation of the system: simply listen on the frequency about to be used to determine if that frequency is occupied. If the frequency is occupied by any detectable signal, the proper action is to either wait until it is free before transmitting, or find another Radio Message Server (RMS or gateway station) whose frequencies are not busy. Not only is this a common courtesy to other operators, but it is a specific requirement of every country's rules regulating amateur radio licenses, worldwide.

Message Content
There is no privacy over amateur radio. Anyone who is properly equipped can read messages handled by Winlink. Each gateway sysop routinely monitors messages passing through their station to ensure acceptable message content. Any message violating local rules is deleted and the sender advised. Gateway sysops are legally responsible for traffic flowing through their stations.

Third-Party Traffic
Third-party traffic is any message transmitted that is either from or to a non-licensee. In the Western Hemisphere (with a few exceptions) there is no restriction on third-party traffic being passed over amateur radio. Many countries outside of the Western Hemisphere also now permit third-party traffic over amateur radio. Messages between amateurs if they originate from or are delivered over Internet are not considered third-party traffic. Third-party traffic rules only deal with that portion of the message path which is transmitted over the radio spectrum.

For example: if a message originates from a non-amateur as an internet email in the U.K. and is delivered to a U.S. amateur over the radio from a gateway station in the US, no third-party rule is broken even though the U.K. does not allow third-party traffic over amateur channels. Likewise, a message originating from a U.S. amateur and passed by radio to a U.S. gateway is okay even if it is addressed to the Internet address of a non-amateur in the U.K.

Users and sysops must make themselves familiar with these third-party rules for the country in which they are operating as well as linking with if they are exchanging messages with non-amateurs. US gateway sysops should know that §97.219(c) provides protection for licensees operating as part of a message forwarding system. "...the control operators of forwarding stations that retransmit inadvertently communications that violate the rules in this Part are not accountable for the violative communications. They are, however, responsible for discontinuing such communications once they become aware of their presence."

Business Content
Directly or indirectly enhancing one’s pecuniary interest using amateur radio is universally prohibited. Business traffic is any message, sent or received, that is related to an amateur’s business or an activity involved in making money, attempting to make money, or even to save from spending money for the amateur. Placing orders to trade stocks or receiving investing guidance are clear-cut examples of prohibited message content. Ordering or receiving via Winlink paid subscription-based weather guidance, custom forecasts, or any paid digital subscription product is another. On the other hand, in the US, the FCC has allowed that infrequently ordering physical items (ordering a pizza or repair parts that cannot be delivered digitally via radio) for personal use is not in violation of the rules so long as it is incidental to your activity as an amateur, and not done to enhance your pecuniary interest. Even though the Winlink user may use a Telnet connection or WebMail and never transfer prohibited content over the Amateur radio spectrum, it is the policy of Winlink administrators to abide by the Part 97 (US rules), and FCC interpretations of these rules, as it pertains to business message content transported by the system.

Winlink administrators consult with the FCC or other regulatory entity representatives for their interpretation of applicable rules whenever their application or intent is unclear. Administrators will communicate these interpretations to any amateur who may question an administrative warning or action. Administrators may block or remove messages from unsolicited mail sources, incoming messages from list servers or any regular or frequent “subscription-type" messages that might contain business related content. The best way to avoid unsolicited mail is to keep your Winlink email address private and to learn to properly use your account anti-spam whitelist. Do not instruct paid information services to deliver purchased or subscribed information products to your Winlink account when they can be delivered through other radio services off the amateur bands.

Commercial services must always be employed first if business content will be common. Sailmail, Inmarsat, or Iridium are recommended for maritime users, and there are others regionally available. Winlink connections for business content transfer via telnet, satellite services, or high-speed (WiFi) radio LAN are allowed for infrequent use.

Encrypted Messages
All messages must be in plain language and use a publicly published format. Message attachments must be of file types that can be viewed with commonly available software such as .doc, .rtf, .jpg, .bmp, etc. The system will not accept as attachments executable files with extensions such as .exe, .com, .vbs, etc. This reduces the chance of an encrypted message but also is another protection against malware. Administrators may change the acceptable file types as experience dictates.

Obscene Content
Obscene content is not allowed by the laws of most countries on amateur radio frequencies, and also not on the Winlink system. It will be deleted when discovered and the sender immediately locked out of the system whether the sender accesses the system via Internet or radio. The receiving gateway sysop usually determines if a message is obscene and usually warns the originator prior to taking any action. Warnings are not required, however.

Sending Unsolicited Mail & Ban Requests
It is a violation of these terms of service to send messages to another user who has requested they not be included as a recipient. This qualifies as sending spam. If a user receives unwanted, illegal or improper messages after they have taken measures with the sender to stop, they should advise the system administrator (address a message to ‘[email protected]) and the source of those messages can be locked out. If a user persists in violating these terms of service, the system administrator or one of the gateway station operators will permanently lock the abuser out of the system.

Viruses & Malware
Every message offered to the system from any internet source is scanned for viruses and malware, and any detected threat is deleted before it can enter the system. The recipient is notified whenever an infection is detected and purged. Where possible the sender will be advised that his or her system is sending malware.

Callsign (license) Validation
To qualify for a Winlink account users must hold a valid amateur radio service license issued by the licensing authority of their country. Or, users may belong to and be licensed by a government agency or program participating with Winlink in emergency or contingency communications. Winlink is not available to holders of marine or ship's licenses. Any licensee may self-register with the WL2K system by using a client program to connect to any gateway via radio or over Telnet to a Winlink server. Automated callsign validation with your licensing authority may be employed, or a WL2K gateway operator or system administrator will verify the call against the appropriate country’s available amateur license database, or with the licensing authority directly. This ensures the license is valid and that operating privileges are appropriate. If this information is not found or not validated, the user will be asked to provide documentary evidence of their identity and that their license is valid. Applicable "special temporary authority" agreements from CEPT, IARP or other reciprocal agreements must be sent with proof of license on demand by a system administrator in order to retain use of the system. The user may be be locked out of the system during the verification process at the discretion of the administrator.

Login Security
Winlink system use requires secure account login for web and radio users using client programs or terminal or web access. Passwords are secure and not sent over radio links. With this users may protect themselves from gaining unauthorized access to their account. This does not secure messages passed over the radio. It only authenticates that the radio link is established with a verified and licensed station within the Winlink system.

Winlink Linkomatic