If you are a US-licensed station that routinely connects to a foreign gateway, or a non-US-licensed station that connects with a US gateway, you may be affected by new CMS behavior. The Winlink CMS now will enforce US Third-Party Message rules.
Because Winlink is being severely criticized for allowing US client and gateway operators to violate US amateur radio third-party traffic rules, we are today starting to test automatic enforcement of these rules. Part 97.3(47), 97.115 and 97.117 apply.
If you attempt to send or receive a third-party message between a US-licensed station and another station the US does not have a third-party communication agreement with, you may receive a service message saying the message will violate the applicable rules and that the message is refused (if you're sending) or being held at the CMS (if you are receiving). Alternative means to successfully send or receive the message will be explained. The US has treaties with most countries in the North and South America, but not most European, Asian and Pacific countries.
If you are a US-licensee, you should have no trouble sending and receiving to/from internet addresses if you connect with another US-licensed gateway, or one licensed in Central or South America — as long as the US has a third-party agreement with the licensing country.
If you are a non-US licensee, you should have no trouble sending and receiving to/from internet addresses if you connect to non-US licensed gateways.
We wish this was not necessary, but we have relied on US client and gateway operators to know the rules and obey them—and most have ignored them, unfortunately for all of us. In order to clean up the violations, we are taking these measures to keep US Winlink operators legal. All licensees have an obligation to study, know, and obey the Amateur Radio Rules.
New monitoring and enforcement measures are coming into play with the establishment of a new Volunteer Monitor Program, now being set up by the ARRL at the request of the US FCC. We're doing this to make it easier for US operators to avoid losing their licenses!
We will be tweaking the behavior of this new mechanism to make it as friendly and informative as it can be. Please bear with us as we make changes.
Thanks and 73,
Winlink Development Team