Posted by: GW7AAV | June 29, 2010

D-Star illegal in France

D-Star has been declared illegal in France. In a totally backward step the French authorities have stated that because D-Star could be used to connect to the Internet, which is not permitted under the French licensing conditions it is illegal. French digital radio website DR@F has called for all European radio societies and individuals to support them in this. There is an European Parliament Petition that can be signed here.

The arguments from the ARCEP, the French Regulator against D-Star are listed bellow…

  1. Internet : ARCEP says protocol specifications could allow ham-radio operator to connect their station to Internet and are against the law (art.5 of decision 2008-0841) ==> DR@F says that all stations in any modes or protocol could be connected with a simple PC with sound card. ARCEP should therefore prohibit all ham-radio activity in France. We have shown to ARCEP in January 2010, that internet access request could be rejected, with simple filtering in system. We didn’t do any connection to Internet at all, as many countries could explain today.
  2. Cryptografic & National Security: ARCEP makes reference to “essential requirements” (art.4 of decision 2008-0841) and says D-STAR is a potential national security issue (could cause riot, criminal act, and terrorism), because of internet connexions and specific software for communications to be unencrypted ==> DR@F says that European Directive 99/5/CE in reference of “essential requirements” in ARCEP decision, wasn’t raised to avoid national security issue but for “radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity“. In the same European Directive – Annex I, ham-radio operator that are building their own radio aren’t regarded by this law. In the same way, D-STAR is using codes as GMSK modulation, Ethernet CCITT 802.3, CRC-CCITT, FEC G.975, and ETSI GMR1 & GMR2 for AMBE vocoder, that are fully recognized as ITU standards. In fact, there are no encryption and all standards used are in conformity with French laws.
  3. Patent: ARCEP says AMBE vocoder is using patents, licences and proprietary undisclosed specifications that are against art. 1.56 of ITU Radiocommunications Rules. DR@F says patents are everywhere (PC, Windows, DSP software in commercial radios, firmware, etc …) and all radio using “super-heterodyne” feature should be immediately stopped with all ham-radio activities in France.

What is patently obvious to everyone apart from the regulators is that almost any piece of radio gear (digital or analogue) can and is somewhere connected to the Internet and that such statements mean all radio gear in France could be considered illegal. That means that this could be the thin edge of the wedge to restrict our rights as both radio amateurs and citizens. When seen combined with the restrictions that other countries like Australia and the US are trying to impose on the Internet and things like taxes on fuel designed to restrict our movements it is enough to make even the most sane man suspect conspiracies, global government and the Illuminati spring to mind.

Now, I am no lover of D-Star and most Englishmen have been wary of France since at least the Hundred Years’ War but like we have in a couple of wars since we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with French brothers and sisters and fight this one. So please add your name to the petition.


  1. The English (although GW7AAV is Welch) love to needle the French, but this time, at least, the French radio authorities are definitely mired in the last century (not that that was so long ago). I also appreciate very much the 70 year old picture of Gen. de Gaulle. I think I read somewhere that de Gaulle once decreed that should anyone in the future ever invent D-Star, that it should be illegal. This will not be resolved without uncovering the little-known story of William the Conqueror’s distant cousin, Fred the Ham.

  2. That would be Welsh, not Welch, Rich.

    Although I live in Wales I was born in England and I have Welsh, Scottish, Irish, English, French and more in my blood line, some of which I can trace back over 500 years.

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