Friday, January 9, 2015

NOAA CSC and USCG do a lame job with Marine Cadastre AIS

This is a serious waste of our tax payer dollars.  Public data about vessel location is being removed from datasets.  This stuff is broadcast in the clear for anyone to receive.  And what do they mean by "encrypted"?  Did they just run a hash (e.g. md5) function on it?  If that's the case, if I we can figure the hash function, it's trivial to build a rainbow table style lookup.  Once that's done, there are lots of sources of MMSI to vessel name and call signs.  Oh, and by the way, it's 2015 and only 2009, 2010, and 2011 are available.  And then they publish it in the ESRI File Geo Database (FGDB) format that really isn't open.  And I don't really feel like getting a username and password again (or maybe my old one still works).  Sigh.

"Note: Ship name and call sign fields have been removed, and the MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) field has been encrypted for the 2010 and 2011 data at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard."

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