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Phil Karn, born October 4, 1956, is a retired engineer from Lutherville, Maryland. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1978 and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1979. From 1979 until 1984, Karn worked at Bell Labs in Naperville, Illinois, and Murray Hill, New Jersey. From 1984 until 1991, he was with Bell Communications Research in Morristown, New Jersey. From 1991 through to his retirement, he worked at Qualcomm in San Diego, where he specialized in wireless data networking protocols, security, and cryptography.
He is currently the President/CEO of Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), a non-profit foundation funded by the sale of part of its IP address space (44/8). ARDC manages the remaining portion of its address space by providing financial grants to amateur radio and related groups.
He has been an active contributor in the Internet Engineering Task Force, especially in security, and to the Internet architecture. He is the author or co-author of at least 6 RFCs, and is cited as contributing to many more. He is the inventor of Karn's Algorithm, a method for calculating the round trip time for IP packet retransmission. In 1991, Thomas Alexander Iannelli's Master's thesis judged Karn's KA9Q NOS software as more suitable for deployment than an Air Force Institute of Technology packet radio system. In 1990, Karn was one of the first to predict that the use of wired links for the Internet's "capillaries" would become "history" because most users would access it via wireless radio links. As of 2020, Wi-Fi, mobile phones, and Wireless Internet service providers have caused that prediction to come true.
In 1994, Carl Malamud interviewed Karn on Internet Talk Radio for his "Geek of the Week" podcast. They talked about the KA9Q software, Qualcomm's CDMA radio technology for data transfer, the Globalstar low Earth orbit satellite radio system, Mobile IP, the Clipper chip, and encryption. In June 2014, Karn was also interviewed for the History of the Internet Project, in which he described his contribution to the effort to reboot the 1978 International Sun/Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft. The ISEE-3 is also known as the International Cometary Explorer.
He is well known in the amateur radio community for his work on the KA9Q Network Operating System (NOS), named after his amateur callsign. He also created early 9600 bit/s FSK radio modems. In the early 2000's, Karn worked to introduce forward error correction into Amateur radio satellites, applying it to the 400 bit/s PSK telemetry from the AO-40 satellite. He won the 1989 Specific Achievement Award at the Dayton Hamvention.
Crypto export lawsuit
In 1994, the US State Department Office of Defense Trade Control ruled that while it was legal to export Bruce Schneier's "Applied Cryptography" book under the rules for munitions export, it was illegal to export the source code in the book on electronic media such as a floppy disk.
Karn challenged this ruling, both in the courts and in testimony before Congress, and the case dragged on for years, until Bill Clinton dropped almost all export controls on freely available crypto source code on January 14, 2000; The judge mooted the case, resulting in no decision and no precedent.
- Rick Booth, KM1G (April 1990). "Future Shock: A Conversation with Phil Karn, KA9Q" (PDF). QST. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- "Who We Are | Amateur Radio Digital Communications". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
- "General Granting Goals | Amateur Radio Digital Communications". Retrieved 2021-01-18.
- Romkey, J. (June 1988). A Nonstandard for Transmission of IP Datagrams over Serial Lines: SLIP. doi:10.17487/RFC1055. RFC 1055. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Braden, R. (October 1989). Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers. doi:10.17487/RFC1122. RFC 1122. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Braden, R. (October 1989). Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Application and Support. doi:10.17487/RFC1123. RFC 1123. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Tsuchiya, P. (April 1991). On the Assignment of Subnet Numbers. doi:10.17487/RFC1219. RFC 1219. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Simpson, W. (December 1993). PPP in HDLC Framing. doi:10.17487/RFC1549. RFC 1549. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Haller, N. (February 1995). The S/KEY One-Time Password System. doi:10.17487/RFC1760. RFC 1760. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Atkinson, R. (August 1995). Security Architecture for the Internet Protocol. doi:10.17487/RFC1825. RFC 1825. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Atkinson, R. (August 1995). IP Authentication Header. doi:10.17487/RFC1826. RFC 1826. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Atkinson, R. (August 1995). IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP). doi:10.17487/RFC1827. RFC 1827. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Metzger, P.; Simpson, W. (August 1995). IP Authentication using Keyed MD5. doi:10.17487/RFC1828. RFC 1828. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Karn, P.; Metzger, P.; Simpson, W. (August 1995). The ESP DES-CBC Transform. doi:10.17487/RFC1829. RFC 1829. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Karn, P.; Simpson, W. (March 1999). Photuris: Session-Key Management Protocol. doi:10.17487/RFC2522. RFC 2522.
- Thomas Alexander Iannelli (1991-12-01). Comparison of AFITPAC versus NOS, and a Packet Radio Network Design (Thesis). Defense Technical Information Center. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Malamud, Carl (1994-01-26). "Geek of the Week: Phil Karn". Internet Talk Radio. Internet Multicasting Service. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- Karl Auerbach (July 20, 2014). "Phil Karn on the reboot of the 1978 International Sun/Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3)/ (International Cometary Explorer)". History of the Internet Project. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- James Miller, G3RUH (August 2003). "Oscar-40 FEC Telemetry". Amsat-UK's Oscar News. No. 161. pp. 18–22. Archived from the original on 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
- US Department of Commerce. (January 2000). "Revised U.S. Encryption Export Control Regulations (January 2000)". Electronic Privacy Information Center. Retrieved 2014-01-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Karn, Phil (2010) . "The Applied Cryptography Case: Only Americans Can Type!". Retrieved 2014-01-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Phil Karn's page on the crypto export case". Retrieved 2008-02-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) : Self-published or questionable sources: http://www.ka9q.net/ is subject's personal web page.