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Old 12-13-2016, 12:13 PM
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Default Broadcastify Receives Cease and Desist from Terre Haute, IN City Attorney

We received the following cease and desist letter from Darrell E. (Eddie) Felling II, the City of Terre Haute, IN's city attorney. After a short phone conversation with him walking him through Broadcastify's broadcaster terms of service, he vehemently disagreed with our perspective and indicated further legal remedies would be forthcoming - citing a "changed climate in this country."

It is interesting to note that the City of Terre Haute actually encrypts all of their non-routine law enforcement communications. Their primary police dispatch channel is the only one not encrypted, and the only one included on any live broadcasts.

Note that we will vigorously defend any legal action taken by the city of Terre Haute IN. Any challenge by the City of Terre Haute would not survive even a lax standard of First Amendment scrutiny, as the widespread availability of these communications, often sanctioned by the public safety departments themselves, undermines any rational basis for prohibiting their broadcasts to the general public.

Quote:
By USPS Certified Mail 7008 1140 0000 1938 5315

RadioReference.com LLC
1150 North Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-556
San Antonio, TX 78248

Re: Cease and Desist

Dear Sir or Ma'am:

It has recently been brought to my attention that your service provides
real-time streaming of City of Terre Haute Police Department and Fire
Department radio traffic. I am requesting that the City's agencies be
removed from your broadcasting applications immediately.

I understand for some, listening to public safety scanner traffic is a
hobby that has been around for many years. Recently several of the City's
police officers have reported that individuals listening to scanner feeds, like
those broadcast by RadioReference.com and/or Broadcastify have shown up
to emergency incident scenes.

Given the dangers our police officers face today, having our radio
traffic broadcast in real-time has created a serious threat to officer safety, the
security of incident scenes, and may hinder the officer's ability to
appropriately ascertain and respond to the emergency situation because
listeners are at the scene as well.

I appreciate your help in resolving this potential officer safety issue as
quickly as possible. Please contact my office within ten (10) days of receipt
of this letter to avoid potential legal action.

Sincerely,
Darrell E. Felling II
City Attorney

cc: Chief Plasse

/mjm
Attached original letter.
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File Type: pdf 2016_12_13_11_41_45.pdf (282.5 KB, 1409 views)
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Last edited by blantonl; 12-13-2016 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:21 PM
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So what's to stop citizens from getting handheld scanners and listening and showing up at incidents? The next right we lose is scanning? Gov't is getting out of control.
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:32 PM
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Is it possible to have a class action suit against the city for violating first amendment rights, etc? Do it!
prcguy
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:37 PM
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Default Overstepping Jerisdiction

Even if streaming an un-encrypted channel was illegal, I would think that the City Attorney is overstepping his jurisdiction. Based on his misguided logic, news reports in real time, often with live video from a helicopter, would clearly be a more serious problem than a scanner or stream.

Smart sheriffs and police chiefs have for decades used the listening, and legal public to aid them with information.

Most of us who stream a law enforcement agency do it mainly because of support for the agency and law enforcement in general. I once had a lady tell me that she never wanted a scanner for fear she couldn't master it (she was older and very non technical), but started listening to my stream of the local sheriff's department on her PC when the weather was bad for information. She went on to say that she never dreamed how much LEOs do and had a whole new respect and admiration for them. She also was able to call the sheriff and provide him some very useful information after hearing of a missing person. The sheriff told me the information provided by this lady helped them quickly locate someone with dementia who had walked away from an assisted living center.

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Old 12-13-2016, 12:50 PM
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Default Not real time

It says that the broadcast are in real time. There is a delay. So its just old news
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:55 PM
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Default Broadcastify Receives Cease and Desist from Terre Haute, IN City Attorney

Just because streaming is legal, doe not mean you should.

Leave the feed. Then the only course of action will be for the city to employ encryption on the only remaining unencrypted channel...
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Old 12-13-2016, 12:57 PM
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Just playing devil's advocate, isn't there a federal rule/reg regarding dissemination of information heard over a scanner? Wouldn't a complete rebroadcast of radio traffic be in violation of this? Indiana also has several laws regarding possession of a police radio by non-law enforcement persons. The first amendment is cited also, does the first amendment apply to being a non-participating 3rd party that has no interest directly in the speech claimed to be protected?

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Old 12-13-2016, 12:58 PM
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quote"Then the only course of action will be for the city to employ encryption on the only remaining unencrypted channel..

You can bet that's exactly what they will do,and possibly this whole exercise is to use the streaming as an excuse to do so. The local press should be on this like stink.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evfd1625 View Post
Just playing devil's advocate, isn't there a federal rule/reg regarding dissemination of information heard over a scanner? Wouldn't a complete rebroadcast of radio traffic be in violation of this? Indiana also has several laws regarding possession of a police radio by non-law enforcement persons. The first amendment is cited also, does the first amendment apply to being a non-participating 3rd party that has no interest directly in the speech claimed to be protected?

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http://forums.radioreference.com/1313618-post1.html
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:01 PM
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Default Broadcastify Receives Cease and Desist from Terre Haute, IN City Attorney

Quote:
Originally Posted by radioman2001 View Post

You can bet that's exactly what they will do...

Who was it saying live feeds are not the cause of the move to encryption?
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Is it possible to have a class action suit against the city for violating first amendment rights, etc? Do it!
prcguy
IMHO, since internet covers the nation and territories, individuals nationwide would be eligable to join in. The streams I listen to are generally not local to me so any injunction would conceivably affect me and surely I'm not alone.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdscon View Post
Didn't load properly.

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Old 12-13-2016, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioman2001 View Post
...The local press should be on this like stink.


Easy fix is to let the media have a receive only radio on the system. If it uses OTAR, then the radio can be rekeyed at will by the system owner.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evfd1625 View Post
Didn't load properly.

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Try this:

http://forums.radioreference.com/bro...ml#post1313618

.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayn1n32008 View Post
Who was it saying live feeds are not the cause of the move to encryption?
Frankly, the reason doesn't matter. Since the beginning of civilization, governments have used any convenient excuse to violate individual liberty. It is the rationale of tyrants. People hang their rights when they engage in a lot of finger-pointing, all the while ignoring the real elephant in the room.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evfd1625 View Post
Just playing devil's advocate, isn't there a federal rule/reg regarding dissemination of information heard over a scanner? Wouldn't a complete rebroadcast of radio traffic be in violation of this? Indiana also has several laws regarding possession of a police radio by non-law enforcement persons. The first amendment is cited also, does the first amendment apply to being a non-participating 3rd party that has no interest directly in the speech claimed to be protected?

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Yes, I agree with you. Even though I provide a feed myself, I think they could be held in violation of the Communications act of 1934 and ECPA of 1986.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans13 View Post
Frankly, the reason doesn't matter. Since the beginning of civilization, governments have used any convenient excuse to violate individual liberty. It is the rationale of tyrants. People hang their rights when they engage in a lot of finger-pointing, all the while ignoring the real elephant in the room.


So exactly where is the 'right' to stream public safety comms enshrined in the constitution? Also where is the 'right' to listen to listen to 2way radio communications, not intended for you to be a recipient enshrined in the constitution?
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fxdscon View Post
One thing that caught my attention was that the communications being disseminated cannot be carried by a common carrier. The Indiana SAFE-T system which THPD uses is interconnected by AT&T common carrier T1 lines. Doesn't that mean that any communications that are obtained from a site not directly connected to the site receiving the broadcasts be considered in violation of the law?

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Old 12-13-2016, 1:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayn1n32008 View Post
Easy fix is to let the media have a receive only radio on the system. If it uses OTAR, then the radio can be rekeyed at will by the system owner.
That's a bad idea as it creates a special class while ignoring the rights of everyone else. There is no concrete distinction between the "rights" of journalists and the rights of the individual in tge Constitution of the United States. In fact, "journalist rights" are more of a collective privilege founded on the individual right. When one allows the undercutting of the individual right, eventually the collective privilege will follow. This is not an area in which to compromise.
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Old 12-13-2016, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans13 View Post
That's a bad idea as it creates a special class while ignoring the rights of everyone else. There is no concrete distinction between the "rights" of journalists and the rights of the individual in tge Constitution of the United States. In fact, "journalist rights" are more of a collective privilege founded on the individual right. When one allows the undercutting of the individual right, eventually the collective privilege will follow. This is not an area in which to compromise.

So you are not going to answer the question then?
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