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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-20-2011, 8:04 PM
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Default The Official Thread: Live audio feeds, scanners, and... wait for it.. ENCRYPTION!

In the words of the Bud Light commercial .... HERE WE GO!

Go forth and fight for and against the RadioReference Live Audio Feed platform. Keep it civil, keep it clean. Good luck
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Old 10-20-2011, 9:00 PM
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Why fight over something you have no control over?

We see LE using scanner and RR loaded cell phone toting bad guys as an argument for encryption, yet how often do they shut down high-speed chases, letting the perpetrator go so no one's put in harms way? I've heard it happen twice this week alone. Wonder how they plan on fixing that with encryption?

Does anyone have access to statistics for agencies that have gone encrypted to see if it's actually made any difference in terms of catching the bad guy and enhancing officer safety? My guess is if it had, our scanners would be silent already. (Of course, there has to be money for it) Otherwise, I agree 100% with GG's last comment in post #84 of the original thread. That's how it is in my area and seems to be working pretty well.

This site will be here long after the feeds are gone and encryption has taken over. My measley 2c.
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Old 10-20-2011, 9:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ts548:
Why would you need the encryption key? Once again, if your responding to another agency they need to be putting everyone responding on a different channel so everyone can communicate. With console's today they can patch VHF,UHF and 800 together so it doesn't matter what radio you have. So again, your point about it hindering interoperbility isn't true.
Come work a shift with me, you'll see that your idealistic view just doesn't exist where I work. Separate dispatch centers, separate dispatch SOPs for police, fire and EMS. They are not going to patch my department's frequency (100,000+ calls a year) with the police district frequency (150,000+ calls per year) for every response that involves both agencies, it's not feasible. I'm lucky if the cops respond on calls for violent psychiatric patients with me, but when they want the ambulance, they want it NOW. If they were to go encrypted, you would never see a patched channel or any information shared, which could jeopardize MY safety.

Do you work in public safety? If not, regardless of how much radio knowledge you have, you'll never understand.

EDIT...brought over from the original thread....I'd really like to see him answer this one.
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Old 10-21-2011, 2:53 AM
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Sounds like the management of the various agencies is the root of the breakdown in interoperability and NOT encryption. If all your chiefs and managers were on the same page about what the ultimate goal is here - public safety - they'd get their act together and create the SOPs and channels required for multi-agency responses. EMS should always have PD respond when the call involves a violent patient. If they don't as standard practice, then they have another policy to work on.
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Old 10-21-2011, 8:57 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyC View Post
Sounds like the management of the various agencies is the root of the breakdown in interoperability and NOT encryption. If all your chiefs and managers were on the same page about what the ultimate goal is here - public safety - they'd get their act together and create the SOPs and channels required for multi-agency responses. EMS should always have PD respond when the call involves a violent patient. If they don't as standard practice, then they have another policy to work on.
You seem to misunderstand. I CAN currently monitor PD & FD, I can also monitor PD, FD & EMS of every member community of the Homeland Security Region on my department portable. I can also monitor them on the VX3 that I carry in my pocket while working, and on my HT1550XLS. I used all three at a 5 alarm fire the other night.

The person I was replying to is a supporter of encryption for PD, and doesn't believe that encryption hinders interoperability. I know that the PD would never give out their encryption keys if they were to implement them, and that person also believes that a talkgroup should be designated for the incident so that everyone is on the same channel. They don't seem to appreciate that in a city of over 600,000, with 100,000+ EMS calls and 800,000+ PD calls annually, that it just isn't going to happen. They also don't seem to understand that each individual agency has it's own licensed frequencies, and their own system managers. We don't have talkgroups, we have channels. The system works fine as is, and I'm not saying it's broken-the person who's feedback I'm requesting is.

As far as getting the cops to go to their calls, that's a whole different story.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:28 AM
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I heard that Fremont County, Colorado encrypted all their main dispatch talkgroups because they didn't want to be "live fed" on the internet. Looks like it worked...

I'm sure there are others...
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Old 10-21-2011, 5:00 PM
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Ed, I don't think I misunderstood you. I am in agreement with the other guy that encryption does not breakdown interoperability. It is great that you can bring up whatever agency you need to on your radio when several agencies/services are involved. What I am saying is if one of those involved routinely operates encryption and has to work scenes with other agencies who don't then the encrypted agency needs to move to a common unencrypted channel/talkgroup that the others share when they are on a mutual aid call. If they don't or won't then there is a problem higher up that is hindering the effort. Either the big agencies want to cooperate with the smaller or they don't. When they won't or don't that is the problem. The fact that they are running encryption is irrelevant. I don't believe they were thinking scanners when the interoperability word was derived either. As has been said before, true communications interoperability is more than just having everybody on the same radio frequency or channel/talkgroup.

Interoperability = communications + cooperation + policy + training. (and possibly others)
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Old 10-21-2011, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citywide173 View Post
As far as getting the cops to go to their calls, that's a whole different story.
Then the prudent thing to do is wait safely at a distance or leave until PD arrives. If you worry about getting sued for not doing your job, I don't think any judge is going to side against you when your personal safety is in jeopardy at a scene. A dead or injured EMT or firefighter is not going to help anyone. Stay safe.
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Old 10-21-2011, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyC View Post
Then the prudent thing to do is wait safely at a distance or leave until PD arrives. If you worry about getting sued for not doing your job, I don't think any judge is going to side against you when your personal safety is in jeopardy at a scene. A dead or injured EMT or firefighter is not going to help anyone. Stay safe.
We've been trained in dealing with the violent patient, and the use of hard restraints (what most people call handcuffs). This was a direct result of the police not showing up in a timely manner.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:46 PM
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Well. Can we admit first that police in a small community is totally different than the one in a big city.

Small community: resources are limited, there are only a couple of officers and cars. Everyone knows everyone, common tasks are to bring down aunt Edna's cat from the tree and check on uncle Willie after he had one too many drinks at the local pub. They definitely can use some help from the community, and if cousin Bubba has a scanner in his truck he will come pull out the police car from a snowbank. They can definitely use a simple, analog, open system.

Big city: police has huge resources and are self-sufficient. They don't need and don't want "help" from the public. Their tasks may include pepper spraying, using force, tear gas and water cannons against the "community". Guess why they would want encryption?
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nap View Post
Well. Can we admit first that police in a small community is totally different than the one in a big city.

Small community: resources are limited, there are only a couple of officers and cars. Everyone knows everyone, common tasks are to bring down aunt Edna's cat from the tree and check on uncle Willie after he had one too many drinks at the local pub. They definitely can use some help from the community, and if cousin Bubba has a scanner in his truck he will come pull out the police car from a snowbank. They can definitely use a simple, analog, open system.

Big city: police has huge resources and are self-sufficient. They don't need and don't want "help" from the public. Their tasks may include pepper spraying, using force, tear gas and water cannons against the "community". Guess why they would want encryption?
I will admit that, but why should I be placed at risk because of encryption. I'm not a citizen, I'm a member of public safety that monitors the police to help me do my job.
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Old 10-22-2011, 4:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tbiggums View Post
I heard that Fremont County, Colorado encrypted all their main dispatch talkgroups because they didn't want to be "live fed" on the internet. Looks like it worked...
It's not the only reason, though.

In Australia we just have state police (no city, county, etc) so their radio networks tend to be huge and cover massive areas. The police sell the cost of the network upgrades to the government by saying "we need encryption because crooks are listening to us", but really one of the top reasons they (mostly) upgraded from conventional analogue to digital was - talkgroups. The analogue conventional networks simply ran out of capacity.

Setting up a new digital trunking system from scratch - that's the hard and expensive bit. Encryption? A very nice software option that is trivial and easy to enable.

The metro ambulance service here also recently went from conventional analogue to non-trunked enc. P25. Nothing sensitive was ever transmitted on radio - everything went on the MDTs. Why go digital? Because after some bad press about response times they got money to modernise all their system, (dispatch, radio, etc) and digital P25 and Tetra (etc) has all the marketing exposure from the big govt. vendors. Adding encryption was merely a licensing cost.

Last edited by vk6hgr; 10-22-2011 at 4:43 AM..
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Old 10-23-2011, 5:04 AM
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I'm not taking sides on the feed debate, but I just wanted to report that a friend (who is a feed provider) asked a Sacramento PD officer what he thought about live feeds. I was there with him during the conversation. The officer told him that he doesn't like feeds because they give the bad guys too much information. Basically the same thing I've read about in the numerous live feed debate threads here.

I told him about RR's strict policy of no tac, surveillance, or narc channels. I don't think that made him feel any more at ease though.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:38 AM
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I think the one thing that has not been covered is what is happening when a bad guy is caught with a scanner, is there a law in place that might deter this from happening.

Where I live it is a crime to be caught using a scanner (and I think this includes a smartphone app) during the commission of a crime.

I would like to know from those that have reported that LE agencies are unhappy when criminals are caught using receivers during the commissions of a crime if they have laws in place that combat this.
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Old 10-26-2011, 7:57 PM
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Watch the video here with police throwing gas canisters in a group trying to help a severely wounded guy:

Veteran Scott Olsen Could Be The First Person To Die At A Wall Street Protest

"Serve and Protect", eh?

These are the guys that "need" encryption.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:52 AM
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I can tell you that in the south most of the agencies encrypt because in a lot of these small southern towns the authorities are just as corrupt as the criminals their suppose to protect us from. look at alabama and the amount of encryption used. PROBABLY IN THE TOP TEN OF highly encrypted states in the nation
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:36 PM
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I just noticed that there are over a half a million of us on this web site! 500K+! Would that be enough to start a campagine to fight police encryption of routine pricinct level comms? If we could some how fund the legal expence to get this issue heard by someone who could resolve it, at least then we can say that an effort was made. Whether it's "yes, cops have a good reason to encrypt", or "no, cops must let the public have a real time ear on their routine comms", it can be said that someone made the effort to settle things. Let's not let this issue die 'cause no one cared enough. Just ranting about it woun't change anything. I for one would give $10 in hopes that all of us would match that. $5 million would give us a chance to see which way this issue and this country's liberties will go.
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Old 10-29-2011, 7:24 AM
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I don't believe you can stop encryption. There are some justified reasons for using it too.

What can be done to raise accountability (if that's the issue) is to mandate that all such transmissions are recorded and available to the courts (through warrants) and to the public (through FOIA). Like they do with the 911 calls.
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Old 11-01-2011, 9:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nap View Post
Well. Can we admit first that police in a small community is totally different than the one in a big city.

Small community: resources are limited, there are only a couple of officers and cars. Everyone knows everyone, common tasks are to bring down aunt Edna's cat from the tree and check on uncle Willie after he had one too many drinks at the local pub. They definitely can use some help from the community, and if cousin Bubba has a scanner in his truck he will come pull out the police car from a snowbank. They can definitely use a simple, analog, open system.

Big city: police has huge resources and are self-sufficient. They don't need and don't want "help" from the public. Their tasks may include pepper spraying, using force, tear gas and water cannons against the "community". Guess why they would want encryption?
Dallas PD would argue that with ya. They WANT folks to assist them. If you see a crimne call it in [even if it turns out to be nothing]
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Old 11-01-2011, 6:21 PM
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Dallas PD would argue that with ya. They WANT folks to assist them. If you see a crimne call it in [even if it turns out to be nothing]
Oakland PD probably wouldn't.

Occupy Oakland, police taking different approaches to public safety at upcoming strike - San Jose Mercury News

The part with the medical supplies is wild. What's next, confiscating inhalers from people with heart condition or asthma?
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