• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Rising Police-Scanner Secrecy Irks Orlando-Area Enthusiasts

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trunktracking

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MungoPark

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Disappearing hobby???

The State of Florida has been hostile to scanner hobbyists for years now. Early digital encryption systems were very tempermental and almost not worth the expense and effort. I remember when I lived in Douglas Arizona in the early 1990s, the US Border Patrol used a digital voice protection system sometimes but officers frequently transmitted in the clear "What was that? I couldn't copy. Turn off the DVP!" But now, digital voice protection has been greatly improved. It seems to me that encryption in voice communications is going to be the future in emergency radio broadcasting and that our hobby will cease to be possible because there won't be anything to listen to. When will this happen? I'm predicting that 20 years from now, nationwide, emergency radio scanning will be a thing of the past.
 

lfd8e4

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The State of Florida has been hostile to scanner hobbyists for years now. Early digital encryption systems were very tempermental and almost not worth the expense and effort. I remember when I lived in Douglas Arizona in the early 1990s, the US Border Patrol used a digital voice protection system sometimes but officers frequently transmitted in the clear "What was that? I couldn't copy. Turn off the DVP!" But now, digital voice protection has been greatly improved. It seems to me that encryption in voice communications is going to be the future in emergency radio broadcasting and that our hobby will cease to be possible because there won't be anything to listen to. When will this happen? I'm predicting that 20 years from now, nationwide, emergency radio scanning will be a thing of the past.
I agree that in 20+- years the scanning will be decreased significantly, maybe not totally but significantly. I know everyone says don't worry, but they most likely don't live in an already "muted" area.
 

Stick0413

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I agree that in 20+- years the scanning will be decreased significantly, maybe not totally but significantly. I know everyone says don't worry, but they most likely don't live in an already "muted" area.
Well there is very little that is muted here. I do see it slowly going that way but you will still have some smaller agencies that do actually rely on the public for help refuse to go. I have called in before after seeing a car matching the description of a car used in a robbery minutes before. I told the dispatcher I heard the description over my scanner and he said that they could use more people like me keeping an eye out. So there are some that still do realize that the public can help in situations too. I can see the use of tactical channels that are encrypted, along with other special ops but dispatch should be in the open.
 

bluefox2163

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encryption

theres a town called wolcott here in connecticut and the police chief,that wonderful guy decided to come off full time encryption for the benefit of the public he said if they want to listen let them listen we have nothing to hide,i hope more police chiefs see the benifits of allowing the public to monitor non sensitive communications....
 

radioman2001

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I agree that there should be more Police Chiefs like that, but unfortunately there aren't.( especially in Conn. which has an open government law "Sunshine Law") A better tact might be to contact your local representatives, and explain that the Police work for you, and that you should not be excluded from their day to day transmissions. I totally agree that tactical transmissions should be encrypted, but you need some one from the outside of the department to decide which is tactical and necessary for encryption. I believe that all transmissions should be recorded and made available to the public with a delay, possibly by internet. That negates the claim of knowing where the Police are at a specific time, but once that is addressed, the agencies who want to keep the public in the dark will find some other excuse.
The main point is that the Police work for us, not the other way around, if some one doesn't step up and address the issue before they go encrypted, then scanner listening as a hobby or for any other purpose, whether you are a member of law enforcement or not will be gone. It's a lot harder to reclaim something then it is to keep, by addressing it beforehand.
 

N0IU

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Yeah, I enjoy "eavesdropping" with my scanner as much as anybody (otherwise I wouldn't be on this forum!), but I think that sometimes, just sometimes, there are people out there that lose sight of the fact that the whole reason that the public service agencies and private companies use radios is to conduct whatever business it is that they do and some things are just not meant to be heard by the public at large. They are not keeping their conversations "secret" just to be mean or so that we will have to spend even more money on more sophisticated scanners! This may be a "Well, duh!" comment, but they do NOT use radios to conduct business over the airwaves just so that "scanner enthusiasts" will have something to listen to!
 

radioman2001

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That may be true, but radio airwaves belong to the public, they are a public resource. In the license agreement that you receive from the FCC, it states there no garantee to use of a frequency or privacy. The FCC allows an agency to use them, there are no rights involved. It is at the public's discression how, when and where they can use them, in part from regulations that are enacted by the FCC after public comment. I wonder if you would feel the same way if your local park was placed off limits to you because the local agency decided it was too risky for the public to use it, while that agency continued to use it.
 

N0IU

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That may be true, but radio airwaves belong to the public, they are a public resource. In the license agreement that you receive from the FCC, it states there no garantee to use of a frequency or privacy.
What license are you talking about?

For amateur communications, Part 97 says:
§ 97.101
No frequency will be assigned for the exclusive use of any station.
While this applies to amateur communications, it does NOT apply to commercial or private users of the airwaves. This is precisely why companies pay MILLIONS of dollars for spectrum space so that they will have exclusive use of those frequencies.

In terms of privacy, Part 97 says:
§ 97.117
Transmissions...shall be limited to messages of a technical nature relating to tests, and, to remarks of a personal character for which, by reason of their unimportance...
In other words, we are obliged to talk about stuff that essentially no one really cares about. If you want private communications, use some other form of communication.

I wonder if you would feel the same way if your local park was placed off limits to you because the local agency decided it was too risky for the public to use it, while that agency continued to use it.
If they deemed it too risky for me to use, then why would I want to go there?

So what about this...

In most jurisdictions, you can register information with your local 911 agency that tells them where you have a key to your house in case they need to get in and you are unable to answer the door. Now let's say the police or fire department is dispatched to your house and they announce over the air that the key to the front door is hidden under the flower pot next to the front door. Now every "scanner enthusiast" knows how to get into your house! And unlike buying a handgun, there is no criminal background check performed in order to buy a scanner!

Yes, there is some information that is not for public cunsumption and you will not convince me otherwise!
 

radioman2001

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Conditions:
Pursuant to §309(h) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §309(h), this license is subject to the
following conditions: THIS LICENSE SHALL NOT VEST IN THE LICENSEE ANY RIGHT TO OPERATE THE STATION nor any right in the use of the
frequencies designated in the license beyond the term thereof nor in any other manner than authorized herein. Neither the
license nor the right granted thereunder shall be assigned or otherwise transferred in violation of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended. See 47 U.S.C. § 310(d). This license is subject in terms to the right of use or control conferred by §706 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. See 47 U.S.C. §606.

If you really want, I can find more that states that no individual, or agency has any rights in reference to operation or privacy on a frequency, BTW I hope you are not suggesting that Police agencies use amature frequencies, since you are quoting rules for amature operation, because I'm Not.

Also convinced or not, is not the question, it's the matter of being able to hear day to day operations. To know that our employees, since we do pay their salaries in our taxes, are actually working and not doing more harm than good. If you choose to not listen that's you perogative, but don't speak for others and their beliefs. Like most amature radio operators that I know, you know it all.
 

JoeyC

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I wonder if you would feel the same way if your local park was placed off limits to you because the local agency decided it was too risky for the public to use it, while that agency continued to use it.
Silly analogy. You are suggesting that because some agency encrypts that you are prohibited from playing in the local park when in fact the MAJORITY of the park is open, free and clear, only a small portion is roped off because of (real or perceived) hazards. Whether they are real or perceived is up to the user of said parkland/airspace.
 

N0IU

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I hope you are not suggesting that Police agencies use amature frequencies, since you are quoting rules for amature operation, because I'm Not.
Of course I am not suggesting any such thing. I was merely responding to your statement:
In the license agreement that you receive from the FCC...
The only license I have received from the FCC is an amateur radio license.

Like most amature radio operators that I know, you know it all.
I would never presume to tell the moderators how to do their job, but personal attacks are generally frowned upon at Radio Reference.
 

bobmintern

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In most jurisdictions, you can register information with your local 911 agency that tells them where you have a key to your house in case they need to get in and you are unable to answer the door. Now let's say the police or fire department is dispatched to your house and they announce over the air that the key to the front door is hidden under the flower pot next to the front door. Now every "scanner enthusiast" knows how to get into your house! And unlike buying a handgun, there is no criminal background check performed in order to buy a scanner!

Yes, there is some information that is not for public cunsumption and you will not convince me otherwise!
We do this at my locality, it's called Heads Up. Most places have this now. Where it really works well is though our MDT, where it should be. A lot of more sensitive information, key locations, etc, are now placed in the notes section of our calls via our MDT's. The best part about the MDT's is that unless you are sitting right in front of it, chances are so highly unlikely you would be able to intercept any type of information.

I agree that some information isn't for public consumption, however the most senstive forms of information have other mediums of delivery that are even more secure than a digital radio channel that is encrypted.
 

cifd64

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Are you serious?

I totally agree that tactical transmissions should be encrypted, but you need some one from the outside of the department to decide which is tactical and necessary for encryption. I believe that all transmissions should be recorded and made available to the public with a delay, possibly by internet. That negates the claim of knowing where the Police are at a specific time, but once that is addressed, the agencies who want to keep the public in the dark will find some other excuse.
.
I could not disagree more. Who are we to decide what is tactical or not. Do you really want some of these people (including some on this site) determining what is tactical or not? Yes, the police work for us. But the number one rule in public safety is Protect the Responder First. Not, Make sure everyone can hear us and that we push enough watts out to cover the next 5 counties.

There will be plenty to listen to when LE goes/completes its transition to digital/encryption. There is a big push to exclude the FD's from P25 because it is horrendous on the Fireground.

But to say that WE should decide what is enc and what isnt, or what is tactical and what is not could not be further from a reasonable solution for some hard-up hobbyists.

I dont like ENC myself, but it isnt my job nor my place to tell a cop or PD how to run their comms systems.
 

N0IU

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Who are we to decide what is tactical or not.
Bravo!! Just so we stay on topic, the article states, "... increasing number of public-safety agencies across the country have taken advantage of the latest technology to keep the public from eavesdropping." which makes it sound like the only reason they are doing this is to be mean to us innocent scanner enthusiasts and intentionally keep us in the dark so they can go about doing their job with the usual big government ineptitude and sloppiness.

I bet this is Obama's fault... everything else is!
 

cousinkix1953

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All of my local police, sheriff and highway patrol traffic is dispatched in plain English. They already have their secret business channels. It's called a modern day "digital" cellular phone. I hear nothing but static on the old 800 mhz frequencies. Not much encryption around here either except for the state bureau of narcotics agents. Yellow Cab is full time encryption on 152.330 mhz. What a joke.

City and county politicians aren't real big on buying new tinker toys for the police. Our SWAT team uses a "semi-automatic" version of the H&K MP-5 and does not even have any machineguns.

Buying those Digital P-25 radios is a waste of taxpayers' money. Most of them sound like a cheap SSB CB radio that is out of tune. Listening to the LAPD "on-line" reminds me of the CQDX pile up on channels 35-40. Nobody is on the same frequency and darn few scanners have a clarifier which can tune out their Donald Duck voices.

Orange county California is a big secret police state. The sheriff and a dozen local police departments are full time encryption. No more barking dog or party calls! This started not long after a corrupt sheriff was sent to a federal prison. Another big shot LEO's son was arrested for dealing drugs. And the current sheriff was caught bugging a board of supervisor's meeting. Something to hide; you betcha...
 
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