• 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

Wilmington, NC - Law enforcement agencies encrypting radio trasmissions

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RBMTS

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#2
OMG - does this news agency not check for misspellings or grammar? Does no one proof read? "Trasmissions".

So do them mean "transmissions" or "trashmissions" ? Well, either might apply.
 
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#3
A wise Sheriff once said: "Senior citizens with scanners are one of my top assets when I am looking for someone, they call us with tips all the time, that kind if help is invaluable"
 
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#5
Another way to screw the honest man out of a hobby.

David
It's not the departments that are doing it. How about all the live feeds, or perhaps the posting of LODD deaths right after they happen? I know one department locally talking about encrpyting everything because of live feeds. The hobbiest are driving themselves right out of their own hobby.
 

trumpetman

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#6
What is next?

Fire & EMS Traffic will be next.

Another way to screw the honest man out of a hobby.

David
Did you read the article? Fire has no intentions of encrypting at this time. They even included a handy little "facts" blurb on the first page for people who automatically jump to "the sky is falling" mentality...

Facts
Encrypted
Wilmington Police Department.
New Hanover County Sheriff's Office (soon).

Not encrypted
Ambulance services.
Fire departments.
N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Wrightsville Beach Police Department.
Carolina Beach Police Department.
Kure Beach Police Department.
Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.

It's not the departments that are doing it. How about all the live feeds, or perhaps the posting of LODD deaths right after they happen? I know one department locally talking about encrpyting everything because of live feeds. The hobbiest are driving themselves right out of their own hobby.
How bout that little tidbit regarding no extra costs too....hello ADP.
 

balibago

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#8
hackers

We desperately need a hacker to put a program out there to defeat that ADP. These live feeds suck but where is the next Edward Snowden?
 

balibago

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#10
Make em spend the money

I doubt they will spend the money to fix the fact their radio systems have been hacked. Encryption should be as expensive and time consuming as possible, this is an issue of freedom and of the public having some oversight over these agencies. After all if they have nothing to hide............
 
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#11
I doubt they will spend the money to fix the fact their radio systems have been hacked. Encryption should be as expensive and time consuming as possible, this is an issue of freedom and of the public having some oversight over these agencies. After all if they have nothing to hide............

While you may believe that you have the 'right' to monitor there is nothing stopping the agency from encrypting. While you may 'doubt' an agency that wants their radio Comms private would not 'spend the money' to maintain that privacy, I can assure you they WILL if they find out their Comms have been 'hacked' as well, if they figure out who hacked them, my guess is that they would receive a rather unpleasant visit(it IS illegal to decrypt encrypted communications if you are not the intended recipient) You want oversite, make a FOIP request for recordings of the Comms.




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flythunderbird

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#12
Wilmington, NC - "The advent of mobile apps and websites that allow more people than ever to listen to police radio chatter prompted two local law enforcement agencies to follow a growing trend across the country – encrypting police radio traffic."
As many have said on this site in the past, the idea that Web sites and mobile apps enable people to listen to police radio traffic, including dispatch traffic, as a justification for encryption is ridiculous. That's like saying the advent of 300-horsepower cars, which are rather common these days, makes it easier for people to break the speed limit; therefore, we have to put a speed limiter on all cars to protect people from any danger tied to going over the speed limit - an asinine idea, but the principle is the same.

We all know that scanners have been available for years and years. When you really get down to brass tacks, the presence of a Web site or a mobile app which enables someone to listen to police radio traffic is just another form of scanner. And yet this is somehow more of a threat than someone with a handheld scanner was five, ten, fifteen years ago? If someone back then wanted to listen to the police on the go, all they had to do was buy a scanner, program it, and take it with them. It really wasn't that hard, especially when you could go to the local Radio Shack and they'd program the scanner for you before you left the store. The only difference is that Web sites and mobile apps are more available and easier to use(for some people, anyway).

To be fair, I don't have a problem with encryption where it is justified, and there are situations where it is justified; however, encrypting dispatch is not one of them. I also feel that encrypting everything is bad public policy, but that's an argument not germane to this thread.
 

balibago

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#13
please read

The situation now is that it is really easy to encrypt these digital signals without a loss of signal quality,range or loss of voice quality. It is no longer prohibitively expensive as well. however right or no right to do this it is something me and many of other millions of people enjoy. The real criminals and by real criminals I mean either those who either live a criminal lifestyle, pimps, drug dealers, habitual thieves etc. or those who have committed a very serious crime such as murder, armed robbery etc. will simply adapt their tactics to not using a scanner if they were predisposed to do so. We radio monitors should and must use anything at our disposal to learn how to defeat these encryption schemes. I refuse to go along with this the good suffers for the bad crap. We should however be responsible and shut down these feeds unless we have permission to do them. We should never antagonize any agency or business who transmits in the clear.
 
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#14
As many have said on this site in the past, the idea that Web sites and mobile apps enable people to listen to police radio traffic, including dispatch traffic, as a justification for encryption is ridiculous. That's like saying the advent of 300-horsepower cars, which are rather common these days, makes it easier for people to break the speed limit; therefore, we have to put a speed limiter on all cars to protect people from any danger tied to going over the speed limit - an asinine idea, but the principle is the same.
You might sing a different tune if it were your responsibility to run a department, avoid litigation and maintain officer safety in a profession that is expected to perform at the highest level of professionalism when dealing with a preponderance of negativity in society, instead of looking at it as a monitoring hobbyist.

You equated encryption to stealthy cars to breaking the speed limit.
Here is my little analogy:

You have a garden in your front yard with beautiful flowers. Passers-by would walk by and admire your hard work. Every now and then someone will pick a flower or two and or step on them. Because you live in the city you understand that is part of living the city life but you are generally happy. But then one day, someone decides that they want to bus in large crowds of people to view your gardens. At first you enjoyed the idea but you soon realized that your increased exposure to the world has now brought about more people picking your flowers and damaging your work which requires you to work harder to maintain the image your garden has had in the community. The crowds grow and soon people start to tell you what types of flowers you should plant and which you should avoid. They photograph your work in the garden and you become very popular, however you are not that excited about having the crack of your backside in pictures that are appearing in the afternoon newspaper. Then someone sues you because their child was scratched by a rose bush that someone suggested you get rid of or because they were offended that they saw your butt as you bent over in the garden. At one point you ask the buses to stop bringing the crowds of people, but interest in your garden has risen and the buses decline your request. As a result of your loss of privacy and unnecessary scrutiny by people that really should just be enjoying your hard work as is, you decide to put a small fence around your yard to mitigate some of the issues. Because of this, people protest. Before long the TV news is doing live-shots from outside your property. You ask them nicely to not escalate the situation by putting you on the air but they politely tell you that it is legal for them to look at your gardens from off your property lines and the 'people' are interested so the story will go on. Eventually you get fed up and erect a tall fence. The public can now not enjoy your gardens as they once could. Many are upset and soon the talk in the town is you erected a fence to hide your illegal cultivation of marijuana plants. Really?
 

flythunderbird

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#15
You might sing a different tune if it were your responsibility to run a department, avoid litigation and maintain officer safety in a profession that is expected to perform at the highest level of professionalism when dealing with a preponderance of negativity in society, instead of looking at it as a monitoring hobbyist.
You could well be right, and if the situation were such that simply dispatching an officer would likely result in his death or disability, then dispatch encryption would be the way to go. I did say in my post that there are situations where encryption is justified. But I don't think that encrypting dispatch "just because people are listening" is a good idea.

You equated encryption to stealthy cars to breaking the speed limit.
I did no such thing. I said nothing about "stealthy cars" or stealth anything, whatever a "stealthy car" is. A 300-horsepower car is not "stealthy" in any way, shape or form. You read something into the post that isn't there. Again, go back and re-read my post.

Here is my little analogy:
*snip*

I don't know what flower gardens and bus traffic and being accused of growing pot behind a tall fence have to do with law enforcement radio communications, but we're going off the deep end here.

Let me clarify my post.

1. I did NOT say that encryption of police radio traffic should be banned.
2. Conversely, I did NOT say that ALL police radio traffic should be in the clear. See point #3 below.
3. I DID say that encryption should be used when the situation calls for it, and now I will give you examples:

- surveillance/stakeouts
- raids on suspected criminals or crime locations
- in situations when officer lives are directly and immediately threatened
- any other sort of tactical operations

and there are probably other situations when encryption should be used.

4. I DID say that encrypting dispatch radio traffic ONLY because people can listen to it on smartphones or scanners is a bad idea. It smacks of public distrust by the police, and I think that the police would want the public to trust them.

I am all for officer safety; they have a difficult job in the best of situations, and steps should to be taken to keep them as safe as possible. I am NOT one of these people who beats up on law enforcement whenever they make a mistake. I have known and been friends with police officers for years. Police officers are just like anyone else; they are human beings, and they want to go home to their families A-OK when their shift is over. I get that, and I want to see them go home A-OK, too. And yes, I am also a hobbyist who enjoys listening to police radio traffic on his scanner. I think a middle ground can be found here.

It would appear that you disagree with me, which is fine ... but do not accuse me of saying things I did not say.
 

trumpetman

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#16
Good Grief

Why is everyone so insistent on "hacking" encryption? And doing so publicly??? The more you put it out in the open the more likely you are to shoot yourself in the foot. Look at the current reasoning why agencies are going encrypted, people can't keep they're mouth shut about investigations, LODD comms are getting out to the media, among other things. Everyone keeps blabbing about weak security measures and all that is doing is motivating budgets to increase funding towards stronger encryption.

There's a reason my radios are going from ADP to OFB very quickly. Might even make the jump to AES if I can get keyloading capabilities. If you can't handle not being able to hear law enforcement comms, get a badge and listen with your issued radio. Otherwise you folks gotta suck it up. Listening to public safety talk on the radio and scrutinize they're every word isn't the only way to "watch the watchers".

If I were a betting person I'd say this thread is on the verge of getting kicked to the tavern very quickly.

Let's try and get this thread back on track and discuss Wilmington going secure and not hacking encryption (I know that's hard to resist for all your super geniuses out there).
 

Nasby

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#17
I DID say that encrypting dispatch radio traffic ONLY because people can listen to it on smartphones or scanners is a bad idea. It smacks of public distrust by the police, and I think that the police would want the public to trust them.

Sadly, I would say that the majority of taxpayers and the public could care less about listening in on the police. And the average citizen does not care one way or the other about encryption.

So the police chief and mayor does a live demo of an I-phone App feed at a council meeting and gets overwhelming support for encryption.
 
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#18
It would appear that you disagree with me, which is fine ... but do not accuse me of saying things I did not say.
Not sure why you think you need to clarify your post as I understood it quite clearly and accused you of nothing. :confused:
The confusion you are having about my post is because you are looking at the situation with the typical scanner users tunnel vision. I'm sorry the flowers and busses went right over your head. I thought it was rather cleaver.:lol:
 
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#20
Judging from the handful of comments to the article posted, most of the "the people" in that area view scannists as "shut ins and people who have nothing better to do than listen to a scanner", so apparently in that community they are not too up in arms about "the media no longer being able to rush to 'assist' the police on every call they go on by listening in on their scanners".
 
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