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Greater Los Angeles & Inland Areas Discussion - Local area specific discussion for Los Angeles and its outlying areas such as Ventura and Orange Counties, and the Inland Empire area.

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Old 01-24-2017, 11:33 PM
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Default San Bernardino County IS Going Encrypted

I worked a rescue this weekend of three people out 4x4ing in a blizzard. Spent a lot of time with Comm guys and they confirm that San Berdu IS switching to encrypted. I personally see switching Fire to encrypted as a very bad idea but whatcha gonna do? Monitoring for me will be severely minimized. Currently they are having difficulties and Sheriff is not able to talk with Fire on common countywide channels. This hindered our rescue but we made it work. I've done a fair amount of research and many agencies are3 turning off encryption. But why would DHS encourage it for "routine" communications that the public has a right to know about in real-time? As is the policy of this site no bashing allowed. I am asking for a dialogue - communication. What are the compelling reasons for and against encryption? Streaming has nothing to do with this.
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by krazybob View Post
I worked a rescue this weekend of three people out 4x4ing in a blizzard. Spent a lot of time with Comm guys and they confirm that San Berdu IS switching to encrypted. I personally see switching Fire to encrypted as a very bad idea but whatcha gonna do? Monitoring for me will be severely minimized. Currently they are having difficulties and Sheriff is not able to talk with Fire on common countywide channels. This hindered our rescue but we made it work. I've done a fair amount of research and many agencies are3 turning off encryption. But why would DHS encourage it for "routine" communications that the public has a right to know about in real-time? As is the policy of this site no bashing allowed. I am asking for a dialogue - communication. What are the compelling reasons for and against encryption? Streaming has nothing to do with this.
Law Enforcement is going to be a 100 percent encrypted as plan but pretty sure Fire will stay digital in the clear.
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Old 01-24-2017, 11:47 PM
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Law Enforcement is going to be a 100 percent encrypted as plan but pretty sure Fire will stay digital in the clear.
OK. Could you explain your position and how you have arrived at your conclusion? We already know from other accounts here and all over Google that many well known agencies are turning off encryption. Please understand that I am play the devil's advocate. It isn't personal.


Agencies Turning Off Encryption: agencies turning off encryption - Google Search
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:07 AM
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Well you have to understand that Orange County Law Enforcement went fully encrypted 15 years ago. Right after 9/11 The county decided to flip the switch. Then 3 years ago Riverside County went 100 percent fully encrypted including the dog catchers and public works even. The system is completely encrypted besides a few talkgroups. But who really cares about them.

Its a trend and its not stopping. Its just another reason to keep the public out and the liability down. It makes no sense but that's what these counties want moving forward especially in Southern California are doing. Long Beach PD is next and LASO is next too.

As to this about agencies turning off encryption these agencies are a needle in the hay stack. They are really tiny little agencies, but if you study any other large agency or city or county that once they flip the switch there is no turning back.

Also, you will notice in the next few years what San Diego County RCS system will do and The City of San Diego. They are all in the clear but you will see way more encryption coming. The technology is there and its easy to implement and you have no fighting chance to change these counties moving forward.

I think between The Doner LAPD cop killer a few years ago and The San Bernardino terroist shooting played a big part on the county going encrypted.

Its pretty much blows but there is nothing nobody can do about it.


Also, keep in mind that the majority of people that listen to scanners have dropped over the past few decades due to the encryption and the younger generation really don't give a crap. So for the amount of people that really care and have a vested interest is not enough votes to turn off encryption. Nobody cares and won't fight it with city officials nor county supervisors anyways. All of this encryption gets thrown under the carpet and life goes on and people get use to it and its a new normal.

Tax payers and the general public that have a vested interest have no rights anymore with government. ITS JUST THE TRUTH>

Last edited by allend; 01-25-2017 at 12:19 AM..
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:48 AM
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I hear you and agree to a large extent. That's one reason that I'm not racing out to buy new scanners. I have Motorola's and Vertex used primarily for fire.. Up here in the San Berdu's you know we have weather and fire emergencies that don't involve law enforcement. Those channels should not be encrypted. In fact, I was directly involved in a USAR operation where I was the ham radio operator talking to three stranded motorists in Holcomb Valley during a blizzard. Not smart. Fortunately I have an identifier and was able to use a mutual aid frequency on a type accepted radio to talk directly to the IC. It took 12 hours to locate and evac the patients. I have 800 but no longer have an identifier there so VHF it was.

This is my point. If they take the public out of the loop that will include ham radio operators. I think that the San Bernardino terrorist act would not have been any different if radios were encrypted. The suspects were far too busy to listen on a cell phone. I do know that at least certain agencies are phasing out hams and using trained volunteers whether a ham or not. They will be able to do the same functions over encrypted channels.

As I think we all know there are bigger issues here of politics and mostly Big Brother. What happens to the news media once this happens? A 20 minute daily and only a brief statement on a city web site of something that happened? I want to know NOW that a fire is crawling up my butt!!! My position isn't about streaming and I guess when I really think about it, it is more about Big Brother limiting my ability to listen. Encryption has already been cracked but using what one would hear is a felony.

The question then becomes why aren't manufacturers fighting back? Why aren't citizen groups fighting back? Why isn't the news media fighting back? Why is everyone just accepting this as inevitable when that may not be the case. I swear if I won the lottery I'd go after a small agency and win and then use them to establish case law.
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Last edited by krazybob; 01-25-2017 at 12:52 AM..
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Old 01-25-2017, 1:12 AM
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Originally Posted by krazybob View Post
I hear you and agree to a large extent. That's one reason that I'm not racing out to buy new scanners. I have Motorola's and Vertex used primarily for fire.. Up here in the San Berdu's you know we have weather and fire emergencies that don't involve law enforcement. Those channels should not be encrypted. In fact, I was directly involved in a USAR operation where I was the ham radio operator talking to three stranded motorists in Holcomb Valley during a blizzard. Not smart. Fortunately I have an identifier and was able to use a mutual aid frequency on a type accepted radio to talk directly to the IC. It took 12 hours to locate and evac the patients. I have 800 but no longer have an identifier there so VHF it was.

This is my point. If they take the public out of the loop that will include ham radio operators. I think that the San Bernardino terrorist act would not have been any different if radios were encrypted. The suspects were far too busy to listen on a cell phone. I do know that at least certain agencies are phasing out hams and using trained volunteers whether a ham or not. They will be able to do the same functions over encrypted channels.

As I think we all know there are bigger issues here of politics and mostly Big Brother. What happens to the news media once this happens? A 20 minute daily and only a brief statement on a city web site of something that happened? I want to know NOW that a fire is crawling up my butt!!! My position isn't about streaming and I guess when I really think about it, it is more about Big Brother limiting my ability to listen. Encryption has already been cracked but using what one would hear is a felony.

The question then becomes why aren't manufacturers fighting back? Why aren't citizen groups fighting back? Why isn't the news media fighting back? Why is everyone just accepting this as inevitable when that may not be the case. I swear if I won the lottery I'd go after a small agency and win and then use them to establish case law.
The reason why nobody fights back is because like I said in the past thread nobody cares and the older generation that really cared are either in a nursing homes or have passed away from old age. The newer generation doesn't care and agencies know it. Plus over the period of years citizen groups have eroded and our country is very divided. But I do say in time that encryption will eventually back fire in a disaster way. You can say that agencies have the ability to patch talkgroups and everything but when you lock everything down between surrounding counties and cities its going to be a big mess and people will die and no help will be available because nobody will be able to talk to each other.

Also, agencies know that the owner of this site and Broadcastify stream LE audio to the whole world and this did not help matters when it comes to citizens listening to PD comms in their own town. So they just fix the problem real fast with encryption so they do not have to deal with it anymore. This has been really discussed in this thread

http://forums.radioreference.com/com...-attorney.html

The only statewide agency that is really smart and have really figured out what is best for the state due to their topography is The California Highway Patrol.

Their older VHF low band system is not really the state of the art system but its solid and works really well. None of this 700/800 mhz trunking systems with all of this encryption crap that fades out and has distortion. Going digital is not always the best way to go with LE and Fire comms.

Any agency that stays on VHF or UHF Analog has good common sense and a brain that thinks the right way.
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Old 01-25-2017, 1:28 AM
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It works like this overall, they can and do listen to us, but God forbid we listen to them.
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Old 01-25-2017, 1:33 AM
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just a preemptive strike here, but please don't turn this into a encryption/streaming debate.

carry on...
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Old 01-25-2017, 1:51 AM
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can listen to the input frequencies attenuated, then you'll know if something is happening nearby. nascar stub antenna attenuated with the squelch up, something is happening on your block, walk over and videotape it
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Old 01-25-2017, 2:47 AM
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Originally Posted by krazybob View Post
But why would DHS encourage it for "routine" communications that the public has a right to know about in real-time?
Are you talking about Federal DHS? If so, please cite a source as I am not aware of anything from DHS that encourages encryption. Everything I've seen gives guidance about encryption (e.g. Use standard AES) but leaves the decision to the local agency.
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Old 01-25-2017, 3:00 AM
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Thank you KMA371. I was going to say the same thing pursuant to the pinned post at the top. I make no issue with streaming - I am a streamer. My attempt at discussion is the technology, psychology and transparency of encryption.
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Old 01-25-2017, 3:36 AM
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This is the this DHS document suggesting reasons or agencies to use encryption. It clearly focuses on law enforcement and to a certain extent I agree with some of its conclusions. Others I do not. The fast speed of the internet will never slow down the spread of rumors such as the examples they gave her the Fort Hood shooter and of how a second suspect was said to be driving a Toyota Camry and armed. Twitter and other means will still prevail. So this is not a matter of the internet. Law enforcement does have some unique challenges.

But it but it does not discuss the need for fire departments to encrypt. Fire departments much more frequently utilize mutual aid and therein lay a major problem. Everybody has to have compatible equipment or it's not going to work. The Forest Service uses VHF and has not even successfully been able to get digital to work to a reasonable standard. CALFIRE is VHF and not digital at all. Interestingly, here in the San Bernardino Mountains we have what is called Auto Aid. This causes all agencies Federal, County, and Local to respond to incidents. They are all on different systems but once they go on scene they have a unified command comm plan that puts everyone on VHF. Why then why then would the County of San Bernardino insist on encrypting fire channels? In doing so I believe they will be placing the mountain citizens at risk.

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/fi...Draft508_0.pdf
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Old 01-25-2017, 11:19 AM
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SB County Fire and the regional dispatch centers using the system have the option to go encrypted (or not) on any specific channels. They can enable on a PER CHANNEL basis according to the County Comm folks. I was informed that ICEMA as the medical "authority" wants all hospital to paramedic contacts to be encrypted. Therefore, all Fire radios had the encryption board installed in preparation for the final move to digital. As a bonus, this will allow FD to monitor SBSD channels which WILL be 100% encrypted. Now the decision falls to the dispatch center level to encrypt or not. Not that the actual dispatch center will "decide" but due to multiple agencies using the same channels, it can't go down the the individual department level. Additionally, once the radios are programmed, this can change remotely should they decide to change their minds.

From what I hear, County Fire's channels will NOT be 100% encrypted, however several WILL BE for sure. This, of course, could change after implementation remotely or possibly some chief that thinks he knows everything might say "go 100%" right at the start in spite of his subordinates' recommendation suggesting otherwise. I guess what I'm saying is presently, the way it is headed is "partial" encryption for the "Comm Center" channels.

Additionally regarding VHF, SBCo will maintain their VHF repeaters linked into their area 800/700mhz command channels now and in the future. Even "if" they go 100% encrypted, the VHF half of the equation will remain in the clear for any cooperators needing to communicate.

Last edited by f40ph; 01-25-2017 at 12:00 PM.. Reason: Added VHF note at the end.
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Old 01-25-2017, 3:33 PM
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See there is the final answer above. Thank you for the clarification. 100 percent lock down on all LE talkgroups. This was no mystery. The most disappointing news is that more and more talkgroups get locked down as we sail down the road of life. Some fire talkgroups will go next and they will keep chipping away at the block. It's just a slow process.

The reason for all of this non-sense is because cities and counties do not want the general public listening to public safety communications anymore at the cost of whatever happens. It's the paranoia of SOCAL.

But like I have said before above nobody will blink an eye and business will go on as planned moving forward. Riverside Co did it and San Diego County and City will be next.

What's crazy is NORCAL wants nothing to do with ENCRYPTION.
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Old 01-25-2017, 5:12 PM
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What's crazy is NORCAL wants nothing to do with ENCRYPTION.
Not entirely true. there are a few agencies up here that do, full time.
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Old 01-25-2017, 9:04 PM
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Well you have to understand that Orange County Law Enforcement went fully encrypted 15 years ago. Right after 9/11 The county decided to flip the switch.
Not true. OC LE went encrypted when they moved from the old analog 460 Mhz system to the current digital system beginning in 2000, more than a year before 9/11 and well before streaming became widely available. Encryption was part of the transition. Streaming and 9/11 had absolutely nothing to do with OC's move to digital encryption.
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Old 01-26-2017, 12:04 AM
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Add to this that Orange County and I believe, San Diego County are building or have built countywide VHF systems to use for all wildland fire responses. I know that is a small portion of the scanner spectrum, but I don't see that changing.

I have experience with National Park visitors and nearby residents reaching incorrect conclusions based on what they have heard on a scanner. Even after a couple of decades of listening to radio traffic I knew that radio traffic is but one view of an incident. I knew that unless I communicated directly with those on scene, either by radio or preferably face to face, that I didn't have the full picture of the goings on. Of course, in wildland or structure fire sometimes there are large columns building and that helps make a lot of very quick decisions.

But, a lot of destructive rumors have been started by people who hear something on a scanner and misinterpret it. It has gotten worse as a result of internet forums and social media. In some cases the reaction by the public has been hazardous.
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Old 01-26-2017, 1:47 AM
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Add to this that Orange County and I believe, San Diego County are building or have built countywide VHF systems to use for all wildland fire responses. I know that is a small portion of the scanner spectrum, but I don't see that changing.

I have experience with National Park visitors and nearby residents reaching incorrect conclusions based on what they have heard on a scanner. Even after a couple of decades of listening to radio traffic I knew that radio traffic is but one view of an incident. I knew that unless I communicated directly with those on scene, either by radio or preferably face to face, that I didn't have the full picture of the goings on. Of course, in wildland or structure fire sometimes there are large columns building and that helps make a lot of very quick decisions.

But, a lot of destructive rumors have been started by people who hear something on a scanner and misinterpret it. It has gotten worse as a result of internet forums and social media. In some cases the reaction by the public has been hazardous.
The VHF system for wildland fire responses is called THE SOLAR PLAN
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Old 01-27-2017, 9:44 PM
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Are you talking about Federal DHS? If so, please cite a source as I am not aware of anything from DHS that encourages encryption. Everything I've seen gives guidance about encryption (e.g. Use standard AES) but leaves the decision to the local agency.
It even states that existing methods of encryption have been defeated.


Quote:
Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/fi...Draft508_0.pdf
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Old 01-28-2017, 3:45 AM
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I am preparing a write-in campaign to deal with encryption on non-essential talk groups and would like to read of your reasons why encryption should be turned off. I am focusing on FIRE since law enforcement is probably a no winner. We can try anyway. I'd like to hear mostly from those that live in the area but I'll take any thoughts that are shared.
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