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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 12-06-2018, 12:20 AM
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Default Riverside killing off encrypted media radio access

The most interesting aspect I found of the article was this

"Walker said ERICA risked “significant fines, penalties and even criminal liability” by allowing the media access to the radio communications, including that the Department of Justice could pull the police department’s access to the California Law Enforcement Communications System, or CLETS. CLETS is the computer network law enforcement agencies in California use to access shared databases like vehicle registration records and criminal histories. He said the agency “received a very terse scolding from DOJ” regarding access to encrypted radios."

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...s/2210729002/?

It is a bit frightening, the DOJ pressuring, to think that there could soon come a time, when in order for an agency to operate, it MUST become fully encrypted. #eeeekkkkk!

Paul
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:54 AM
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Well like I have said in the past and will say again "The rubber will meet the road one day".

When I say this - we live in a state where we have natural disasters every year which includes wild fires, and earthquakes all the time. When you cut public safety off and communication from the general public which has already happened and now you are going to cut off the media too then we are in deep trouble with the state of California.

This is some really scary times we live in and "we the people have no say so at this point for systems we pay for". We keep losing traction and it will be interesting to see when everything is locked down as its going how crippled we will become as a community when &&&& hit the fan and it will happen. This is a guaranteed fact.

Eventually and its already happening we the people are getting squeezed out and now the media is getting squeezed out. I am not sure if this alarms people or not or even if anybody cares.

Looks like everybody will be on their own to try and survive and figure things out in your own tight family unit and carry your own weapons and food and water and survive the storm. This is whats coming down the pipe because you won't be able to count on getting any information from public safety or the media or social media. Good Luck people. Get prepared.......... Scanner radios will be useless.. Those days are coming to end to get information on your local town or city.
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Old 12-06-2018, 1:27 AM
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For what it's worth, I agree with you Paul and Allen. These are scary times when we the people are prevented to know what our public servants are doing. Is a prior law enforcement officer I do believe there are times that the public should not be party to the communications. Things like anti-terrorism and narcotics. Common sense things.

But an armed robbery in progress as you're pulling into Taco Bell and there's a man inside with a gun it's often helpful to know that before you walk through the doors. A traffic collision ahead with all lanes blocked and a Sigalert about to be issued. This too is something that should not be hidden. I could give more examples but I don't need to. You both have been around long enough to know what I would say.

It's with that very thought that I remind you and others that may not have known that during the criminal actions of Sheriff Carona of Orange County and his Under Sheriff, a paid for political appointment, there were actually encrypted radio communications as well as data communications that prevented the public from knowing the extent of some of the corruption.

One troubling piece of information was the former Assistant Orange County Sheriff Don Haidl's son was being tried for gang rape of an unconscious 17 year old girl on a pool table. While out on bond the young man was dealing marijuana. On one occasion the sheriff's department stopped him and found him in possession of a small amount, which at the time was still a major crime in California. Transcripts of mobile data terminal communications between deputies and supervisors were made public and disclosed that the field deputies were asking advice on how to keep this out of the public and what they could do to make it go away innocence.

This I would classify as a minor incident. But it shows how encryption may be abused. Even without encryption police officers and deputy sheriff's can always use their cell phones and have the same conversations that are completely unrecorded and encrypted by their cell phone carriers. But that's not the point here. The point is DOJ is now mandating encryption. More importantly and as Paul has already stated, they are demanding that the ability to monitor the encrypted communications be taken away from the media. Based on what grounds? What is it that the DOJ does not want the media to know about?

More importantly, who's next? The police department and the sheriff's department works for us. This really isn't a matter of encryption. This is a matter of infringing on the First Amendment. I've often said that if I was one of those lucky people to win the $1.6 billion in the lottery I would launch a federal lawsuit demanding that the communications be open to the public with the exceptions I've already given.

As you accurately noted Allen those of us that live in the mountains especially are fearful of even fire communications being encrypted, which has actually been done in jurisdictions around the country. I run a Facebook group where I parrot the communications from the radio to the group. Almost word-for-word so that the people know what's going on. They don't need to wait for the briefing at 6 a.m. that the Press doesn't usually report accurately. When the fire is racing up a hillside and breaks the containment lines it's helpful if someone can tell the residents it's time to run.

This is devastating news to read. Our hobby has been decimated and pretty soon I doubt they'll even be selling scanners. I can't imagine unit in and Whistler hanging in there when they're even talkin of encrypting fire communications.

I guess if I win the lottery big like that I can always bribe somebody in communications and get the encryption key.

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Old 12-06-2018, 3:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderegg View Post
The most interesting aspect I found of the article was this

"Walker said ERICA risked “significant fines, penalties and even criminal liability” by allowing the media access to the radio communications, including that the Department of Justice could pull the police department’s access to the California Law Enforcement Communications System, or CLETS. CLETS is the computer network law enforcement agencies in California use to access shared databases like vehicle registration records and criminal histories. He said the agency “received a very terse scolding from DOJ” regarding access to encrypted radios."

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news...s/2210729002/?

It is a bit frightening, the DOJ pressuring, to think that there could soon come a time, when in order for an agency to operate, it MUST become fully encrypted. #eeeekkkkk!

Paul
DOJ pulling access to CLETS over radio access is a load of BS. That would simply NOT happen.
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:00 AM
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I agree with y'all, Anderegg, allend, and Krazybob. It's disturbing to me and I am deeply concerned that the longer the tax paying public dawdles on taking government to task on this, that much harder it will become to reverse; if it even could. Locally, there is a chance in some areas but that will only, IMHO, slow the inevitable. Public records requests are very useful but only if the person or persons investigating knows what to request. Also, open communications allows the investigator to audit what is received for completeness. If everything is behind a wall of encryption, an investigator would need to rely on eyewitnesses and whistle blowers. Those are often scarce when it comes to oppressive administrations.

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I guess if I win the lottery big like that I can always bribe somebody in communications and get the encryption key.
I'd rather fund groups anonymously through cryptocurrency to crack encryption and release it onto the internet. Of course, I'll never have enough disposable resources to do so.
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:21 AM
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But then it would be a crime. It seems to me if we were to tackle this on the grounds that the public has a right to know what its public servants are doing it needs to be above board and legal. I'm not likely to win the lottery either so it's a moot point.
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:41 AM
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But then it would be a crime. It seems to me if we were to tackle this on the grounds that the public has a right to know what its public servants are doing it needs to be above board and legal. I'm not likely to win the lottery either so it's a moot point.
Crime vs civil disobedience to right a wrong... Regardless, I understand and respect your point.
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:53 AM
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Crime vs civil disobedience to right a wrong... Regardless, I understand and respect your point.
Ditto. Either way will work but I'm betting that if someone ponied up the lions share of $$$ every newspaper in the country would have their legal department join a class action suit.
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Old 12-06-2018, 7:05 AM
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Ditto. Either way will work but I'm betting that if someone ponied up the lions share of $$$ every newspaper in the country would have their legal department join a class action suit.
I wholeheartedly agree.
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Old 12-06-2018, 7:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderegg View Post
From the linked article:
Quote:
Local news outlets said ERICA did not cite a single instance of the media misusing its access to ERICA prior to its decision to revoke access.
IMHO, this is even more indication that evidence and facts don't really play a role. Perception and PR will continue to drive these decisions and government will use that to bolster its position. In other words, it's not about reality but about what those in a position to decide want and how they can convince the general public to roll over for it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 8:32 AM
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DOJ pulling access to CLETS over radio access is a load of BS. That would simply NOT happen.
100% this.

As far as protected health information, communications necessary for the proper access and treatment of patients, including names, addresses and specific details to identify the person to responders is specifically addressed and exempted in HIPAA. If they are giving out info that violates HIPAA over the air, they are the ones in violation, encrypted system or not.

The reasons given are a BS excuse that they're using to shut the media out, there's another reason (the REAL one) there, and I'm sure it would receive much more outrage from the public and media if it was known.
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Old 12-06-2018, 8:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Hans13 View Post
From the linked article:


IMHO, this is even more indication that evidence and facts don't really play a role. Perception and PR will continue to drive these decisions and government will use that to bolster its position. In other words, it's not about reality but about what those in a position to decide want and how they can convince the general public to roll over for it.
I think I agree with you. This is also the point where we are getting close to stepping out of bounds on the topic of encryption. I don't want to be the one that leads us into demerits from the moderators.
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Old 12-06-2018, 9:42 AM
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100% this.

As far as protected health information, communications necessary for the proper access and treatment of patients, including names, addresses and specific details to identify the person to responders is specifically addressed and exempted in HIPAA. If they are giving out info that violates HIPAA over the air, they are the ones in violation, encrypted system or not.

The reasons given are a BS excuse that they're using to shut the media out, there's another reason (the REAL one) there, and I'm sure it would receive much more outrage from the public and media if it was known.
As a certified EMT-I (expired now) I can tell you that this is BS. You do not need to give patient demographic information to the hospital while on scene or in route in order to treat the patient. This will be replaced when 5G LTE comes out and EMTs and Paramedics are able to communicate with hospitals using an inherently encrypted system to begin with. But you don't need to know the name of the patient in order to tell the paramedic to start an IV with ringers. You do not need to know the patient's name who is GCS 5 with a compromised airway in order to begin RSI.

When the time comes and people are chipped, which is an issue I don't even want to get into, a code can easily be sent to the hospital and they can pull up patient history based on the code. There will still not be a need to know the patient's name. HIPAA is protected. Their argument is specious at best.

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderegg View Post

It is a bit frightening, the DOJ pressuring, to think that there could soon come a time, when in order for an agency to operate, it MUST become fully encrypted. #eeeekkkkk!

Paul
I think it's a poorly written article. It combines a lot of different sources without clearly establishing what the driving force is.

The key paragraph that I read was:

"Chief Travis Walker of Cathedral City, who serves as chairman of the ERICA Technical Advisory Committee, said the agency decided to confine ERICA communications to law enforcement after legal counsel warned that allowing media access risked releasing protected information like warrants and medical history to people unauthorized by law to hear it."

The driver here is the "legal counsel". It's not unheard of for a legal counsel to get things wrong. It sounds more like some lawyer is going way beyond erring on the side of caution.

The HIPPA requirements are clear, and it doesn't require encryption for that sort of traffic. But again, a lawyer, or group of lawyers, trying to prove they're worth what they are getting paid.

Warrant information could easily be passed over a secure channel separate from the dispatch channel.

With FirstNet (and its competition) being rolled out, a lot of this stuff will happen by terminal, and not necessarily over the radio, so some of this seems poorly timed.


As for the threats of CLETS access being pulled, DOJ has been using that frequently. I've only heard rumors of it happening. I know we went through a DOJ review just recently and passed it all with no infractions. But, the DOJ is getting tough on IT security, and pushing harder and harder on the subject. Some agencies are way out of compliance with industry standards when it comes to securing their data networks. Knee jerk reactions, especially from "legal counsel" usually goes way too far.

I suspect we'll see an adjustment on this in the future.

As for encryption, it is coming, like it or not. Agencies have much better ways to communicate with the public while maintaining control over what information is released.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:36 AM
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Agencies have much better ways to communicate with the public while MAINTAINING CONTROL over what information is released.

That's the problem.
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Old 12-06-2018, 2:55 PM
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That's the problem.

Or the benefit, depends on how you look at it.

Being this is a hobby/scanner site, I understand the point of view. For those of us that work in the industry, we have the ability to look at things with other points of view.
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Old 12-06-2018, 4:17 PM
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Or the benefit, depends on how you look at it.

Being this is a hobby/scanner site, I understand the point of view. For those of us that work in the industry, we have the ability to look at things with other points of view.
I am both a hobbyist and a public safety provider who owned a shop from 1989-1995....I see a BIG problem with this. The ability to control what the media has access to is not the job of a radio system manager, police chief, fire chief, EMS chief or any other person who derives an income that is funded in any part by tax dollars. Yes, efforts must be made to protect investigations, but by the time it gets to that point, it's not over the radio any more. Freedom of the Press relies on transparency of government AND vice-versa. If you take one away, the other will eventually disappear as well.
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Old 12-06-2018, 4:38 PM
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At the end of the day and we all know that natural disasters happen and always will happen all of these cities and counties and states will be fully encrypted and then communicating will be pretty much impossible and I know people say "Interops" but this is all BS too.

I can tell you that they way we are going and heading down that deep dark road of locking down communications and locking the general public out as well as locking other agencies out from other agencies that this will bottle neck up.

ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME and people will die over this. It's going to happen. Then when mass people die then agencies will get sued and then down the road maybe twenty years from now then the fingers will be pointed at each other and then encryption will have to be re evaluated.

Its going to neck up and we all see it coming. The only reason we see it because we follow the trends and listen when things go south and people can't communicate. Attorneys and the suit and tie people are on crack most of the time and they have no F'n clue.

Whats really weird and I do not have a clue why but Northern California has no desire to use Encryption. SOCAL is in full force. Can somebody explain that???????????????????

Last edited by allend; 12-06-2018 at 4:51 PM..
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Old 12-06-2018, 5:26 PM
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Whats really weird and I do not have a clue why but Northern California has no desire to use Encryption. SOCAL is in full force. Can somebody explain that???????????????????
Christopher Dorner, Angelus Oaks and the mention of "Burners".
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Old 12-06-2018, 6:23 PM
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Christopher Dorner, Angelus Oaks and the mention of "Burners".
Yes, that might of been one of the contributing factors for SBDCO, but next
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