An article about encryption

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tajens

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Some police and fire departments are bucking a trend to conceal dispatch communications from the public, acknowledging that radio encryption has the potential to backfire and put first responders in danger.

News from The Associated Press
 
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sfd119

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There was temporary chaos on the radio when officers en route couldn't communicate with the officer in the shooting because their radios weren't in encryption mode, Reyes said.
Someone programmed something wrong. That shouldn't happen.

Police in Mansfield, Massachusetts, turned off their encryption more than a year ago after officers expressed concern they couldn't talk with counterparts in some neighboring towns
It's called Interop channels in the clear, easy to mitigate the "couldn't talk".

The Metro transit agency, which had a radio system in the subway that allowed below-ground communications by city firefighters, said the radio problems were the result of the fire department changing its own radio system, including adding encryption, without telling the transit agency. City officials denied encryption caused the problems.
While the FD changing radio systems could cause problems with an underground BDA, encryption has nothing to do with it.
 

Badboy536

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I agree I think all police agencies should be unencrypted.At a time when police involved shootings are being broadcast every night on the news.Whether Justified or unjustified.I would think police agencies would want to be transparent and act like they have nothing to hide.I don't have a problem with some of their tactical and swat channels being encrypted.But day-to-day dispatch channel should never be encrypted.just my 2 cents.
 

W8RMH

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Their are only a few, smaller agencies, encrypting dispatch in Ohio. If this was such a big officer safety issue why aren't all departments encrypting dispatch, especially large metropolitan areas. Cites like Columbus and Cincinnati would be doing it if this were the case.

There are even agencies "officially" streaming their dispatch to feeds. I think it IS more hiding something than it is a safety issue.

I am referring to dispatch in particular and have no problem with tactical channels being encrypted.
 
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allend

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Look at this angle. So all of Riverside County is Encrypted on the PSEC system.

Palm Springs is in the County of Riverside but they are on their own ERICA system and have been encrypted for maybe around 10 yrs or so maybe a little less. Fully Encrypted.

The main reason LE encrypts and its been said over and over is for "Officer Safety".

Then you have a nut bag ambush 3 officers and kill 2 the other day out in a really nice desert community where this kind of horrible ambush type of crimes never ever happen.

It just does not make any sense anymore. You have a fully encrypted Phase II PSEC system and you have an ERICA Phase I fully encrypted system. How do you communicate between two systems for help when you have three officers down and two dead in the street? There is no interops between those two systems at all.

This is what local and city governments need to figure out and get their "HEADS OUT OF THEIR A$$"

If you had some good citizens of these communities and there are they could of helped track this nut bag down and took care of business.

You have to allow the community back into the game of protecting our own streets cities and borders. Law Enforcement can't do it all alone anymore. They are tired and also pissed off that they have to keep burying their own officers.
 
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shame this could not be sent to all agencies who choose to operate in double double secret secret mode..
It's not only the department who chooses to use encryption in some instances. Sometimes it's system owners which state what has to be encrypted.

Someone programmed something wrong. That shouldn't happen.


It's called Interop channels in the clear, easy to mitigate the "couldn't talk".


While the FD changing radio systems could cause problems with an underground BDA, encryption has nothing to do with it.
The article shows a complete lack of preparation…wide area talk groups, interoperability tie-ins for counties with different systems…common programming. All stuff which actually negates the entire point of the article. Just have to have someone who knows what the hell they are doing in the right position.
 

sfd119

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It just does not make any sense anymore. You have a fully encrypted Phase II PSEC system and you have an ERICA Phase I fully encrypted system. How do you communicate between two systems for help when you have three officers down and two dead in the street? There is no interops between those two systems at all.
Without knowing the systems in question, a P25 simplex or analog simplex channel would allow communications between the two very easily. Or a patch. Or an ISSI gateway. Plenty of options.
 

radioman2001

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Again in the heat of the moment how would you feel about looking around in you radio for the interop channel as you have someone at gunpoint. I know in my agencies radio which has over 24 zones of channels the officer couldn't find them even when shown in a quiet controlled after action briefing.
 

sfd119

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Again in the heat of the moment how would you feel about looking around in you radio for the interop channel as you have someone at gunpoint. I know in my agencies radio which has over 24 zones of channels the officer couldn't find them even when shown in a quiet controlled after action briefing.
An officer doesn't have to do anything with a patch. A competent dispatch center can initiate one very easily with cooperating agencies.
 

ButchGone

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People can argue the logistics of encryption, interop, wide area channels/talkgroups all day long. At the heart of the matter is government transparaency. There is no reason why day to day primary or dispatch LE channels need to be encrypted. Tac type side channels can be used to convey hot information or handle sensitive situations. The benefits of maintaining public access to day to day operations far outweigh the supposed need to encrypt routine police operations.
As for the fire departments that have encrypted their comms, there is NO reason for this whatsoever. Again, keep a fireground or tac channel encrypted should the need arise to convey sensitive info - but most departments use cellphones for that anyway. Look at DC and Jacksonville, which have returned to in the clear fire comms.
Keep government open to the public. Sending filtered press releases after the fact is not transparency.
BG..
 

K4NNW

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W8RMH;2652941I am referring to dispatch in particular and have no problem with tactical channels being encrypted.[/QUOTE said:
Amen! Heck, around here, most tactical channels/talkgroups are in the clear, except for one neighbouring county (Franklin) that encrypts a lot of dispatch traffic as well.
 
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It'll be a shame the more and more encryption gets used. I fear eventually our hobby will have to take a step down and settle for ham radio.
 

ResQguy

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While the FD changing radio systems could cause problems with an underground BDA, encryption has nothing to do with it.
One has to merely read the NTSB report or the FOIA'd information to see what happened there. The writer of this article didn't do much homework.
 
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Thanks for sharing the article. Good to hear some agencies are changing their minds on encryption, although with it being as easy as flipping a switch, who knows how long that will last.
 

allend

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It'll be a shame the more and more encryption gets used. I fear eventually our hobby will have to take a step down and settle for ham radio.
The fear has come and gone. Our hobby has already been stepping it down year after year. The obvious reason is for the modulations that Scanner makers have been adding to their radio line up

Provoice
Mototrbo
DMR
NXDN - coming soon.

These are the modulations that are going to keep the scanner industry alive for a few more years so they can sell more units. After the buzz wears off on these modulations and Provoice will be gone shortly nobody is going to buy scanners in areas where there is full encryption. Nobody in their right mind is going to buy a scanner to listen to HAM radio dudes, and taxi drivers, and private business.

The downward trend is already happening no matter what people say. In my area where there is full encryption no business nor the older Radio Shacks in years have carried scanners. There is no market for it. Just enjoy what you have left depending on what area you live in and when it gets locked down then find a new hobby
 

sfd119

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The problem is this site. 90% of agencies going encrypted cite one thing: The bad guys can hear us on their cell pones for free.

That is the issue. It's so easily available for anyone to listen to transmissions, its upped the encrypt everything attitude.
 

TDR-94

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The problem is this site. 90% of agencies going encrypted cite one thing: The bad guys can hear us on their cell pones for free.

That is the issue. It's so easily available for anyone to listen to transmissions, its upped the encrypt everything attitude.
Yep,it's a case of the scanner community f**king themselves by making it so easy for everyone else to monitor.
 
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