Ark Citizens Suing Over Radio Encryption

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nfc2014

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Hate to sound so negative why waste money or time on this issue.Would rather spend my money on the guns and ammo we will all soon need to survive when the police can no longer help Sorry to sound so negative. Sad to see this hobby die.
 

nfc2014

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I sorry to say but quit grumbling and just go buy guns and ammo.Scanner makers will hate you and so will the police but the NRA will love you
 

Citywide173

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There are plenty of federal, state & local LE personnel who out of stress in the heat of a situation or plain ignorance/stupidity, say sensitive things on non-secure channels. I've pretty much given-up trying to educate them about OPSEC/COMSEC, and instead, tend to push towards encryption to give a level of protection to their operations.
Then you are part of the problem. Discipline, in both senses of the word in this case, needs to be applied. When standard radio procedure is violated, whether it be accidental or intentional, discipline needs to be issued against the offender. That, in turn, will result in discipline being applied in future radio communications. Recommending encryption to allow officers to continue to violate the communication SOPs is irresponsible in my opinion.

I work for a municipal third service EMS agency. If the PD were to go encrypted, I would no longer be able to monitor them, as they would most definitely NOT share the encryption codes with us or the fire department. Tell me where I have no vested interest in monitoring them. Scene safety for one-I've been told by the dispatcher that the scene is safe, but hearing the police radio traffic kept me from driving into an active shooting scene on more than one occasion. Knowing what they are doing makes a HUGE difference in my world.

I am very insulted by your broad generalization of scanner listeners. The last time I checked, my IQ was around 131...down from 151 when I graduated high school-it's true-if you don't use it, you lose it. Another 60 years and it should be in the 90 range that you seem to think is baseline.

The lawsuit will most likely be thrown out by the courts, as the FOIA claim is not a legitimate basis for suit. Maybe they'll get lucky, but I doubt it.
 

Ranger0034

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I think we should be giving these guys our SUPPORT for fighting an uphill battle. Rome wasn't built in a day, nor was cancer cured in a lifetime. Each little step helps our "fight" to keep our hobby alive and not turn our $500 radios into bricks. So I totally applaud them for taking on this challenge. My father told me a story years ago, I asked him why do baseball team managers always argue with the umpire if he's not going to win the argument ? His reply was.... "It makes the umpire think twice next time" So if municipalities KNEW they may have a citizen revolt as if taxes were being raised, they may think twice before acting. We DO need to stand UP for our hobby !!
 

N2MWE

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Being in law enforcement, I never understood encrypting dispatch channels. A certain PD in New York went to EDACS when it was unmonitorable...when the 245 came out the reason became clear. Coffee and meal orders on the radio. Encrypting tac channels is definitely officer safety. I agree with encrypting tac channels, but not dispatch. Just my two pennies.


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milf

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As of right now I am blanket warning all of you. Keep it civil or it gets locked and this is the only warning I am giving. If you want to rant, take it to the tavern! If you want to flame war each other take it to PM.... Period!
 

SCPD

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Agree with the TAC channels N2MWE, I wouldn't want to see any Law Enforcement officer's life put in danger. Unfortunately those who use communications, feeds or scanner's, could care less about life, including their own, long as they get what they want at the present time and have spoiled it for those who can abide by the law and contribute to a safer environment.
 

milf

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And my personal take on it as an scannist, and as an person that has worked in and with Public Safety for a long time:

Law Enforcement - Leave dispatch alone, but encrypt tactical, and special operations. If your an agency that is retarded enough to run tactical and special ops on primary dispatch, then you should really review how you operate on radio systems if you don't know how to switch the tactical units to encryption or voice inversion at the least.

Fire/Rescue - Dispatches should be open and clear. Firegrounds should absolutely NEVER be encrypted in any fashion. Special ops and investigations type ch's.. Yes encrypt all day.

EMS - There actually is NEVER a need for encryption at all on any EMS communications except for EMS to VA Hospitals. VA is the only hospitals that make you give initials and SSN's over the air, and as such actually do run the tiniest risk of info leaks that actually could be covered by certain laws.

The encryption mania for every single thing is fueled by fear and ignorance. Plain and simple. As long as the laws of the land as put in place by Congress in the ECPA state that its perfectly fine to monitor, then I will do so. The only things I actively divulge to anyone is when severe weather is imminent, or there is a major road hazard, or dangerous situation. these I inform to family and friends so as to be prepared to take appropriate actions such as seek shelter, take an detour, or offer assistance if I can do so safely and legally. I am not the rubber necker type, as this only makes things worse.

Anyway, on with the show.
 

krs

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My own perspective on encryption or scrambling or whatever someone wants to call it and whether it's copshop radio, television/satellite or anything else is this: If an agency is sending RF energy into my home without my express permission, I have an absolute right to intercept it, block it, decrypt it or any other damn thing I might to choose to do with it...and I don't give a damn what the 'law' says.
 

Searay

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Question

Just reading some of the previous posts and I am trying to figure the logic behind the idea that people have a right to listen to radio comms? They don't have the right to listen to phone calls between officers and investigators, so why would it be different for radio comms?

Just wondering.
 

grem467

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I'll bet he just pissed away $165.00 in filing fees and whatever his time is worth.

I also like his emergency order demanding the encryption be immediately turned off. As a former system manager, this case could be over before the encryption could be completely shut off (depending on the size of the fleet, of course). You don't just magically turn it off with a switch or a single command. It often requires reprogramming the infrastructure, consoles and subscribers.
 

grem467

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One thing to keep in mind is even if they were willing to give you the encryption keys, they may not even know them. If they are in an otar environment, the system automatically generates keys and pushes them to the subscribers. They could have the system set to roll the keys every day if they wanted (typically it's once a month or so).

The two states I managed systems in both had public records exemptions to encryption keys however.

As for the recordings, what may have hurt you was requesting 3 years worth. In fl we were allowed to charge labor fees and I can tell you three years worth of encrypted audio would be expensive. I am not even sure if we kept 3 years. I would have to go back and look at the statutes.

Do you know if there is a timeframe they are required to keep radio audio in Arkansas? They may not be able to comply with your request.

One thing is for sure, going to be interesting watching how these play out.

Please keep the thread updated.
 

KF5OBS

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One thing to keep in mind is even if they were willing to give you the encryption keys, they may not even know them. If they are in an otar environment, the system automatically generates keys and pushes them to the subscribers. They could have the system set to roll the keys every day if they wanted (typically it's once a month or so). .
Totally aware of that. It's actually an argument why they don't have to exempt keys. They can change them as they respond to a FOIA. It may open up the chance to record I/Q data and verify historic audio. Especially interesting if they indeed don't have to provide (partial) audio. That decrypting on your own may be illegal is a whole other can of worms for another court...

As for the recordings, what may have hurt you was requesting 3 years worth. In fl we were allowed to charge labor fees and I can tell you three years worth of encrypted audio would be expensive. I am not even sure if we kept 3 years. I would have to go back and look at the statutes.
Look closer at the days... 2017 hasn't come get, it's a week. 08/11/2014 to 08/17. SHould have written 08/17/14 for uniformity but I didn't in my original request and I didn't want to alter my request in the lawsuit as it was a 1:1 quote.
 

ten13

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"Public information" has nothing to do with radio transmissions. There's no mandate, implied or otherwise, that any PD has to make their radio transmissions public. There's no mandate that they even have radios.

As long as a department makes CERTAIN PARTS of their activity public (arrests, crime stats, etc) via a public information officer or office, they make their information 'public.'

These guys' "lawsuit" will go nowhere.
 

KF5OBS

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That is not true. Your argument is kinda weird and proves lack of abstract thinking. And I only inserted the word 'abstract' to sound nicer. There's no mandate that police departments need to use paper and ink. That doesn't change the fact that they do and documents created are subject to release under the freedom of information act. With few exceptions of course. You should read up on FOIA and be surprised what kind of crazy stuff they actually have to release if requested. And that's the point, it doesn't have to be public, but available for inspection on request.

If audio recordings exist, they are a 'permanent record' that can - like most permanent records - be requested through a FOIA request. There's nothing new about that aspect any most departments comply with a FOIA request in regards of recordings. This is common practice.

Not sure if you were referring to my lawsuit or the one of the "Mullens Brothers". If the latter, I agree. They haven't argued anything useful. Their lawsuit might as well have been "I wanna be able to listen on my scanner, make it happen!". Condensed to the core that's what they did.
 

szron

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That's one of at least two lawsuits now. I filed one this afternoon as well. Although I'm challenging a different aspect; Little Rock police even denies access to recordings through Freedom of Information Act requests. Here are the complete documents of the suit: http://jaunty-electronics.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Sebastian_vs_LRPD_et_al.pdf
Now this I see going somewhere.

While it's nice that people are suing left and right over encryption as I it was mentioned before, FOIA does not require real time access and does not apply to future records. While some agencies do release records in bulk in absence of a request (examples being agencies releasing CAD logs, crime stats) it's done as a courtesy.

The only thing that can actually, make any difference here in my opinion is media uproar. I remember watching on the news when the City of New Orleans wanted to go dark and the media jumped on that fast making the city officials change their mind.

City determined to keep their operations in the dark will continue to do so. This lawsuit is merely a nuisance for them.

//edit

The only argument I could've come up in my head is that the police communications to be of any use to the general public should be transmitted in the clear because the fact that you can inspect them later does not benefit the public like real time receiving would. Go ahead argue that in court but even I know it's weak.
 
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