Bill proposes to exempt technical STARS info from FOIA

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TPKeller2

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Just saw this bill show up in the hopper today:

SB 432 Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for the Statewide Agencies Radio System.

Freedom of Information Act; record exemption for the Statewide Agencies Radio System. Provides an exemption from FOIA for documentation or other information that (i) describes the design, function, programming, operation, or access control features of the overall system, components, structures, individual networks, and subsystems of the Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) or (ii) relates to radio frequencies assigned to or utilized by STARS, code plugs, circuit routing, addressing schemes, talk groups, fleet maps, encryption, programming maintained by or utilized by STARS; those portions of engineering and construction drawings and plans that reveal critical structural components, interconnectivity, security equipment and systems, network monitoring, network operation center, master sites, ventilation systems, fire protection equipment, mandatory building emergency equipment, electrical systems, and other utility equipment and systems related to STARS; and special event plans, operational plans, storm plans, or other pre-arranged programming, the disclosure of which would reveal surveillance techniques, personnel deployments, alarm or security systems or technologies, or operational and transportation plans or protocols, to the extent such disclosure would jeopardize the security of any governmental facility, building or structure or the safety of any person.
 

shumadine

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Learning how to effectively program STARS into my scanner the last 4 years on this board has taught me more than some stupid bill would intend to prevent me from listening or learning about the system.

My first thought is that this bill is complete idiocy. Is this a coverup to prevent the public from knowing the true cost of the STARS system?
 

jehm1212

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It used to be that encrypted voice was enough. Now the system itself must be hidden.

When asked about STARS, I'm surprised the state doesn't say something like, "We can neither confirm nor deny that the Commonwealth owns or operates a statewide trunking system known colloquially as 'STARS.' Our Troopers may or may not be equipped with radios. We're not sure."
 

rdale

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It's no big deal, it's just saying that if you ask STARS for all the details on their system, that you can't use FOIA to force it out of them. Makes sense.

Unfortunately it means some less-used talkgroups won't get identified ahead of time, but in the long run it's smart.
 

KC4ASF

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Learning how to effectively program STARS into my scanner the last 4 years on this board has taught me more than some stupid bill would intend to prevent me from listening or learning about the system.

My first thought is that this bill is complete idiocy. Is this a coverup to prevent the public from knowing the true cost of the STARS system?
Yes, I think that the real reason for the bill is to cover up the true costs of STARS! I understand now that previous contractors have stuck the state good and work has to be redone. Supposedly, it was lack of state supervision. I don't support a exemption of FOIA on this matter. This is gonna be another example of "lowest bid" not being the best for the state again!! IMHO
 

rdale

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The bill doesn't cover that. I'm pretty sure that governments cannot cover up costs through the FOIA. They can cover up individual breakdowns (i.e. you can't ask how much money they spent on protective measures at the sites) but you can still get the overall fund outlay, and I don't see money mentioned in original post.
 

KC4ASF

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The real reason

OK, so the real reason of this is to simply deny FOIA about everything that is technical or at least techincal in somebodies mind?! ;) ;)

Ben
 
N

N_Jay

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OK, so the real reason of this is to simply deny FOIA about everything that is technical or at least techincal in somebodies mind?! ;) ;)

Ben
Yes!

I would assume that it is a first line of defense to limiting the information about the system to a person or party interested in disabling it. :roll:

It probably goes hand in hand with requiring employees and contractors to have background checks and sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.

This has become the norm of the industry.
 
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