Defund Encryption Update

Buttescan

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And this is where the blender starts to cloud. PHI is Federally protected health datum. PII is not "protected" when it becomes an element of an interaction with Police or certain public services, it becomes public information(except certain witness/victim identifiers). There is no "right" or assumption of privacy when in public. When an interaction between a citizen and a public service occurs that information is now in the public realm, with any protected health information redacted.

And this is when people start to smash the two together and they really shouldn't. They are two literally different things with two totally different law sets protecting/administering them. And as I had stated...this is the point in time SOME department/agencies are "taking advantage of" the moment/confusion to use PII as an excuse to use encryption. It is not, bills are not laws. MOU's from the AG's office/DOJ aren't laws they are current political interpretations.

And as far as "officer safety" lol - what did they do for the last 5k+ years...without encryption....exactly.

Rights are like muscles, you don't exercise them, you'll lose them.
First, you are incorrect. PII is most definitely protected data in California and California is constantly adding more and more privacy laws. Hence, the DOJ directives in order to comply with California law.

Second, and to respond to your exact quote, encryption has been around for 3,000+ years going back to the Egyptians to keep information out of the hands of the enemy. Radio, which has been around for ~115 years, has also had encryption for the same reason. As far as law enforcement scanning is concerned, up until 15 to 20 years ago, the bad guy had to own a scanner, keep it with them or listen to it regularly and know how to program and use one. Now, you just have to have a smart phone or Internet connection. The advent of streaming law enforcement radio over the Internet took the bad guy count from a small handful in a jurisdiction to practically everyone.
 

Buttescan

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I think these are good points.

Maintaining interoperability is key. That can be solved, but it's going to require everyone being on the same page, and everyone cooperating (not all agencies are good at the cooperation part). Maybe that's keeping primary dispatch channels in the clear (an idea I totally agree with). Maybe it's addressing the ability to share keys (that has been done in some areas). Maybe it's avoiding this all together and staying unencrypted for small agencies that rely on mutual aid.

But not all agencies rely on mutual aid. Some large departments have enough manpower to respond to their own incidents.

It's not a 'one size fits all' situation. The lack of interoperability can happen in a lot of places, not just where encryption is used. Adjacent agencies being on different bands? Improperly programmed radios? Agency using P25 while adjacent agency is too poor to upgrade from analog only radios? Lack of funding? Officers too busy to listen to other agencies? Out of coverage area?

And lets not forget it isn't just Yreka. Mammoth Lakes switched to FirstNet PTToC, so it's going to have the same issue. As has been said before, Interoperability isn't a technology, it's an attitude.
While I poor rural departments have have challenges, middle size to large metropolitan areas don't. Most use modern, expensive radio gear with multi-key capability so that department X has a different key than department Y but with multi-key, they can still share and change the key periodically as long as the updates get pushed out. And for most medium to larger jurisdictions, they have built in ways to provide for radio and comm interoperability during disasters.
 

Buttescan

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As much as I hate to say it from the standpoint of a scanner and radio enthusiast for many decades, in the next 5 to 10 years, I think you'll see most law enforcement agencies go encrypted, either fully or partially. I think the best you'll be able to hope for is that laws are enacted that give access to officially recognized media outlets such as local newspapers.
 

wowologist

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be real...the literal ONLY WAY to stop dept's from encrypting is sadly when a major PC/media event that's big, nasty and has big & nasty optics happens....to ascertain if that dept. is using encryption and if they are you; start droppin' dimes to the appropriate ****e disturbers that so and so dept is encrypting their transmissions TO HIDE WHAT THEY ARE DOING from the public eye....and since they just had this big & nasty just happen what else they hiding???? believe it ...once the PC mainstream media start's on the politicians; encrypting will become the same as low band. No one's going to want to touch it with a 10' pole.
 

trentbob

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As much as I hate to say it from the standpoint of a scanner and radio enthusiast for many decades, in the next 5 to 10 years, I think you'll see most law enforcement agencies go encrypted, either fully or partially. I think the best you'll be able to hope for is that laws are enacted that give access to officially recognized media outlets such as local newspapers.
be real...the literal ONLY WAY to stop dept's from encrypting is sadly when a major PC/media event that's big, nasty and has big & nasty optics happens....to ascertain if that dept. is using encryption and if they are you; start droppin' dimes to the appropriate ****e disturbers that so and so dept is encrypting their transmissions TO HIDE WHAT THEY ARE DOING from the public eye....and since they just had this big & nasty just happen what else they hiding???? believe it ...once the PC mainstream media start's on the politicians; encrypting will become the same as low band. No one's going to want to touch it with a 10' pole.
I think we are headed towards the same scenario you find in Europe as we are pretty much going in the same direction they did years ago. I think the timeline will be a lot faster than 5 to 10 years. I think it'll be pretty much fast-tracked at this point as it has been recently.

As far as the media coming to the rescue identifying infringement of our rights with calls for transparency I wouldn't count on that now. You can already see the trend of heavy censorship by the MSM and social media rapidly silencing any views other than the one.

PC will mean a lack of transparency and a covering up and shielding of corruption of the one faction in order to protect it. Is that what the people want, of course not, but what does that have to do with it? It's not their fault.

I think you're going to see encryption of police accelerate rapidly now, just one view.
 

wowologist

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First, you are incorrect. PII is most definitely protected data in California and California is constantly adding more and more privacy laws. Hence, the DOJ directives in order to comply with California law.

Second, and to respond to your exact quote, encryption has been around for 3,000+ years going back to the Egyptians to keep information out of the hands of the enemy. Radio, which has been around for ~115 years, has also had encryption for the same reason. As far as law enforcement scanning is concerned, up until 15 to 20 years ago, the bad guy had to own a scanner, keep it with them or listen to it regularly and know how to program and use one. Now, you just have to have a smart phone or Internet connection. The advent of streaming law enforcement radio over the Internet took the bad guy count from a small handful in a jurisdiction to practically everyone.
"PII is not "protected" when it becomes an element of an interaction with Police or certain public services, it becomes public information (except certain witness/victim identifiers (which actually have laws, federal and state, protecting them). There is no "right" or assumption of privacy when in public. When an interaction between a citizen and a public service occurs that information is now in the public realm, with any protected health information redacted.

...as stated, and affirmed by the SCOTUS. Hence the MOU from the DOJ and not a "law" from the legislature(s).
 

wowologist

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BUTTESCAN > " The advent of streaming law enforcement radio over the Internet took the bad guy count from a small handful in a jurisdiction to practically everyone. "

And painting with such a wide brush is really bad...you just literally called every honest, law abiding citizen who uses or listens to scanner audio a criminal....
 

wyliesdiesels

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Hi all,

My name is Travis Malek and Ive been a scanner hobbyist for years. I am also a licensed communications contractor so communications is my wheel house.

I run one of the largest FB incident feed groups for my county (24K members in a county of 520K+) in the central valley and often listen to my scanners and post incidents in real time as they unfold. one of my friends in law enforcement recently told me about the DOJ mandate for agencies to encrypt their 10-29 transmissions and i was bummed to say the least.

I have also talked to my PD chief about this (who is now retired unfortunately) and he didnt seem thrilled about it either. However, my PD uses our county's 800Mhz P25 P1 system so they don't have full say over the path they take for encryption.

Needless to say, encryption would ruin our group and take away the transparency of our LE agencies. So I've brainstorming on ways to fight this stupid crap. Which lead me to this group and this thread, which i found through a google search.

I read through this thread til about midway on pg 3(I'll go back and finish reading it later).

I see several ways to fight it. First, we obviously need a united front. Has anyone started a facebook group as a way to drum up support and to organize a united front? If not, I could.

Next, I see 3 ways to fight it. Lobbying group, grassroots campaign of mass emails and letters to state politicians and a proposition on the next ballot.

this can all be done but we need a united front first. I will work on the facebook group. Who's with me?
 

norcalscan

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Next, I see 3 ways to fight it. Lobbying group, grassroots campaign of mass emails and letters to state politicians and a proposition on the next ballot.
From the public's point of view - we painted ourselves into a corner. On one hand, we fight hard to protect our privacy and our PII and demand the same of all entities we deal with (social media activity excluded because we're dumb). On the other hand, and especially most recently, we are demanding a level of transparency with our local governments, particularly law enforcement.

So the fight should be aimed right at the intersection of that dichotomy between privacy and transparency. That is, have a secondary records channel that can be encrypted (or run them over an MDC etc), and keep dispatch open. Our fight should be to support whatever funding that would require, whether it be an MDC upgrade, or staffing to run a second radio operator etc. Otherwise we'll continue to have half our side demanding to stop the vote and the other half demanding every vote counts, the exact opposite of a united front.
 

657fe2

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Hello Wyliesdiesels. People like you is what we need in these days. 24K subscribers is an excellent starting point to mobilize people to fight for transparency and civilian control of law enforcement.

I believe this mandate came from the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. Riverside County has 2 radio systems for law enforcement. One is called PSEC, which includes the Sheriff, Corona PD, Murrieta, Riverside and Menifee which are encrypted. For some reason, the cities of Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Indio did not join PSEC but had to have their own system called ERICA, also encrypted.

Riverside Sheriff decided to allow the media access to some PSEC channels. The ERICA departments hated this, they did not want the media or the public to have any access to the routine daily activities of their departments.

The ERICA Secrecy Squad had to hatch a plan to justify treating their police departments like mini CIA's. So they invented this issue that reporters in newsrooms' probably sit and listen to hours and hours of Police radio traffic waiting to hear snippets of information on people that they can then steal and sell to Identity thieves. Sounds silly, but this is the argument.

This idea is to shut out everyone not in their chain of command. Of course you can have encrypted channels to run 28's and 29's like San Diego. 2020 is a year where Californians are demanding more control and oversight of Law Enforcement Agencies. This mandate is a way to undermine and undo the police reforms that the people and their representatives have demanded since the deaths of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor etc.

I look forward to working with you and welcome to the fight.
 

mike619

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There should be a movement started and those individuals who mandated that encryption enforcement in California hear the peoples disproval and a movement should be started the Public Safety Transparency movement.
 

KK4JUG

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There should be a movement started and those individuals who mandated that encryption enforcement in California hear the peoples disproval and a movement should be started the Public Safety Transparency movement.
If I thought it would work, I'd agree. The fact of the matter is, overall, only a very small portion of the public listens. Reading this forum, you'd think everyone in the country has a scanner but I really don't think that's the case. Now that I think about it, I don't know anyone else with a scanner. I'm sure there are pockets of enthusiasts here and there but but I don't believe there are enough to be able to make a difference.
 

mike619

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"Public Safety Transparency" is one thing, broadcasting peoples private information out to anyone with a radio is something completely separate.

Stick a fork in it, it's done.
That is why they have inquiry channel's and tactical's and MDC's.
 

mmckenna

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That is why they have inquiry channel's and tactical's and MDC's.
There are many small agencies that don't have or cannot afford a secondary inquiry channel. MDC's and smartphones are not always an option in the field/out of the car. And then there's the issues with having to change channels/type on a terminal when things are hot. Your entertainment does not take priority over everything else.

I understand where the scanner hobbyists are coming form. I support the idea of primary dispatch in the clear and alternate channels encrypted.

But the reality is that it's not always an option.
Calling for police transparency is fine, and I agree with that. But using that as reasoning to remove encryption isn't going to fly. I'm in the middle of building a new multichannel P25 system right now, and talking with the chief about encryption is something I've spent a lot of time on.
Scanner hobbyists don't have a say in this. Never once in my 30 years in this line of work have I ever heard anyone say "but what about the scanner hobbyists?".

It's fun to complain. It's OK to call for things to change. By all means, fight that fight. You will find that the reality and complexities of this are way beyond what gets discussed on this site. Scanner hobbyists are not even a blip on the radar.
 

Outerdog

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And then there's the issues with having to change channels/type on a terminal when things are hot.
Without stating a position for or against encryption, I think you would have to agree that in California at least, the purpose of encryption with regard to CLETS is to protect the information obtained from CLETS. No one is going to switch to a service/records channel when things are "hot" and no one is transmitting information from CLETS when things are "hot".

Many, many departments are already running with service/records channels encrypted while dispatch remains in the clear. Regardless, even if dispatch were encrypted in those departments, switching channels to run lookups would happen anyway.
 

mmckenna

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Without stating a position for or against encryption, I think you would have to agree that in California at least, the purpose of encryption with regard to CLETS is to protect the information obtained from CLETS. No one is going to switch to a service/records channel when things are "hot" and no one is transmitting information from CLETS when things are "hot".
It really depends. Each agency/officer is going to have different procedures and habits.

Point was that I can say from 30 years of experience that most agencies don't care what the hobby crowd thinks. It doesn't even figure into the discussion. I support unencrypted dispatch channels, but it's not my decision, the chief calls the shots. What she decided goes.

As for CLETS, agencies agreed to this a long time ago, nothing has changed other than DOJ is holding them to the agreement now.
 

norcalscan

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most agencies don't care what the hobby crowd thinks. It doesn't even figure into the discussion.
Remember, the argument isn't "hobby crowd" or as mentioned earlier, "scanner hobbyists." With 2020 replace "hobbyists" with "citizens of the community." Some here recently mentioned not knowing anyone else with a scanner. Just about every community/town/neighborhood in the US now has a large Facebook Group gathering similar to what the NextDoor app was trying to accomplish a long time ago, and very easily each group has 3-10% of its members with scanners. Just my rural area of 20k, with a facebook group of 6700+ people, has about 30-50 known with scanners. And they aren't hobbyists. They have no idea what they're doing other than the zipcode got them there, or a friend programmed in magic numbers and now they're hearing "10-4" on the radio. But every day the department's actions are reported on and they are held accountable. And it is in a very positive light (thankfully our departments here are community-oriented and no power-hungry officers here).

Professionally, I agree with you and know the law's opinion on this, I support law communications in my day job and side job. But it's VERY important to not frame this as "hobbyists" but as "the people" want access to this. And yes, I also realize the juxtaposition of having "the people" wanting their privacy to be protected while at the same time wanting a semblance of transparency in their departments. That's a problem they/we will have to figure out.
 

Buttescan

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BUTTESCAN > " The advent of streaming law enforcement radio over the Internet took the bad guy count from a small handful in a jurisdiction to practically everyone. "

And painting with such a wide brush is really bad...you just literally called every honest, law abiding citizen who uses or listens to scanner audio a criminal....
Hardly. I pointed out that anyone, regardless of honest citizen to the worst, hardened criminal, now has access to on-line scanner feeds.
 
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