Defund Encryption

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I believe all APX and Harris radios are coming with not only software based ADP encryption but hardware based encryption too. I think its just a standard that comes with all radios now. I just see all of of public safety over the next 10 years to be fully encrypted. It's just a debbie downer to think about this happening but there is nothing nobody can do at this point. When you saw Denver and OC Fire go fully encrypted this was a new game changer for other fire agencies to say "huh" what a great idea and all of the radios have encryption now so we use it. We paid for it.

Then you have agencies that say well how does it work and are there any challenges? Well other fire agencies have been using it for a couple of years now and it seems fine and their clock never turned back. Well you system admins we have ordered you to implement the encryption. Thanks for your input on this line item and we understand that you feel its not the best thing to encrypt the fire departments but we are over riding your ideas and we say do it. Subject is MUTE. And as a tech since they pay your bills you do what they say.

I know all the fire departments won't encrypt but its already happening like it did when LE started encryption 20 yrs ago and people were like "what" encryption. No way. Then agencies slowly follow suit and now its a normal thing for LE agencies to implement the technology.

So wonder what will be next when scanner radios are not going to be worth buying. This might be 5 to 10 years out but there might have to be other avenues or technology to listen to some forms of public safety. This will be new charted territory but we all don't know what that might look like. Communication will always be needed forever, it just that we will find a way to listen thru internet links or LTE way. The big road block will be encryption. This is the road block that will never at this point get away from.
 

WX4JCW

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I believe all APX and Harris radios are coming with not only software based ADP encryption but hardware based encryption too. I think its just a standard that comes with all radios now. I just see all of of public safety over the next 10 years to be fully encrypted. It's just a debbie downer to think about this happening but there is nothing nobody can do at this point. When you saw Denver and OC Fire go fully encrypted this was a new game changer for other fire agencies to say "huh" what a great idea and all of the radios have encryption now so we use it. We paid for it.

Then you have agencies that say well how does it work and are there any challenges? Well other fire agencies have been using it for a couple of years now and it seems fine and their clock never turned back. Well you system admins we have ordered you to implement the encryption. Thanks for your input on this line item and we understand that you feel its not the best thing to encrypt the fire departments but we are over riding your ideas and we say do it. Subject is MUTE. And as a tech since they pay your bills you do what they say.

I know all the fire departments won't encrypt but its already happening like it did when LE started encryption 20 yrs ago and people were like "what" encryption. No way. Then agencies slowly follow suit and now its a normal thing for LE agencies to implement the technology.

So wonder what will be next when scanner radios are not going to be worth buying. This might be 5 to 10 years out but there might have to be other avenues or technology to listen to some forms of public safety. This will be new charted territory but we all don't know what that might look like. Communication will always be needed forever, it just that we will find a way to listen thru internet links or LTE way. The big road block will be encryption. This is the road block that will never at this point get away from.
unfortunately, this is true, however as crappy as this may sound under the current political environment it may be the best time to attack the encryption problem, sysadmins don't want to listen, welp we can address that easier than before.

nothing is impossible with the right amount of pressure applied in the right place at the right time, with the right people
 

657fe2

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I agree with wx4jcw, I have never in my life seen more discord between LE and the public. If there is to be true reform and community policing that both Republicans and Democrats claim to support. I do not see how putting an encryption wall between the Public and Public Safety gets us to better relations between the Public and the Police.

"The Police are the Public, the Public are the Police"

Sir Robert Peel

A Rep from the Senator's office is "intrigued by my suggested bill" and I told her I will follow up weekly to check said bills status.
Fingers Crossed
 

chill30240

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I agree with wx4jcw, I have never in my life seen more discord between LE and the public. If there is to be true reform and community policing that both Republicans and Democrats claim to support. I do not see how putting an encryption wall between the Public and Public Safety gets us to better relations between the Public and the Police.

"The Police are the Public, the Public are the Police"

Sir Robert Peel

A Rep from the Senator's office is "intrigued by my suggested bill" and I told her I will follow up weekly to check said bills status.
Fingers Crossed
Don't forget that the "reason" for the encryption in the first place is officer safety. I've always said that reasoning is BS because if someone really wanted to harm an officer they would call in a fake emergency somewhere and wait for the police to arrive. I guess that these agencies think that if someone had a scanner that it would be a hit and miss situation or hear a call go out and fly like hell to the scene.
 

AK9R

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I've always said that reasoning is BS because if someone really wanted to harm an officer they would call in a fake emergency somewhere and wait for the police to arrive.
That exact thing happened in Indianapolis a month ago. Someone called 9-1-1 to report a burglary in progress. Indianapolis police responded. Upon their arrival, someone started shooting at them. That "someone" died as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted by the police. That "someone" reportedly made the 9-1-1 call.

 

mmckenna

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Don't forget that the "reason" for the encryption in the first place is officer safety. I've always said that reasoning is BS because if someone really wanted to harm an officer they would call in a fake emergency somewhere and wait for the police to arrive. I guess that these agencies think that if someone had a scanner that it would be a hit and miss situation or hear a call go out and fly like hell to the scene.
Yeah, "laying in wait". Happens periodically. Happened here last week, one deputy killed.
Happened in Alaska a few years ago.

It's an issue for small departments or very rural areas. May not be enough officers to cover the call and keep an eye on the rest of their jurisdiction.

There's a lot of evil in the world.
 

chill30240

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Yeah, "laying in wait". Happens periodically. Happened here last week, one deputy killed.
Happened in Alaska a few years ago.

It's an issue for small departments or very rural areas. May not be enough officers to cover the call and keep an eye on the rest of their jurisdiction.

There's a lot of evil in the world.
The police department where I grew up was on the county repeater along with the sheriff and two other agencies. Back in I think maybe late 80's they got their own radio system and encrypted it. I asked one of their officers that worked a part time job where I worked about it and he said that he and a bunch others didn't like one bit. Now years later they are part of the statewide network and everything is in the clear.
 
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nacsr

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Im curious. From a user standpoint, is there a downside or disadvantage to encryption?
 

mmckenna

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The police department where I grew up was on the county repeater along with the sheriff and two other agencies. Back in I think maybe late 80's they got their own radio system and encrypted it. I asked one of their officers that worked a part time job where I worked about it and he said that he and a bunch others didn't like one bit. Now years later they are part of the statewide network and everything is in the clear.
True.
However, I can tell you from having moved a department from Motorola 800MHz to Motorola VHF and then to Kenwood VHF, that officers will complain every time. The "old system" was ALWAYS better, no matter how much they complained about it at the time.
Call it nostalgia, call it facts, call it whatever you want, but having done it a few times, there will always be complaints.
 
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No.

Depending on the radio model, there are only a couple of options:
Near Field Communications (NFC). Very short range, as in inches. Radios should be locked down.

BlueTooth and BlueTooth Low Energy. More range, wouldn't need to get that close to the radio. Some radios can be programmed/read via BT, but it would take a minute or two (at least) to download the info for the whole radio. Like cell phones, pairing needs to be done, BT is encrypted.

WiFi. Often used for programming, but can be used for voice traffic, data, etc. Again, would take some time to down load the codeplug for the radio.

LTE. Data communications, FirstNet, etc. No need to get that close to the radio. Encrypted, etc.

RF. No need to get that close to the radio.

So far I haven't seen anything factual or backed up that would suggest that is what he was trying to do. The radios should be locked down. And there's easier ways to do this. Even if they downloaded the entire codeplug of the radio, there's going to be a lot of info missing, like encryption keys, trunked system keys, etc.

Could that have happened? Maybe, but it would take more than walking up and getting a device close to the radio for a few seconds. Radio interfaces should be locked down. Read/Write passwords should be in place.


No, I think this is totally unrelated and certain segments of the media are attempting to justify what happened, or otherwise cast doubt on what we do actually know.
Thank you so much it's nice to have someone with real knowledge to answer a question like that. I in no way thought this was possible.

NO!... I concur with mcKenna, he's the man that would know on this site, I'm sure he won't like me saying that LOL.

Congratulations on your first post after joining this afternoon. Welcome to RR... Bob.
Thank you so much. Iam excited about being part of this group and the sharing information.
 

gmclam

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However, I can tell you from having moved a department from Motorola 800MHz to Motorola VHF and then to Kenwood VHF, that officers will complain every time. The "old system" was ALWAYS better, no matter how much they complained about it at the time.
Call it nostalgia, call it facts, call it whatever you want, but having done it a few times, there will always be complaints.
Because it's true. It's hard to beat a repeated VHF analog system. Modern systems are too complicated, require too many towers for equivalent coverage, often have issues with "logging in" and the list goes on. With analog when the signal gets weak you can still often make out what is being said.
 

trentbob

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Because it's true. It's hard to beat a repeated VHF analog system. Modern systems are too complicated, require too many towers for equivalent coverage, often have issues with "logging in" and the list goes on. With analog when the signal gets weak you can still often make out what is being said.
I couldn't agree with that more, where I went to school in Suffolk County, New York in the early 70s the County police used a 154 - 155 megahertz repeater system.

That was a terrific system, Suffolk county is the eastern half of Long Island, very large area.

I know the reasons we have the systems we have today but so much taxpayer money could be saved by having this kind of system, again, I know why we can't.

There was no encryption on these systems of course.
 

WX4JCW

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a big problem I have is the following Example--- when Orlando PD went encrypted there was a meeting between the public, the media, and Chief Val Demmings (if the name sounds familiar it is, she is rumored to be on the list to be Biden's running mate) She referred to the Media and Public as "You People" as in I want to keep You, People, out of my comm center, asked if there could be a delayed feed or a dispatch only patch the answer was no, not wanted to even consider it, and said the train was on the track and nothing was going to stop it, now from her behavior you can't help but infer the whole decision was political, especially after the media reported that she was censured for leaving her service weapon in her unlocked car, and yes it was stolen and never found, so the officer safety excuse is more of a smokescreen for the underlying politics of it,

So the Climate will hopefully change enough that encryption can now be addressed, we all know the same old song and dance that you can make FOI requests but they know most people won't because they purposely delay the process.

Just need to keep applying pressure, at some point the powers that be will become uncomfortable enough to listen, or be replaced
 

KevinC

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I couldn't agree with that more, where I went to school in Suffolk County, New York in the early 70s the County police used a 154 - 155 megahertz repeater system.

That was a terrific system, Suffolk county is the eastern half of Long Island, very large area.

I know the reasons we have the systems we have today but so much taxpayer money could be saved by having this kind of system, again, I know why we can't.

There was no encryption on these systems of course.
The problem with going back to the old days is everyone wants in-building coverage these days. In the 70's you may have had a portable, but you understood it was for traffic stops and probably wouldn't work in the station or the grocery store or the hospital or wherever else you went inside. These days if you turn up a single site system and it doesn't work inside the Walmart the agency screams it's an officer safety issue.. even though no coverage guarantee was given.

Add to that everyone wants a dispatch channel, a tac channel, a records channel and a supervisor channel, the days of a single site single channel system are long gone.

But that's just my viewpoint.
 

KK4JUG

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The problem with going back to the old days is everyone wants in-building coverage these days. In the 70's you may have had a portable, but you understood it was for traffic stops and probably wouldn't work in the station or the grocery store or the hospital or wherever else you went inside. These days if you turn up a single site system and it doesn't work inside the Walmart the agency screams it's an officer safety issue.. even though no coverage guarantee was given.

Add to that everyone wants a dispatch channel, a tac channel, a records channel and a supervisor channel, the days of a single site single channel system are long gone.

But that's just my viewpoint.
My city has about 200K people. The PD has 21 talk groups and then there's the fire department, sheriff's department, corrections, airport police, etc. You're right, "the days of a single site single channel system are long gone." I remember when the walking patrol officers downtown had call boxes.
 

trentbob

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My only experience was listening on crystal control scanners. The system was introduced in the mid sixties. I'm not sure every cop had a portable. I remember they had PA speakers in their grills.

There were various frequencies from 154 to 155 megahertz. There were 3 dispatch channels, 2 car to car countywide channels, a countywide marine Aviation Channel. A data Channel and a direct car-to-car simplex frequency of 156.03.

You always heard both sides of the conversation but once in awhile they would throw the switch so you only heard the dispatcher and not the cars. Not sure why they did that but I know the cops didn't like it and the supervisors didn't like it. It had nothing to do with the public as I don't think too many people were listening.

That's a good point about VHF High working in buildings, basements Etc. There were no cell phones then either. I think the cops depended on their whistle more than they do today LOL.

They used 15 inch quarter wave whips on rooftops of the car.

I do understand the P2 simulcast tdma system my County uses now, I only lived in New York for school, I'm back home in Philly area, does not have many dead spots and was tested extensively throughout the whole County. It still has a few including some hospitals.

By the way folks that system has been totally encrypted in the last few weeks because of the civil unrest. The radio room is controlled by the County Supervisors, not the cops, the police Chiefs Association did ask the supervisors to do this encryption but it was with the understanding it would be temporary and the supervisors would go back to their policy of encryption of some sensitive channels only but dispatch would remain in the clear. Supposedly, encryption will be removed by the County Supervisors June 16th 0600... yay.
 

657fe2

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The analog VHF systems were great. They were easy to understand and they went a long way. You could get Vegas Metro PD all the way to the Baker grade. You could get Riverside Sheriff in Altadena. No distortions or fade outs, much better for big areas. I think Inyo County still runs everything on VHF.
 
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