Encryption, could a nation wide mandate demand it be removed from L.E.?

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iMONITOR

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Recently I'm hearing and reading a lot of unbelievable demands coming from various sectors of citizens and local government regarding major changes in law enforcement as we know it. I wonder what effect this could have on encryption with regards to transparency in L.E. and possible demands that it be removed? Or could it have the opposite effect causing an even greater need for encryption on the part of L.E.? It's like a double edge sword!

Using Live PD and LIve PD Cam body cams as an example. There are pro's and con's for both the police and the public, either with them or without them.

What are your thoughts. Lets try to maintain a reasonable discussion and keep politics out of this so this thread does not get closed.

Moderators: I honestly don't think this crosses the line with regards to posting about encryption or politics. My intention is just to discuss our feelings of what the future holds for us with regards to encryption threatening our ability to continue monitoring public safety communications to keep up with what's happening in our communities. Obviously if you feel the need, please delete the thread, my apologies.

Members: I posted this at approximately 7:40PM EST. Please hold off replying until we get an acknowledgement from the mods.

Thanks!
 

ten13

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I wonder what effect this could have on encryption with regards to transparency in L.E. and possible demands that it be removed?

If any police department learns ANYTHING from the Insurrection in the streets lately, it's that their department needs an encrypted radio system, the sooner the better. And especially the NYPD.

You have no case.....
 
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Like every other encryption post here on RR, the encryption discussion inevitably goes downhill quickly.

Best to have your own opinions and keep them to yourself.

You're not going to influence public policy via a hobbyist website.

Just my two cents.
 

trentbob

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iMONITOR, I was waiting for a mod to step in but I personally don't think that was going to happen until it hit the fan which it will before the end of the night.

It's impossible not to get political of course and it's impossible not to talk about the different ways of listening to police calls now and I'm not talking about serious hobbyist, First Responders and media types buying expensive scanners and programming them with good intentions. This discussion can't be had without discussing that too.

It's a great topic but it's hard to skip around all of the...mmm I was going to use the c-word but already I'm skipping around watching what I'm saying so I won't be c-ed, there's so much of that being done now by ONE side in social media. People are so offended by the... "it's my way or the highway".

So we can't be political but it is one side and another side, Viva la revolucion so to speak. Personally I'm a proud American.

I have heard the calls for completely revamping and having a totally new model for policing. Getting rid of the old way of doing it and developing a whole new way to police. I live outside of Philly I think I saw Philadelphia police doing that. They had an adequate amount of police on one block watching looters and arsonist on the next block and not doing anything about it. That type of policing I think is what they're talking about.

Mandating that there be no encryption so there is complete transparency by the police might be part of a complete new model of policing that they are talking about.

Could be an interesting discussion and thank you for letting me share. I just wanted to show by my comments how hard it would be to have a frank and honest discussion here without violating some kind of forum rule.

Thanks again.
 

mastr

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Transparency and operational security are not mutually compatible. Encryption will become more popular as the "demand" for transparency becomes more widespread. Radio salesman's dream come true.,
 

JDrisc3480

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I agree that encryption will become more popular among law enforcement however, with the calls to defund law enforcement I think that since it is an expensive endeavor, it will take longer for some departments to implement and it may cause the departments that have implemented it to revert back to unencrypted.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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No matter if you are pro or con for encryption, you'd have to agree it's a bad look in general. Especially now.
I have to agree, it adds to the stigma that the police are militarized. I agree there needs to be a discussion about making these systems more transparent to public. On the federal side, agencies dealing with sensitive information or providing security to sensitive facilities, it is not a civil rights problem. But is more so when we have a police force that is to serve and protect and it becomes a militarized force that defaults to seeing us citizens as a foe. That is exactly why folks are protesting right now.

Being on the inside, of this tech, I can tell you that encryption is relatively simple now and we may be past the rubicon.
 

iMONITOR

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Sorry about the misspelled title guys, of course I meant to type "encryption" not "EM... I only had four hours sleep last night and feel asleep at the keyboard after posing this. When I woke up and noticed it was too late to edit it.

It is difficult to discuss and I had great difficulty typing the post in a way that didn't cause problems. Understand I'm not taking anyone's side on anything. I was just thinking about it and my hands felt compelled to type out loud so to speak. I remember the resistance from L.E. regarding body cams when they were first introduced but as we've all witnessed they can and do work in the officer's favor when they're accused of misconduct when there is none. However they can work against them as well and we've seen both outcomes.

Encryption does not cause a problem when a police investigation is attempting to confirm what was said, and that is because they have access to a recording that was in the clear. However denying the public from actually hearing what was said is when the problem begins. We have to accept what we are told. What we are told can be edited, deleted or even recreated to reflect an outcome that's in their best interest.

It's my hope and belief we will see changes in how the way L.E. carry out their work. I fear that it's going to become very difficult to find people willing to be police officers in the future continuing the ways of the past. They are constantly put in a "damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I agree that encryption will become more popular among law enforcement however, with the calls to defund law enforcement I think that since it is an expensive endeavor, it will take longer for some departments to implement and it may cause the departments that have implemented it to revert back to unencrypted.
Not sure I agree with defunding, but on a federal level, we need to force departments to spend less money on military grade weapons and more on hiring and retaining better officers. I think some of the problem might be that departments are not choosy enough in who they train and hire and if you don't pay enough they will either, move along, be creative in supplementing income by working as bouncers at dodgy establishments, or carry around a lot of anger.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Snip

It's my hope and belief we will see changes in how the way L.E. carry out their work. I fear that it's going to become very difficult to find people willing to be police officers in the future continuing the ways of the past. They are constantly put in a "damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.
That is mostly true. There is a problem with cops out of control. I just watched a video where a cop smashed out the window of a woman's car because she cranked up the window. He pulled her over and was barking at her with great anger . It could very well been she feared for her life. What happened to the cops who simply ask "Do you know why I pulled you over". ?? It seems some just want to control every moment of their lives.
 
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ofd8001

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I agree that all we are doing is blowing off steam one way or the other.

Whether encryption is appropriate should be a local decision. Those having thoughts one way or the other needs to express them to the decision makers should the topic arise.
 

iMONITOR

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Whether encryption is appropriate should be a local decision. Those having thoughts one way or the other needs to express them to the decision makers should the topic arise.
Why do you feel it should be a local decision? We all live in the same country and i think we really need to start standardizing our rules, laws, procedures and punishments. We should also standardize the equipment available to L.E.
 

GlobalNorth

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Why do you feel it should be a local decision? We all live in the same country and i think we really need to start standardizing our rules, laws, procedures and punishments. We should also standardize the equipment available to L.E.
The US has a federal form of governance, each State exists with their own laws and traditions. We are not a unitary form of governance like France.

In France, neither Paris nor the smallest town can get a pothole in the street fixed unless the National Assembly and the Senate [known together as the Parliament] agree to allocate the tax money for the repair. Not exactly an efficient process with 925 French politicians.
 

mmckenna

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Not sure I agree with defunding, but on a federal level, we need to force departments to spend less money on military grade weapons and more on hiring and retaining better officers.
I agree with this.
Public safety officials need to stop getting a pass on everything. I get it, the job is hard, they put up with a lot, but the attitude that -every- public safety employee is some sort of highly regarded hero has got to stop.
Some are really good and earn the "hero" title.
Some are OK and work hard, but mess up sometimes.
Some are bad, and have no business being in the line of work.
I never have given law enforcement, fire fighters, EMT's, or dispatchers a blanket "hero" label. I respect most of them. But that respect must be earned.

And yes, I do work with them occasionally. I've met a lot of really good people. I've also met a lot of jerks.


Oops, almost going political there.

Encryption is here to stay, like it or not. As GlobalNorth said, there's already multiple ways to communicate that are not available to hobbyists. If encryption is suddenly outlawed, the conversations that they don't want you to hear will switch to cell phones, data terminals, text messages, etc. That is happening right now all across the country. If you think your scanner is giving you the whole story, you are mistaken.

The encryption argument is pointless. Scanner hobbyists have no influence on this, no matter what you think or how many complain. I'm working on projects that involve encrypted radio systems, and at no time has —anyone— ever expressed concern for the hobby crowd. Anyone that has a legitimate need to hear encrypted traffic can be provided with a radio set to RX only. Hobby use is NOT a legitimate need. Never has been, never will be. It's a form of entertainment. If you feel the need to monitor public safety agencies for wrongdoing (and I encourage and support this) the way to do it is via freedom of information act. Demanding that their entire radio system be set up for your entertainment is a ridiculous idea.
 

Floridarailfanning

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IMHO each agency should at least have the ability to use encryption to uphold detained individuals' confidentiality when conducting 29/NCIC checks. I can't even recall how many peoples socials I've heard read out over the radio in the clear, which is something that needs to stop. This is also partly why I believe partial "e" is virtually useless, as it never gets used when it's needed but gets left on when not needed. It never fails.

On the other hand, I don't see any reason for running secure on regular dispatch or patrol channels, besides the long-standing, "Officer Saftey" argument which holds little merit.
 

iMONITOR

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The US has a federal form of governance, each State exists with their own laws and traditions. We are not a unitary form of governance like France.
I understand that but it does cause a lot of problems for government and citizens. Look at the auto industry, they're reuqired to make engines and emission systems quite different for say Calafornia, vs Michigan. Then what happens when I used vehicle purchase in Michigan by someone who lives in California? Then there's firearm and ammunition laws, carry laws, etc, what a quagmire! Driving age, drinking age and so on.
 
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