Encryption in small towns

GaRebel

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Looks like Laurens County and Dublin Ga has encrypted their transmissions. Guess they have a lot of stuff to hide from their citizens. Small town like this shouldn't have much to hide. But you know how it is in these small counties. More to hide, more money to bring in! I will not be helping them in any way.
 

APX7500X2

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They are not hiding anything, You can FOI the tapes and they will give them to you so you can sit and listen to see if they are hiding anything.
The only thing Encryption does is keep you from listening to them live, it dose not change the ability to listen to them later to catch the bad things they are doing
 

KK4JUG

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One should not have to file a complaint against an officer to be able to monitor the day-to-day activities of the agency sworn to protect them.
 

N4CYA

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From what a recent conversation with a SO officer at a local restaurant when we were talking about his duty radio and my personal own radio he says due to what is going on around the states virus, riots, shootings, crime and so on some or most all Police, SO, EMS/Fire, Federal and Military is switching over to encryption to protect themselves the officer stated.
 

KK4JUG

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From what a recent conversation with a SO officer at a local restaurant when we were talking about his duty radio and my personal own radio he says due to what is going on around the states virus, riots, shootings, crime and so on some or most all Police, SO, EMS/Fire, Federal and Military is switching over to encryption to protect themselves the officer stated.
Understood. Sometimes, it's not what it is. Rather, it's what it appears to be.
 

ScubaJungle

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They are not hiding anything, You can FOI the tapes and they will give them to you so you can sit and listen to see if they are hiding anything.
The only thing Encryption does is keep you from listening to them live, it does not change the ability to listen to them later to catch the bad things they are doing
Please do explain how it's so easy, when, in order to submit a FOIA request, you must request the exact details of what you want (not sure if you've done FOIA requests)
For example - a very rough but simple request, in case you aren't familiar,
"I am requesting unedited and full-resolution electronic copies of all photo, video (including, but not limited to dashcam, bodycam, and cell phone video), and radio traffic relevant to the arrest of John Doehammer, on July 4th, 2003, to be transferred to me over the internet. This includes any of the previously mentioned records leading up to the arrest, during and up to booking."

You can't just say,
"I request a copy of all your radio traffic on July 4th, 2003"

That's not how it works.

So your argument is moot, because you can't possibly know of wrongdoing if you didn't hear/see it, so how would you know to request it?
Also, you sometimes have to wait years before you can actually receive the requests (case closed, open?) Forget all of the requests that get denied wrongfully. Unless you have the money to sue for them, you arent getting them, no matter how blatantly wrong the denial may be.

It sounds like someone told you "encryption doesn't make any difference, people could just submit FOIA requests of whatever they want" and you took it at face value. That's not the case.
 

MTS2000des

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Also, you sometimes have to wait years before you can actually receive the requests (case closed, open?)
Not in Georgia. GORA (Georgia Open Records Act) states the following:

Agencies shall produce for inspection all records responsive to a request within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days of receipt of a request; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall require agencies to produce records in response to a request if such records did not exist at the time of the request. In those instances where some, but not all, records are available within three business days, an agency shall make available within that period those records that can be located and produced. In any instance where records are unavailable within three business days of receipt of the request, and responsive records exist, the agency shall, within such time period, provide the requester with a description of such records and a timeline for when the records will be available for inspection or copying and provide the responsive records or access thereto as soon as practicable.

A request made pursuant to this article may be made to the custodian of a public record orally or in writing. An agency may, but shall not be obligated to, require that all written requests be made upon the responder's choice of one of the following: the agency's director, chairperson, or chief executive officer, however denominated; the senior official at any satellite office of an agency; a clerk specifically designated by an agency as the custodian of agency records; or a duly designated open records officer of an agency; provided, however, that the absence or unavailability of the designated agency officer or employee shall not be permitted to delay the agency's response. At the time of inspection, any person may make photographic copies or other electronic reproductions of the records using suitable portable devices brought to the place of inspection. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an agency may, in its discretion, provide copies of a record in lieu of providing access to the record when portions of the record contain confidential information that must be redacted
 

KK4JUG

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And, if I remember correctly, they can also charge "reasonable" fees for everything.
 

ScubaJungle

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Not in Georgia. GORA (Georgia Open Records Act) states the following:

Agencies shall produce for inspection all records responsive to a request within a reasonable amount of time not to exceed three business days of receipt of a request; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall require agencies to produce records in response to a request if such records did not exist at the time of the request. In those instances where some, but not all, records are available within three business days, an agency shall make available within that period those records that can be located and produced. In any instance where records are unavailable within three business days of receipt of the request, and responsive records exist, the agency shall, within such time period, provide the requester with a description of such records and a timeline for when the records will be available for inspection or copying and provide the responsive records or access thereto as soon as practicable.

A request made pursuant to this article may be made to the custodian of a public record orally or in writing. An agency may, but shall not be obligated to, require that all written requests be made upon the responder's choice of one of the following: the agency's director, chairperson, or chief executive officer, however denominated; the senior official at any satellite office of an agency; a clerk specifically designated by an agency as the custodian of agency records; or a duly designated open records officer of an agency; provided, however, that the absence or unavailability of the designated agency officer or employee shall not be permitted to delay the agency's response. At the time of inspection, any person may make photographic copies or other electronic reproductions of the records using suitable portable devices brought to the place of inspection. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an agency may, in its discretion, provide copies of a record in lieu of providing access to the record when portions of the record contain confidential information that must be redacted
That is good to see, I wasnt that familiar with Georgias FOIA laws. But, it still doesnt change the fact that you need to know what youre asking for. Its definitely a step in the right direction though!

And, if I remember correctly, they can also charge "reasonable" fees for everything.
Yes they can. There are laws that protect from "unreasonable" charges, but exactly what "unreasonable" means to different departments varies wildly.
 

MTS2000des

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One should pay particular attention to the section that states a person may bring "portable electronic devices" to where the record(s) are kept and make copies of the "records available for inspection". In the case of audio recordings, this could be interpreted to mean a cellphone, cassette or digital audio recorder, etc.

The onus of enforcement of GORA is on the individual to seek civil relief if an agency fails to comply. That being said, a landmark case recently occurred where a criminal prosecution occurred when a municipal employee intentionally obstructed release of open records when requested by a media outlet. Precedent has been set in our state. One can actually be personally criminally charged for violating portions of the act. Said employee was convicted last December. Employee was fined criminally for two counts at $750 each. While not a "throw em in prison" response, the person lost their career and now has a criminal history for their on the job offenses related to obstruction of release of open records.
 

DJ11DLN

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On the FOIA requests, I'm just going to throw something out there. When I was still active in the VFD we had a number of issues with Dispatch goofing in various ways. Long delays between report and tone-out or request for Mut-Aid and tone-out, completely disregarded requests by IC or improper actions taken in response to request, etc etc and so on. And of course the guy running everything (the Sheriff) refused to admit that anything at all had been done wrong.

So upon requesting copies of the recordings through proper channels during specific times when these kerfuffles would happen so as to be able to (hopefully) rub it in this cheerful idiot's face and get some remedial action, every single time there was a "technical issue" whereupon said recordings were "unfortunately" unavailable due to being corrupted.

If they don't want you to hear something, they'll find a way to keep you from hearing it. That said, I hope you have better luck down there than we had up here.
 

APX7500X2

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You can't just say,
"I request a copy of all your radio traffic on July 4th, 2003"

That's not how it works.
You can just say that
And that is how it works, I have done it dozens of times
Why would I post on here and say that if it wasn't possible?
 

ericcumbee

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You can just say that
And that is how it works, I have done it dozens of times
Why would I post on here and say that if it wasn't possible?
that might work some places, others pretend like they have never heard of the Open Records Act.
 

fxdscon

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You can just say that
And that is how it works, I have done it dozens of times
That may be how it works in your area, but that in no way reflects how it works everywhere.... far from it. Many others including myself have done it many dozens of times in their own area also.

Why would I post on here and say that if it wasn't possible?
By your own logic and argument... Why would others post on here and say their experiences is different from yours, if it wasn't true for them?

.
 

TampaTyron

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I am putting in a lot of MOTOTRBO in city/county public safety scenarios. Encryption is almost always enabled systemwide. When it isn't, there are usually encrypted TAC channels that they use for sensitive stuff. TT
 

RRR

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Encryption is not "almost always" enabled. It is usually -not- enabled. There are far more unencrypted Mototrbo systems in Georgia than there are encrypted ones.

It's when you get these out of state freq. holders, making a big presentation, and then rolling out a multi site Cap / Con+ system, (The ones where the freqs aren't in the FCC database for that county), when you find a lot of Enc. straight out of the box.

And (I don't care what you say to the contrary) you can get decreased range with encryption. I had a system engineer tell me the encrypted packets aren't being transferred / received clean as on the fringes without a good signal, and therefore, it won't decode properly, as when there is no encryption enabled, the packets don't have all that extra garbage to go through and check off to received the unencrypted audio properly. There is no fallback on MotoTrbo if a radio/user on the system isn't passing / receiving the encryption for whatever reason, instead of reverting to clear comms so the user can communicate, that user simply can't communicate Somewhat of a safety issue, but oh well.
 

TampaTyron

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Sorry man, hate to tell you that you are wrong on several counts.

Specifically, that many of the systems are going in where p25 would normally be used and there is a demand for encryption. Also, the large wide area systems do tend to use encryption, the reason you cannot find the frequencies easy is that they are often part of large spectrum auctions (like auctions for the 454.xxxx paging/umts frequencies that are assigned to an Economic Area). Furthermore, Encryption in digital does not reduce range at all. In MOTOTRBO, it does use bits from the voice payload, which slightly reduced voice quality. But, 5% BER is 5% BER regardless if it is clear voice or encrypted. Additionally, MOTOTRBO by default will receive both the encrypted and clear audio. So, if someone drops a key (which is extremely rare since the key is part of the codeplug and not stored in a separate module), the other users on the channel will still be able to hear that person (this can be disabled in the codeplug). Finally, if your sum total of MOTOTRBO experience is your local area in Georgia, I think it would help you to broaden your horizons a bit.

As someone who performs engineering, system design, installation, and maintenance for DMR type systems for a specific manufacturer on systems all over the world, I can tell you that you are misinformed.

TT
 
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