• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Here's another one joining the encryption stampede

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Hans13

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As for political reasons for encryption, I can't offer anything there other than if you suspect your department is up to no good, then you need to get out and vote and fix it.

Bottom line is: Encryption or not, hobbyists will never have immediate access to all agency communications.
For some, it is not about a hobby. It is about accountability. For me, hobby scanning was tertiary, never primary. Your bottom line would tend to leave one believing that just because the People can't have immediate access to all then one should accept government limiting one area that has been open for so long. I disagree. It is incumbent upon a people to continually seek as much openness from a government in any way possible.

As to voting to fix... That begins with people doing just what they are doing here; discussing and expressing concern. Once all traffic is encrypted, proving (or even knowing) how corrupt a department is will be all that much more difficult.
 

mmckenna

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For some, it is not about a hobby. It is about accountability. For me, hobby scanning was tertiary, never primary. Your bottom line would tend to leave one believing that just because the People can't have immediate access to all then one should accept government limiting one area that has been open for so long. I disagree. It is incumbent upon a people to continually seek as much openness from a government in any way possible.
I agree, openness in government is a very good thing and I'd like to see more of it.
However, being open to public scrutiny doesn't require access to radio traffic. As I pointed out above, two way radio is only one of the ways officers can communicate.

I hope you don't think you are getting a complete and unobstructed view of a department just from listening to a scanner. I can assure you that the really good stuff goes on via MDC terminals, cell phones, and in person.

As to voting to fix... That begins with people doing just what they are doing here; discussing and expressing concern. Once all traffic is encrypted, proving (or even knowing) how corrupt a department is will be all that much more difficult.
Well said, and nothing wrong with discussing it.

As for visibility, there are ways to achieve that, but it requires those that oversee public safety to make it happen. Many departments have ways to get involved, like oversight committees, open meetings, etc. Making sure your city, county, or state make that happen. If they don't, vote the bums out and vote in people that will make it happen.
 

Hans13

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I hope you don't think you are getting a complete and unobstructed view of a department just from listening to a scanner. I can assure you that the really good stuff goes on via MDC terminals, cell phones, and in person.
Of course not. Having seen many sources I realize that radio traffic is but one tool in the box. My intention is to fight for as many tools as we can keep hold of.

As often is the case, great posts mmckenna. Sometimes my replies to parts of your posts are to reach other readers and invoke thought processes.
 

mmckenna

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Of course not. Having seen many sources I realize that radio traffic is but one tool in the box. My intention is to fight for as many tools as we can keep hold of.
I think the encryption battle is lost, not that it was ever for the scanner listener to win.

I'm working on a project to completely refresh our VHF system for our PD, and it will include encryption. Making sure it's able to be monitored by consumer scanners isn't even on the table. If someone has a need to hear traffic, either phone or radio, it can be requested by FOIA request.

As often is the case, great posts mmckenna. Sometimes my replies to parts of your posts are to reach other readers and invoke thought processes.
Thanks, I appreciate that.
I understand that about the replies. A lot of people read and don't comment, so sharing useful information is always good.
You bring up some valid points. There needs to be accountability, but I don't think scanners are the answer.
Before scanners existed, before officers carried radios, none of this information was available to the public. While scanners have been nice, I think their days of openly monitoring law enforcement traffic are waning. Technology is moving to digital, and with that will come wider use of encryption.
And I don't think that encryption necessarily means an agency is trying to hide something. It's just good practice. Like I said above, making sure radio traffic is available to scanner listeners isn't necessarily on any agencies list of concerns. I've been in those discussions.
 

kb4cvn

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HIPAA also requires that such PHI (personal health information) be discussed discreetly and only with those on a need to know basis. EMS giving stats over the radio to the ER admitting should not be giving out PHI where others can hear it, such as blaring from a consollette speaker in an ER triage area or coming out of portable radios carried by crews not involved. That's a bigger risk of failing a JCOH or VA audit than encrypting radio traffic.



After HIPPA was implemented, whenever I did the Fleetmapping (and radio personality file creation) on a new trunked radio system, I would make the Ambulance to Hospital talkgroup(s) secure, or at the very minimum unencrypted ProVoice or AEGIS on EDACS systems. I also strongly recommended to the System Administrator to go secure, fulling expecting the USGOV to at some future date require these groups be secure.
 

Citywide173

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After HIPPA was implemented, whenever I did the Fleetmapping (and radio personality file creation) on a new trunked radio system, I would make the Ambulance to Hospital talkgroup(s) secure, or at the very minimum unencrypted ProVoice or AEGIS on EDACS systems. I also strongly recommended to the System Administrator to go secure, fulling expecting the USGOV to at some future date require these groups be secure.
While I understand the concern, I don't see it coming from them at any point in the near to medium future. The unfunded mandate would apply to all entities involved, including many smaller ambulance corps and volunteer agencies to have to comply, causing financial hardship where they don't have a larger consortium controlling their radio system, and the private ambulance owners would be screaming over the cost of upgrading radios. The MED channels will be around for a long time, and as long as they are, the feds won't be able to implement a sweeping mandate of this type.
 
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