Is city or county allowed to encrypt channels?

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JRAUDIOKS

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Does city or county have right to encrypt what would be considered a public channel? Such as their dispatch channel I can understand the side channels are allowed to be encrypted. I believe the public has a right to listen so someone or something that their tax money is technically paying for. I know alot of older people that use this as some form of entertainment, and paid good money for new scanners.
 

ZachSmith

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Most seem to just go digital so that the public still has the ability to listen....it just will cost them a lot of $$$ to get a digital scanner. If they want to spend that much on a scanner, then they deserve to listen.
 

rdale

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Most seem to just go digital so that the public still has the ability to listen....it just will cost them a lot of $$$ to get a digital scanner. If they want to spend that much on a scanner, then they deserve to listen.
Digital is not encryption... He is talking about a digital system that ALSO has encryption. You cannot buy a scanner to hear that.
 

ZachSmith

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I understand. I think I just didn't type that out very clear. I just meant some agencies seem to enjoy the switch to digital because its almost like encryption as it makes it more difficult for citizens to gain access.
 

rdale

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Gotcha. I find it hard to believe an agency would spend millions of taxpayer dollars just for the purpose of making Joe Public spend $500 on a scanner instead of $200, but I guess it could happen.
 

JRAUDIOKS

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the part that get me is that if they wanted private information like criminal activity broadcasted they should use their MDT system (computers) . alot of information is being broadcasted via MDT such as diriver information is usually requested to be sent via MDT. traffic stops, fight in progress, weather related issues are not private issues my opinion. this county is small enough that weather info is done via PD, SO, OR KHP AND FIRE DEPT. announcements.
 

JoeyC

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JR, there are plenty of (now closed) threads about this passionate topic.
Yes they have the right to encrypt.
No you don't have any right to listen.
End of story.
 

n0lqt

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Encryption

So far, I've heard very little in the way of encryption used on the KSICS radio system in the south central area. I routinely monitor towers in Wichita, Eldorado, Cottonwood Falls and Partridge. Many individuals on an off the system believe it to be encrypted when it really is not most of the time. In fact, I had to contact a friend of mine who works for a particular state-wide law enforcement agency recently about some individuals from this same agency. They were escorting a female CI (confidental informant) from a briefing to a meet and she wanted to go by her home first. One agent following the group got lost, so another agent gave him directions up to the house including the street name and color of the house. I think they believed since they were on the "DIGITAL" system, nobody else to hear them. My friend confirmed the incident and said that a number of other agencies had heard the traffic also and contacted them about this comprimise of the CI.

Now having said that there is little encryption going on, I have noticed that Pro96com does show a LOT of MDT traffic now. Much more than even 3 months ago. I'm not sure if that is just because more terminals have been installed or the officers are getting used to them and discovered how much of a time and work saver they can be.
 
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KAA951

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KHP is in the midst of deploying MDTs statewide- but, all the new MDTs they are installing operate off cellular air cards instead of the state digital system. The MDTs using the digital system have had nothing but problems (shoving voice and data down the same 9.6 kbps pipe isn't very effective) and KHP is going to move everyone to cellular broadband so they can move image files etc.

I would be surprised if we see very much encryption on the state system- other than for small, specialized units (tactical teams, surveillance etc). In addition to the increased hardware and firmware upgrade costs for each radio, there is increased maintenance due to the XTS 5000 regularly dropping the encryption key if the battery comes loose or it is charged incorrectly. Unless an agency has a full time radio tech who can re-flash the radios with the key, this will mean an additional $50 service charge from KDOT each time the key drops or expires!
 
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