Later In The Future....

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btritch

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I don't know if this is right or not but if it's not it can be moved..

Here's something I've had asked to me many times here recently and I'm not sure what to tell them, So I'm going to ask your opinions here and hope to not start a riot about it...but...

People here and elsewhere are talking about in the next 10 to 20 years all scanner conversations will be encrypted, That may very well be the case but here's the main part with that, With encryption, This makes it illegal to listen to unless it for the intended recipient, It's ILLEGAL, PERIOD! That's the way it is and the way it's going to be so, Most places the Newspaper, TV Media, Radio Broadcasters, etc. all use scanners to get their local news, This is how they find out about all of it around here... Well here's the question I've had asked, Even by a couple of news reporters I know.... After everything goes to "Digital Encryption" or just basic "encryption" will the news crew still be able to listen in, Well that answer is obviously no, Well not legally anyways, That leads to this, "What kind of impact is that going to have on The News/Media companies?" Will it hurt? How will they get stories then? These are basic questions I have no answers to... What does everyone else think will or should or possibly could happen?


EDIT: This could get interesting...and probably should have went into the wasteland, lol
 
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AZScanner

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While the news media will still exist, I doubt you or I would recognize it if it suddenly were implemented today. If they do evolve to a modern internet based model as the trend seems to indicate, they won't need scanners at all.

I picture it to be something like this: News stations will look to it's own viewers to report what's going on. A host will act as the gatekeeper, directing viewers to various live broadcasts and "podcasts" generated by fellow viewers as they come in. Think along the lines of CNN's I-Report combined with a host and live chat like what currently exists on livenewscameras.com - and picture it all happening live throughout the day, viewable not only in your living room, but in your car, on busses and trains, billboards, even your own cellphone.

Most of the local content will be probably be created by unpaid amateur news junkies who just get a thrill out of being on "TV" (which will be a much more 2 way medium than it is today as I described above). The big networks will still be alive and well though and they will probably employ staff photojournalists to fill in the gaps and chase down bigger stories that are first reported on by the locals I mentioned earlier. The staffers will probably have gotten their start as one of the news junkies that submit reports for free. There will also be freelancers in the mix who will submit reports "sponsored by" whoever is paying them to go out and report news items so they can also pitch a certain product or service.

If you think about it, this isn't too much different from the model we already have. Lots of stations use phone reports from their viewers in addition to their scanners when sending crews out to cover stories. There's also official statements from various agencies and local businesses, local sporting events, of course the weather, political events, etc. Plenty of other stuff to fill the void besides the scanner.

Like I said, local news as you and I know it is already slowly evolving into a more viewer driven and on demand service. As the broadcast industry looks to the internet as a preferred broadcast medium, this will become much more apparent, to the point where the 6 o'clock news becomes little more than a podcast that will highlight the main stories of the day along with sports scores and the weather, and direct you to choose which ones you want to know more about. You'll be able to create your own newscast and the stations will be able to custom tailor these "podcasts" to each individual viewer based on his or her preferences. Maybe you like sports more than weather. Maybe you prefer politics. Maybe you don't want ANY politics. Maybe the weather and Britney Spears 16th divorce are all you care about. Whatever you're into, they'll have content for it, (bought and paid for by a relevant advertiser of course).

TV news is something that's near and dear to my heart... a part of me still misses feeding the beast. But the direction the industry is taking made for a good time for me to depart back into my corporate cubicle and churn out business reports - at least for the time being. It'll be interesting to see where it all ends up and how much of the above becomes reality. It'd be great to someday be a part of that world again.

-AZ
 

DickH

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People here and elsewhere are talking about in the next 10 to 20 years all scanner conversations will be encrypted, That may very well be the case but here's the main part with that, With encryption, This makes it illegal to listen to unless it for the intended recipient,
Depending on the agency, the media might be allowed to buy a radio and have it programmed on certain talk groups that are not deemed sensitive.
In fact, it's possible that some smart lawyer could get approval under the Freedom of Information Act.
 

zz0468

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Law enforcement agencies frequently supply the local news media with tx inhibited radios equipped with all the primary dispatch talk groups for news gathering purposes. I would imagine that practice would continue, even if encrypted. As to the laws, that would make the news outlets an intended recipient, and therefore legal.
 

manross

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Law enforcement agencies frequently supply the local news media with tx inhibited radios equipped with all the primary dispatch talk groups for news gathering purposes. I would imagine that practice would continue, even if encrypted. As to the laws, that would make the news outlets an intended recipient, and therefore legal.
That's exactly right. We sold the radios to legitimate news agencies. They were programmed for receive only. The arrangement worked quite well.

Marty
 

SAR923

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Most agencies will sell radios to the news media that allow them to listen to normal dispatch frequencies unecrypted. The ones I've dealt with still leave the surveillance and other confidential channels encrypted.
 
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With the original question answered (many will get special radios from public safety), an interesting question will be what impact the move to total encryption would have on operations. I know for a fact that citizens aid LE with tips, that wouldn't come without scanners. I personally helped cops catch an armed robbery suspect who had gotten out of their perimeter once years back, and as a matter of fact just last night on the way home from San Diego assisted our DPS in trying to catch a fake cop.

A guy impersonating a cop with a heavily tinted 300C had red and blues flashing driving about 120 down the HOV lane of our local (crowded) freeway nearly killing people along the way. I didn't recognize it as a typical DPS UC vehicle, so I turned on the PSR-500 and heard that an off duty guy had observed it and called it in as a Magnum (different car), driven by an impersonator. Minutes later I heard the Phoenix PD chopper assisting, and he spotted the CORRECT car, but was told it was the wrong model. By the time I got off hold and got through to the dispatcher the bad guy had been let go, and he slipped away. I explained that the helicopter had the correct car and that the wrong model had been given for the car, but it was too late. Had I gotten through quicker they may well have put the guy away.

One observant person with a scanner can make a difference and help out, so it will be a shame if everything gets secured.
 
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zz0468

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With the original question answered (many will get special radios from public safety), an interesting question will be what impact the move to total encryption would have on operations.
Yeah, it happens that way, where a scanner listener can actually help out. But I rather doubt it would have a significant statistical impact on crime or apprehension rates. In the grand scheme of things, it may be deemed that the loss of that very small amount of outside help is far outweighed by the perception that the officers are safer running encrypted radios.
 
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