MI: Facebook group Flint Police Operations is getting some national attention

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mk262

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Flint, MI -- The Facebook group Flint Police Operations is getting some national attention.

The group, which posts scanner traffic on Facebook, was featured in a story by the web site Tech Crunch. The story calls the group's members "crusaders, seemingly fueled on just passion" that uses social media for a modern day crime watch.

It is a group of 21 people who monitor scanner traffic and post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It is not affiliated with any police department.
Tech web site Crunch features Facebook group Flint Police Operations | MLive.com
 

mk262

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Makes me wonder if FPD won't start encrypting soon?
Unlikely, they just managed to scrape enough cash together to get direct access to the statewide p25 system (which is almost entirely in the clear). They were patched from their analog system prior.
 

bge1234

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Unlikely, they just managed to scrape enough cash together to get direct access to the statewide p25 system (which is almost entirely in the clear). They were patched from their analog system prior.
Does encryption cost extra? It seems that it would be relatively easy to encrypt a channel once on a digital system.
 

mk262

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Does encryption cost extra? It seems that it would be relatively easy to encrypt a channel once on a digital system.
Yes, depending on the type of encryption used and some other stuff. I would expect Flint would have to pay the state more money if they want to do that. And Flint can't afford it.
 

JoeyC

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Yes, depending on the type of encryption used and some other stuff. I would expect Flint would have to pay the state more money if they want to do that. And Flint can't afford it.
Maybe not now, but the foundation has been laid for the future.
 

steve888

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This is an example of people listening to scanners and doing good things (instead of when the bad guys listen to scanners to avoid the police). I hope this catches on in more communities. Why would the police want to encrypt this? It's scanner enthusiasts helping to inform the community about crime and other events that are happening in the area. That can only be a good thing in my opinion.
 

AK4FD

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Re: Flint Encryption

Yes, depending on the type of encryption used and some other stuff. I would expect Flint would have to pay the state more money if they want to do that. And Flint can't afford it.
All they need is a Federal Grant like the Law Enforcement Agencies do down here in Florida and Flint won't need to pay a penny the grant would cover it...
 

vdcceo

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just a note... there was a "scanner traffic" Facebook page here is Washington, there was an incident tat involved the military base here and the traffic was posted in real time... within minutes the page was gone.. about an hour later the page was back with the info missing... 2 days later the page was gone and has not been back since. I have no info as to why but depending where your theories take you it is something to ponder... I guess in the end what I am trying to say is was it censorship by face book, HLS or ???... I found it a great resource but its gone now...and no one knows why..
 

SKYNET156

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you have to also remember that Encryption cost money, so does programming, and the a site survey time and approval, encryption also cuts digital signal significantly, so the hosting agency needs make the choice wether or not this is good for the system and the end users.
 

JoeyC

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Encryption cuts digital signals significantly? Thats a new one.
Yes, if you are talking about who can listen in.
Absolutely NO if you are talking about range of signal.
 

SKYNET156

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Encryption cuts digital signals significantly? Thats a new one.
Yes, if you are talking about who can listen in.
Absolutely NO if you are talking about range of signal.
I have read that, and i'm pretty sure that adding encryption to a P25 system cuts the RF Signal, requiring the site to add amps and whatnot to the systems operation, All the data that is pushed through the RF Signal cuts voice and data to even it out when it gets transmitted.
but even so, i don't see Flint going encrypted just because a group is feeding their information in real time on FB, they may seek a stop order, or report the page to facebook, but as far as encryption goes, i don't see them doing that until it becomes something on more of a wide scale and puts the first responders in danger.
 

mk262

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I have read that, and i'm pretty sure that adding encryption to a P25 system cuts the RF Signal, requiring the site to add amps and whatnot to the systems operation, All the data that is pushed through the RF Signal cuts voice and data to even it out when it gets transmitted.
but even so, i don't see Flint going encrypted just because a group is feeding their information in real time on FB, they may seek a stop order, or report the page to facebook, but as far as encryption goes, i don't see them doing that until it becomes something on more of a wide scale and puts the first responders in danger.
I doubt they'd be able to do a stop order (otherwise RR would have been shut down long ago) and I doubt facebook would care. Flint is penniless and uses grants just to keep the current officers employed, let alone add new ones.
 

jasonpeoria911

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Technically, Flint PD might not be able to do it but the Feds would likely shutdown a facebook page if it involved a riot or large protest situation. Years ago during either the RNC or DNC in Minneapolis, when Gordon ran Scanamerica, they had a feed in Minneapolis that was being monitored by the protestors to monitor Officer movements and then coordinate their own protest movements in response. The FBI contacted Gordon to either have him shut it down or provide a delay on the feed. Gordon set up a delay on the feed, I think it was either 15 minutes or 1.5 hours, something like that.

I know RR has rules on broadcasting those type of incidents but that doesn't stop a local scanner listener from relaying the details on facebook or twitter.

Jason
 

grem467

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I have read that, and i'm pretty sure that adding encryption to a P25 system cuts the RF Signal, requiring the site to add amps and whatnot to the systems operation, All the data that is pushed through the RF Signal cuts voice and data to even it out when it gets transmitted..
This is completely untrue. What cut range in the older encryption was having to turn the analog signal into a digital waveform prior to enrypting it. With an already digital voice signal, encrypting the voice payload does not add any additional overhead or loading to the original signal nor require any additional RF hardware. Its still 1's and 0's as in the unencrypted signal. If they went with a simple software based ADP type solution, the costs could be very minimal. Even if they wanted AES with a KMF and all of the bells and whistles, there are plenty of grants they could apply for that would pay for it.
 

fnnm1062

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The group is working closely with Flint PD. Have talked with officers, Chiefs, Sheriffs, etc... and others who all praise the work done by the group. They hold or delay posts that would jeopardize victims, police officers, and other responding personnel. Very professional...
 

krokus

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As grem467 pointed out, that is very much untrue. On a digital system, you are merely re-ordering the bits of voice data, which are passed along inside the packets, just like the (unencrypted) voice data would be.

Extra cost would be due to purchasing the key loaders, and rights to the encryption keys. (I do not remember, off the top of my head, if MPSCS charges an additional surcharge for encrypted talkgroups. Even if they do, it is a minimal additional cost.)
 

newsphotog

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Technically, Flint PD might not be able to do it but the Feds would likely shutdown a facebook page if it involved a riot or large protest situation. Years ago during either the RNC or DNC in Minneapolis, when Gordon ran Scanamerica, they had a feed in Minneapolis that was being monitored by the protestors to monitor Officer movements and then coordinate their own protest movements in response. The FBI contacted Gordon to either have him shut it down or provide a delay on the feed. Gordon set up a delay on the feed, I think it was either 15 minutes or 1.5 hours, something like that.

I know RR has rules on broadcasting those type of incidents but that doesn't stop a local scanner listener from relaying the details on facebook or twitter.

Jason
It wasn't an either/or proposition from the feds, Gordon delayed it as a courtesy to them. It was not a requirement. He could have left it live and the feds could have chosen to escalate it or let it be.
 
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