Orange County, CA Fire Department Reverses Encryption Decision

blantonl

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The Orange County Fire Authority has reversed its decision to encrypt its radio and dispatch communications that was initiated Monday. The encryption was part of the county’s upgrade of its 800 MHz Countywide-Coordinated Communications System, managed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

OCFA Chief orders decryption of firefighter radios
 

Ant9270

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I feel bad for the techs that loaded all of those keys. Yikes
 

poltergeisty

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Finally some sanity. Maybe Bismarck, North Dakota of all places will take notice? HAHAHA



151.48250 WPWN986 RM 311 NAC BSMK FIRE Fire Dept. Dispatch - Encrypted P25E Fire Dispatch 151.15250 WPWN986 RM 312 NAC BSMK FIRE 2 Bismarck Fire 2 - Encrypted P25E Fire-Tac 151.00250 WPWN986 BM 314 NAC BSMK FGND 1 Bismarck FIRE Ground 1 - Encrypted P25E Fire-Tac 156.17250 WPWN986 BM 315 NAC BSMK FGND 2 Bismarck FIRE Ground 2 - Encrypted P25E Fire-Tac 159.05250 WPWN986 BM 114.8 PL BSMK FGND 3 Bismarck FIRE Ground 3 - Encrypted
 

allend

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Metro Cities Fire Authority (Metro Net)
33 mins ·
Many of our followers are asking for an update on the radio encryption of fire radios. The OC fire chiefs are actively working on a solution, but we discovered the change is more complicated and will take time. In the interim, the fire chiefs agreed to stream dispatch audio in the clear. To do this Metro Net installed hardware to our radios allowing us to stream the audio to Broadcastify.com. The link to our combined two dispatch channels


https://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/31006


The fire chiefs will meet again soon to discuss additional steaming channels. For now, you can follow our dispatches at the above link and on many scanner apps. We also stream to the PulsePoint app.
Thank you for your patience as we work through the encryption issue.



Hopefully OCFA gets on-board too.
 

markemtjd

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I've looked here in RR for any updated info since last year, August, and haven't found any, so forgive me for asking HERE if the answer might be found elsewhere.

If the decision was made to reverse the encryption, then why am I still not hearing anything on my radios? I was hearing radio comms several months ago, for a short time, but then nothing since. Are the radios still encrypted?
 

marcotor

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It will be done when they are done, and not one minute before that. Information has been scant, but having to touch thousands of radios while maintaining system integrity could make this a yearlong (or more) process. It's not a matter of just "flipping a switch", as so many seem to think it is.
 

markemtjd

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As for "flipping a switch", that is exactly what happened back when all OC law enforcement went encrypted. One day, we're hearing everything, next day -- Zip. I was just thinking, if they can "flip a switch" ON, why can't they "flip" it OFF? Some systems can turn on or off their encryption at will, so why not OCCC and OCFA?
 

KevinC

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As for "flipping a switch", that is exactly what happened back when all OC law enforcement went encrypted. One day, we're hearing everything, next day -- Zip. I was just thinking, if they can "flip a switch" ON, why can't they "flip" it OFF? Some systems can turn on or off their encryption at will, so why not OCCC and OCFA?
The problem with everyone thinking they just "flip a switch" is that you have no idea how much work/preparation had to be done before that day. It's like "all of a sudden" your neighbor has a new car, I'm pretty sure they didn't wake up that morning and decide to buy a new car without any forethought or shopping or planning.
 

oracavon

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As for "flipping a switch", that is exactly what happened back when all OC law enforcement went encrypted. One day, we're hearing everything, next day -- Zip. I was just thinking, if they can "flip a switch" ON, why can't they "flip" it OFF? Some systems can turn on or off their encryption at will, so why not OCCC and OCFA?
Not true. I was there when that system went online in 2000. The P25 OC LE system was encrypted from day one (with the exception of a handful of TGs that they decided not to encrypt - lifeguards, tan channels, local government etc.). It was never in the clear and no one flipped any switches. Eventually fire moved from their old analog TGs to the already-encrypted LE P25 system. Essentially, they now need to unencrypt TGs that were encrypted from the day they were created - something that they have never done before and weren't originally set up to do. There are no existing switches to flip.
 

milf

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OTAP anyone? If they had this enabled then YES it is just simple pressing a few keys. The only thing that would take a month or so is the rewriting of the codeplug.
 

marcotor

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Not true. I was there when that system went online in 2000. The P25 OC LE system was encrypted from day one (with the exception of a handful of TGs that they decided not to encrypt - lifeguards, tan channels, local government etc.). It was never in the clear and no one flipped any switches.
Anyone listening back in those days would have noticed. Cities gradually dropped off the old analog 460MHz system. Perhaps if one was scanning only a certain city, and one day it was there and the next day it was gone, it could have appeared that way. The reality was that entity abandoning the old 460MHz system, and moving to the new system - which took some time to complete. There certainly was no "flip of a switch" and suddenly all county LE was encrypted. Same with Fire. EVERY radio on the system has to be touched, period.

And it's likely that every radio will have to be touched AGAIN to clean up the loads after encryption is removed.
 

dave3825

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Lol,
“We push out information on incidents on our home page. We want people to be informed. This is in no way to quash any kind of information.”

When you control what's being pushed out on a web page, that's called censoring.
 

Scrapmatt17

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I think we all would be alot more happy if an official statement came from a department stating the progress or status of decryption.
 

Mike_G_D

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Umm..."a multi-year effort"...?! I figured it would take a while but...multi-year? Okaaaa.....yepers...
 

milf

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Political Gaming in the air, wave the radios like you just don't care... Somebody is playing somebody else here. Multi Year project to change out codeplugs and retouch? Cost? Are they going to contract out the job? Uh huh, okay. Multi year project is total upgrade of Core, replacing all radios with newest toys, etc....
 

gcopter1

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Hmmm...this is very educating...here I was thinking it was just a matter for the user to turn the encryption knob on their radio to clear. Guessing the astute vendor left out the OTAP option when they sold them the encryption thing, huh?
 
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