Ottawa, ON - Police hope to end rebroadcasting of scanners

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ibagli

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Police hope to end rebroadcasting of scanners

The “commercialization” by news media of the last words of a dying York Regional Police officer last summer has police forces across Ontario closing ranks to stop rebroadcasts and online streaming of officers’ radio communications.

An Ontario-led Canada-wide police initiative is insisting that the federal government introduce legislation to shut down the online streaming of police radio communications by individuals, now involving a proliferation of listeners fuelled by phone apps, and to prevent media rebroadcasts. Police say they have been left with no choice but to demand legislation after efforts to discuss their concerns were rebuffed by senior management at media outlets, particularly in the Toronto area.
 

jonesyxvii

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As someone who works for a Toronto-area media outlet (I am not a journalist, however) I understand the news value of such broadcasts, but I cannot defend the use of recordings in the case of Const. Styles. Transcripts, reprinted after the fact, and void of the emotion and inflection of the moment, seem to be a much more respectful way to report the event than the rebroadcast of the emotion-fueled radio transmissions. I will confess to listening to the archived radio transmissions from Radio Reference and the audio is absolutely gut-wrenching, but I have not shared that recording with anyone, not a single person. Why not? Because that's not mine to share, that's not my story to tell.

I see value in the online streaming of radio transmissions, live, as they happen, but I question the need for anyone other than the owner of the radio hosting the stream to archive the recordings. I acknowledge that Radio Reference is an American company, not bound by Canadian law (and i don't believe breaking any Canadian law) but I wonder if archiving recordings as they do is causing more harm than good in light of the Const. Styles case.

I would ask the owners of this site to review their policy with respect to archiving radio transmissions.

Robert
 

mikewazowski

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What this tells me is that law enforcement currently views streaming as lawful under current legislation.

If it wasn't lawful, they wouldn't be pressuring to make changes. They'd be out there busting people who stream.
 

EJB

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MikeOxlong said:
Maybe I'm missing something but that story doesn't seem relevant to a discussion of rebroadcasting scanner traffic on the internet.
It doesn't have anything to do with streaming.
Then what was the purpose of the article? I understand you might see things differently Steve.

The article in my interpretation is that those law enforcement peoples quoted were not happy about the media issuing audio from the York Region incident.

It also clearly states that we in Canada are allowed to listen but not divulge what we hear.

And the article mentions that this site is a carrier, I.e. The forum for scanner audio.

So, you can interpret the article as not being about audio but you know full well that York Region was not happy with this site and sent the site owner a letter to that point.
 

SquierStrat

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gotta agree. i think the live audio feeds are ruining the hobby. i hosted my towns feed for a while. i noticed a few months after beginning the feed i stopped hearing the "neat" and "cool" things that i used to. so i shut the feed down a few months ago, and now some of those things are starting to come back. just my own personal example..
 

DickH

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gotta agree. i think the live audio feeds are ruining the hobby.
I agree and I think it is leading to more encryption. We hardly ever heard about encryption before the live streaming became popular. And I think all the encryption talk has increased even more since all the freeloaders can hear everything on their cell phones.
 

rdale

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I agree and I think it is leading to more encryption. We hardly ever heard about encryption before the live streaming became popular.
That is absolutely false. If you didn't know agencies were encrypting, you weren't listening.
 

SCPD

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I think that the police in Ontario and well the rest of Canada have the right idea. There should be a total ban of streaming of law enforcement type communications over the internet. Do that and we would not have issues like this where the last moments of a dying constable is streamed by the media like we have in the Styles case in Ontario.

However .. I am totally for the continued use of monitoring of any communications by hobbyists using their scanners. In short, if you want to listen .. buy a scanner.
 

harryshute

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Thirty some years ago I loved taking my scanner to the U.S. to listen to the FBI and DEA. In NYC you could hear drug operations in the clear and in Phoenix I heard Air 1 communicating with the ground with the President on board. In LA I heard the FBI handling an attempted hijacking while also listening to the KABC IFB.

You can't do that anymore. Because of RR no. The RCMA Journal was in it's infantcy and didn't publish those sensitive frequencies. Police Call didn't yet publish the entire list of frequencies with XXX showing classified frequencies.

But things changed about 30 years ago. Even the RCMP in Canada talked about turning on the bubble machine when they wanted to go ENC. To think streaming audio has caused ENC is like taking the ostrich position with your head in the.....sand.

If you read more than the first paragraph of the story you hear OPP doesn't want to encrypt routine dispatch because of the extreme cost. I think IBM should let WATSON loose on encryption and let the radio salesman explain why their fancy new radios are now useless. Technolgy moves along and one day we may be able to listen in to the forbidden channels again.

In the end the tax payer pays for those that chose to scramble routine dispatch. Just like when they buy new radar and laser guns to beat radar detectors.
 

mikewazowski

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Then what was the purpose of the article? I understand you might see things differently Steve.
If you take a closer look at DDan's post, you'll see we were pointing out that the link Zerg901's posted has no connection to streaming.

My comment and DDan's had nothing to do with ibagli's link.
 
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mikewazowski

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Yes and if you take a look at the portion of ibagli's message that Ddan quoted, you'll see the link we were referring to.

It has nothing to do with the Styles' story and has no relevance to the discussion.
 

DickH

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That is absolutely false. If you didn't know agencies were encrypting, you weren't listening.
I've been listening since 1955. I'm talking about BEFORE streaming became popular.
 

harryshute

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But now that I look even closer the Texas story had a 61 year old scannist who called police after hearing the description on the scanner his wife gave him for Christmas. He saw the killer and called police. Maybe not streaming but an interesting scanner story.

Everyone put away their magnifying glasses and return to scanning:)
 

exkalibur

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That is absolutely false. If you didn't know agencies were encrypting, you weren't listening.
It isn't false. Not entirely.

Police agencies have obviously switched to encryption before streaming (London Ontario is one that comes to mind, along with Niagara Regional Police). However, as of late the word encryption has been tossed around quite a bit.

Is streaming the ONLY reason why an agency encrypts? Absolutely not. However, given the fact that there really isn't much of a price difference these days... It's just one more factor for them to consider. In some cases, I'll bet it's the factor that pushes them to encrypt.

They even said so in their quote, that they were okay with us scanner folk listening, but when streaming became popular, it became a problem.

Bottom line is that streaming contributes NOTHING to the hobby.
 
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