Police Radio Apps are Surging in Popularity, There’s just one problem.

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blantonl

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mwjones

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Nice article. In it they mention the "exception for media". With the way the line between the main stream media and small independent bloggers has become, that distinction, to me, makes that "exception" idea troubling, since the cost of entry for these small bloggers can make it prohibitive (and I suspect most agencies that have a "media exception" policy would laugh any such independent blogger out of the building). I can tell you that here in Dallas/Fort Worth, I sometimes get more meaningful news alerts from the Twitter User "@DFWScanner" than I do from any of the major news outlets.
 

cpfinlay

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Intelligent law enforcement agencies view public access to unencrypted dispatch traffic as a method to not only provide transparency to the society they protect and serve, but also use it as a tactical means for crime prevention. Those same agencies use encrypted traffic or other private communications methods as needed for incident response where it makes sense.
 

902

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Intelligent law enforcement agencies view public access to unencrypted dispatch traffic as a method to not only provide transparency to the society they protect and serve, but also use it as a tactical means for crime prevention. Those same agencies use encrypted traffic or other private communications methods as needed for incident response where it makes sense.
Indeed, I know this first-hand. I bought my mother a scanner for her birthday some years ago. She heard a "be on the lookout" broadcast for a vehicle suspected of performing break-in burglaries in the community. She looks out her window, and the vehicle is a few houses down. She called 9-1-1 and said the vehicle they were looking for was parked at the address. The 9-1-1 telecommunicator was surprised she knew the information, but she told him she heard it on her scanner. Officers were there within minutes, then took the person into custody. He turned out to be the burglar. She stayed anonymous, but kept listening to the scanner until she passed. I can't imagine how many more listeners there are like this across the country.

This will all be a moot point if things ever migrate to voice over a cellular network, like they are anticipating with FirstNet. Departments that wish to preserve their public engagement would need to establish their own streaming, or make arrangements with a streaming entity to "broadcast" their talkgroup.
 

902

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Nice article. In it they mention the "exception for media". With the way the line between the main stream media and small independent bloggers has become, that distinction, to me, makes that "exception" idea troubling, since the cost of entry for these small bloggers can make it prohibitive (and I suspect most agencies that have a "media exception" policy would laugh any such independent blogger out of the building). I can tell you that here in Dallas/Fort Worth, I sometimes get more meaningful news alerts from the Twitter User "@DFWScanner" than I do from any of the major news outlets.
These "little guys" are important to areas that are under-served by big city media. When I lived in NJ, we were a NYC suburb, overshadowed by things happening in the City. I know someone who started a hometown e-newspaper who became quite successful with it because he was the only one who reported on what was happening. Where I am now, the "big city" is 65 miles away. They dedicate about 5 seconds (if that) to a story here, but a local AM station has a news department. Much of what they get is via scanner. I'd hate for them to lose access, because then I lose access, too. They are the only ones telling us the who-what-where-when-how-why for here.
 

Chronic

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It dont help when Broadcastify calls is streaming talkgroups that are being used for undercover work. Even though they are not designated as such. The will soon be discovered and will go encrypted , so why not remove them before they go encrypted so those of us to like to listen are not shut out .
 

werinshades

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So is it time to revisit the entire streaming service idea? I've never been a fan and have made this known, and being in Chicago and listening to the "radio jammers" first hand, I was saying "I'd knew this day would come". Chicago could have switched to Starcom many years ago, but politics got in the way I'm sure. That doesn't diminish the concern of information availability without much vetting. Could someone infiltrate a closed group (one idea)...of course. Who would do this...of course those with evil intentions. Showing some "policing effort" on our own might go a long way. Can we modify streaming to appease the concerns of "live broadcasting?" One person could answer that question. Eliminate "system input information" to the general public, but instead make a request to a Database Administrator for approval?

In addition, departments should go after "unauthorized tweeters" (#ChicagoScanner) who type a tweet as fast as it happens. Not just felonies, but domestic disturbance narratives to get a chuckle, but in reality driving us closer to an entirely encrypted system.

We have a good thing here for a majority of us. Taking an offensive approach to a concern from a department with officer safety issues should never be diminished. Instead, maybe work with that department to prevent the encrypted systems become more of a norm.
 

vagrant

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It dont help when Broadcastify calls is streaming talkgroups that are being used for undercover work. Even though they are not designated as such. The will soon be discovered and will go encrypted , so why not remove them before they go encrypted so those of us to like to listen are not shut out .
When did you hear that traffic and report it to Broadcastify?
 

Chronic

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When did you hear that traffic and report it to Broadcastify?
some of the used talkgroups are live now in Broadcastify calls . i brought it to the attention to one of the admins and was pretty much told to go pound salt. told to go read the TOS . because it was not designated as a tac channel that it did not violate the TOS . But that dont mean it wont be found and go encrypted. It sure seems that it will be lost and no one will be able to hear the talkgroup once it goes ENC , so why not be proactive and just not make it public before it goes ENC and then no one can hear . It just not make good sense to leave it public for a short time till it goes ENC.
 

waterbwuk

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some of the used talkgroups are live now in Broadcastify calls . i brought it to the attention to one of the admins and was pretty much told to go pound salt. told to go read the TOS . because it was not designated as a tac channel that it did not violate the TOS . But that dont mean it wont be found and go encrypted. It sure seems that it will be lost and no one will be able to hear the talkgroup once it goes ENC , so why not be proactive and just not make it public before it goes ENC and then no one can hear . It just not make good sense to leave it public for a short time till it goes ENC.
I've seen that too and I've noticed that recently the talkgroups being used are "borrowed" as lots of different agencies are coming in and not everyone is able to get on every system. I stopped mine (the talkgroup) from going to broadcastify calls when I realized the national guard was using a talkgroup on the city system designated for Events (normally only used for fairs and civic center events). Wonder what the policy is on classifying these talk groups?

The last thing any of us wants to be doing is broadcasting anything that could put anyone in danger.
 

JDrisc3480

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Interesting article. The part where they talk about a group using scanners to alert rioters to police activity is the exact argument FOR encryption. It sucks that the actions of a small number of people with nefarious intentions ruin it for the rest of us who listen simply out of curiousity.
 

blantonl

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some of the used talkgroups are live now in Broadcastify calls . i brought it to the attention to one of the admins and was pretty much told to go pound salt. told to go read the TOS . because it was not designated as a tac channel that it did not violate the TOS . But that dont mean it wont be found and go encrypted. It sure seems that it will be lost and no one will be able to hear the talkgroup once it goes ENC , so why not be proactive and just not make it public before it goes ENC and then no one can hear . It just not make good sense to leave it public for a short time till it goes ENC.
Send me a request to address the issue and stop complaining in public about it. If I previously told you to pound sand, it might have been for a legitimate reason.

support@broadcastify.com

Our terms of service is clear, and we block PUBLIC ACCESS to tactical and talk law enforcement talkgroups on Broadcastify Calls. I eagerly await your support request so we can handle this ASAP.
 
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