PPB encryption

3King

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I'm new to Portland scanning. My understanding is that most of the channels are encrypted now?(PPB) I read the previous thread where I believe main dispatch channels are not? That's always been a fear 100% encryption. Yikes..
I have a tech buddy in Portland spoke with him last night. This is what he said.


To answer your question Portland has moved their dispatch channels to their respective Tac 1 encrypted channel. This is supposed to be a temporary solution during the protests. Multnomah Sheriff and Gresham Police are still in the clear.

Well I locked out the dispatch channels because all they are transmitting was a beeping tone every 10 seconds. I do monitor the system for changes so when they open them up again I will just unlock them. I thought the continual beeping would be somewhat annoying to people. And also, Portland Will not be fully encrypting. They have their ENC Tac channels for a reason.



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pdx911

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BOEC dispatcher here. Can confirm that we are using the "channel marker" tones on the primary PPB talk groups and all respective traffic has moved to the TAC 1 talkgroups which are encrypted. I am disappointed in this as many of you are, because I fondly remember listening to the scanner as a hobby before being hired, and up thru my training. That is no longer possible.

While disappointing I can also appreciate a need for it to be an option. We've had a significant uptick in issues surrounding criminals using the internet based scanner apps as a tool during their commission of crimes. A few off the top of my head examples are: robbery spree's, and there was a vehicle pursuit a couple months ago that involved both Oregon and Washington LE resources and when it finally ended they found the persons phone blaring police radio traffic in the abandoned car. This one was significant because a tactic they tried to utilize was to back away all marked units from the suspect vehicle and just have air support follow it and give updates when it stopped. The suspect was able to hear all this and act accordingly when an approach was being planned.

Just thought I'd give some insight from our perspective. I don't know if I agree that it should be blanket 24/7 encryption tho.
 

pdx911

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I also feel that I should quickly note that I am not here in any official capacity to represent the Bureau. I just work here, and these are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Bureau. :)
 

NYG

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I was watching one of the live streamed protests/riots I believe at the time was Portland but on smaller chance it may have been Seattle. One person in the mob was relaying information on what scanner app to download on their phone for police comms.

I don't like the idea of encryption (and don't care about streaming either) but with Law enforcement being targeted with violence it's not surprising they would want to cut these people off from listening in.
 

V_A_R_I_A_B_L_E

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The entire time I've been advocating for *routine dispatch traffic* to remain in the clear. This is not an all-or-nothing issue, it's entirely possible to keep routine traffic in the clear without compromising special or sensitive situations.

pdx911, thank you for your insight. <3
 

N1GAW

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Just curious if anyone in Portland area has found any new systems or frequencies (encrypted or clear) since the arrival of the federal officers?
 

PaulNDaOC

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I also feel that I should quickly note that I am not here in any official capacity to represent the Bureau. I just work here, and these are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Bureau. :)
Before the unrest began I had extremely reliable (a former coach for close to two de ades and now has a cushy 4/10 Admin spot) information that PPB was going to encrypt dispatch channels in the near future. Can you confirm this for readers please? I never asked if that included County/Gresham. Is it still Net 4 or did I just date myself? I had also heard news media was in fits over it.

I am a former dispatcher and do not like it from the standpoint is it places the police in the position of deciding what is news and what is not news and that is alarming in a time of shrinking newsrooms and perhaps even why agencies feel more comfortable doing it.
 

657fe2

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I also feel that I should quickly note that I am not here in any official capacity to represent the Bureau. I just work here, and these are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Bureau. :)
Thank you for your valuable insight.

There are other models available then just encrypting everything. For ex. Phoenix AZ model, where Dispatch is in the clear but operational stuff is encrypted, I believe they call it C band. Azusa CA model, where the dispatch channel is time delayed on Broadcastify. The Pasadena CA model where there is a media TG where you can hear the dispatch but nothing else until one day they stop using that TG and hope nobody notices.

I pray that peace will soon return to your beautiful city.
 

cinsu

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I sit on the BOEC user board as a community representative. I can confirm that full time encryption is the future of PPB dispatch nets. This is happening at the request of PPB. The use of Tac 1 is temporary for now but it may last for a while. I saw a few people here or on another thread had written letters to BOEC regarding this, BOEC is simply the middle man in this case. I think the only hope could be reaching out to chief Chuck Lovell. They also have a Lieutenant serving as project manager designing the radio template.
 

GlobalNorth

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..I am a former dispatcher and do not like it from the standpoint is it places the police in the position of deciding what is news and what is not news and that is alarming in a time of shrinking newsrooms and perhaps even why agencies feel more comfortable doing it.
The police simply accept calls for service and then assess them for viability of police service or other government services, before sending officers or other to calls within their responsibility. Broadcasting a bicycle theft, a reckless driver, a shooting, etc. may be news to the media, but it is an investigation to law enforcement. The police may or may not inform the media about what goes on regarding incidents occurring within the past 24 hours, but that is not deciding what is "news" and what is not. It has to do with retention of viable of criminal intelligence for the prosecution of crimes and not releasing too much information. I've sat through these briefings and the news reports a small number of incidents that occur, contingent upon the market. In NYC, few people care about the number of cars stolen in a day, but they do care in Moline, Illinois.

For departments that do not have MDCs, an information channel should be encrypted to prevent people from learning personal information about others such as DOB/SSN/OLN/residential addresses/etc. Detective and tactical channels should be encrypted as well. If not, then information goes over cell phones and even then, the information is edited to prevent disclosure by subpoena. Otherwise, I don't care about encryption because it doesn't cover up much - broadcast every injury accident, shoplifter in custody, and drunk disturbing call in the clear, it is all rather boring after a time.

I once worked for a Federal agency that didn't yet have encryption and we got along quite well by never using radios for anything sensitive. Traffic analysis would show some things, but not a statistically significant minority of information involved.

Some people assume that LE is a puzzle palace of evil conspiracies. It is far from that, but they will believe as they want and no amount of transparency will convince them of it. They are always convinced that they are right.
 

PaulNDaOC

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The police simply accept calls for service and then assess them for viability of police service or other government services, before sending officers or other to calls within their responsibility. Broadcasting a bicycle theft, a reckless driver, a shooting, etc. may be news to the media, but it is an investigation to law enforcement. The police may or may not inform the media about what goes on regarding incidents occurring within the past 24 hours, but that is not deciding what is "news" and what is not. It has to do with retention of viable of criminal intelligence for the prosecution of crimes and not releasing too much information. I've sat through these briefings and the news reports a small number of incidents that occur, contingent upon the market. In NYC, few people care about the number of cars stolen in a day, but they do care in Moline, Illinois.

For departments that do not have MDCs, an information channel should be encrypted to prevent people from learning personal information about others such as DOB/SSN/OLN/residential addresses/etc. Detective and tactical channels should be encrypted as well. If not, then information goes over cell phones and even then, the information is edited to prevent disclosure by subpoena. Otherwise, I don't care about encryption because it doesn't cover up much - broadcast every injury accident, shoplifter in custody, and drunk disturbing call in the clear, it is all rather boring after a time.

I once worked for a Federal agency that didn't yet have encryption and we got along quite well by never using radios for anything sensitive. Traffic analysis would show some things, but not a statistically significant minority of information involved.

Some people assume that LE is a puzzle palace of evil conspiracies. It is far from that, but they will believe as they want and no amount of transparency will convince them of it. They are always convinced that they are right.
I never said anything evil is at work here and never said that anyone is trying to control anything. But they do have much more control with encrypted communications over what the media has access to and that can be a problem.
Your statements about the priorities of the police not being the same as the media only supports my position that they should not be the gatekeepers with an absolute blackout of their activities.
I am very well aware of what the priorities are and a police agency from firsthand experience and I deal with them on a regular basis yet to this day can have access to sensitive information that I treat accordingly.
A city of about 85,000 people bordering my city recently encrypted and quickly the PD Twitter etc.. began to take on the appearance of a chamber of commerce website where all their posts were accolades, basically patting themselves on the back.
And that's great as long as it's part of the content, not all of it. When something did happen of public interest that wasn't so great it would never say a word until the TV news media started asking questions because some viewer sent them video a day or two later then the public would get some details on what occurred. Not okay.
The police should not be able to be in the position of doing this. it doesn't mean anything nefarious is afoot but the potential is always there.
In the end what the police are doing is the work of the people and it belongs to all of us not the cops. Being that I both dispatched for 15 years and have some news media experience also I'm in a unique position to see both sides of it and this is the conclusion that come to.
 
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Regarding the media, they should (be required by law to, if necessary) lease out programmed radios at cost with only a limited restriction on publishing what's heard.

As for the public, at least broadcast official, delayed feeds like in Central Oregon.
 

pdx911

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Before the unrest began I had extremely reliable (a former coach for close to two de ades and now has a cushy 4/10 Admin spot) information that PPB was going to encrypt dispatch channels in the near future. Can you confirm this for readers please? I never asked if that included County/Gresham. Is it still Net 4 or did I just date myself? I had also heard news media was in fits over it.

I am a former dispatcher and do not like it from the standpoint is it places the police in the position of deciding what is news and what is not news and that is alarming in a time of shrinking newsrooms and perhaps even why agencies feel more comfortable doing it.
We do still call them "nets" but the only one we refer to with a number anymore is Service Desk / Net-8. Use of the term "net" to describe a dispatch group / talkgroup / precinct is commonplace tho. I knew the other ones used to have a number, but I never knew them that way in my time here. :D

As far as full time encryption I honestly am not sure at this point. I believe PPB has requested full time encryption permanently on the primary talkgroups, but my understanding is that there are challenges surrounding mutual aid from nearby agencies and getting their radios programmed to handle the encryption (ie: Clackamas, Washington, and Clark Counties). I unfortunately have no idea from my vantage point if this is something that they are continuing to research or if it has been given up on.
 

pdx911

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I sit on the BOEC user board as a community representative. I can confirm that full time encryption is the future of PPB dispatch nets. This is happening at the request of PPB. The use of Tac 1 is temporary for now but it may last for a while. I saw a few people here or on another thread had written letters to BOEC regarding this, BOEC is simply the middle man in this case. I think the only hope could be reaching out to chief Chuck Lovell. They also have a Lieutenant serving as project manager designing the radio template.
This is very true. Encryption is not something particularly relevant to BOEC's mission, and as far as I can tell our Bureau itself doesn't really have an opinion on whether or not it is needed. This has been a request of PPB.
 

potala1369

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After reading through this thread, I have to ask why these individuals aren't being prosecuted for violating FCC rules for using intercepted public safety communications in the commission of a crime?
 

PaulNDaOC

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After reading through this thread, I have to ask why these individuals aren't being prosecuted for violating FCC rules for using intercepted public safety communications in the commission of a crime?
They probably would be if communications were being used to commit the crime rather than escape afterward.
 

WX4JCW

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I am virulently anti-encryption (See my previous posts on the subject) but in this specific case I think PPB was forced into it, probably not the best decision, and definitely not transparent, I think the point is moot because shortly PPB will be on their own, just heard OSP is pulling out, as long as police precincts are being attacked and this mess keeps going on, opening up their channels will be of low priority at least on the chiefs level, Definitely engage the Mayor and City Council on this
 

657fe2

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OSP is pulling out? Who does that leave, MCSO then National Guard. I am opposed to encryption because I think it puts an "us" vs "them" mentality which is extremely unhealthy in any society. Americans don't trust their government institutions anymore because of this. In the case of Portland, it looks like the us vs them mentality has been in progress for quite some time. There are good people in the system like Chief Carmen Best in Seattle, Seattle encrypted when necessary but not everything all the time. Hopefully there are more Chief Best's then Chief Lanier's or this country is doomed.

STOP VOTING FOR CORRUPT LIARS!!!
 

Otto

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Just curious if anyone in Portland area has found any new systems or frequencies (encrypted or clear) since the arrival of the federal officers?
You can listen to the Federal Protective Services. They are P25, but not encrypted. There is usually lots of activity on their channels when there are riots at any of the federal facilities.
 
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