Riverside County Public Safety Enterprise Communication Project (PSEC)

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pepsima1

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These are words that came out of the horses mouth. Would you like to comment on your findings about OC and their Encryption and explain to us the positive use of ENCRYPTION with inappropriate behavior going on in these departments.

This came right out of your mouth and your friends that work for OC Police Department are acting like children on their radios. I guarantee that you won't hear this kind of behavior going on in The LAPD.

"I can say from first-hand experience during visits with friends who work for an Orange County costal LE agency, that the traffic on the OC system, especially the "task force" channels, is anything but constrained. Most are aware they cannot be monitored, so an inappropriate comment or profanity happens much more often than you would hear on "open" agencies."

TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY............
 

brandon

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Funny thing is I have probably spent more time on RSO so far in 2014 than I did over the past couple years. :D One of the more exciting parts of the hobby (at least for me) is logging systems that people say are un-monitorable, un-interesting or dying off. This is the reason why I spend so much time with oddball things like satcom, feeds, HF utilities and federal monitoring, etc. But I'm not such a normal person either. :wink: The hobby is only dead if you make it dead.
 

AZScanner

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I can say from first-hand experience during visits with friends who work for an Orange County costal LE agency, that the traffic on the OC system, especially the "task force" channels, is anything but constrained. Most are aware they cannot be monitored, so an inappropriate comment or profanity happens much more often than you would hear on "open" agencies."

TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY TRANSPARENCY............
The RWC here in Phoenix uses a lot of encryption also but there are many talkgroups that are in the clear and it's obvious by some of the traffic I hear on the interop talkgroups that the officers using them are not aware that their conversations are in the clear and can be monitored. So there's some hope.

Also, pressure from the media may help to at least get dispatch traffic in the clear. It's worth a shot.

The scary thing about a fully encrypted P25 system is that it's pretty easy to unintentionally transmit in the clear. The system will not reject unencrypted transmissions, even on encrypted talkgroups. If you commonly operate on channels that are monitorable (therefore you are in the habit of watching what you say on them) it's not that big of a deal but if you are used to being able to speak without anyone listening in, you may really screw the pooch if you mistakenly transmit in the clear and say something you shouldn't. I've heard such things on more than one federal frequency (including secret service channels when the POTUS was in town) where agents thought their comms were encrypted but they were not.

-AZ
 

rananthony04

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Thank you Brandon for that refreshing post. I was grinding my teeth reading the responses in this thread.

Riverside County L/E is encrypted folks, deal with it! No amount of *****ing will change anything! :evil:

Felt good to let that out.


The scary thing about a fully encrypted P25 system is that it's pretty easy to unintentionally transmit in the clear. The system will not reject unencrypted transmissions, even on encrypted talkgroups. If you commonly operate on channels that are monitorable (therefore you are in the habit of watching what you say on them) it's not that big of a deal...
+1 . I've heard "stuff" (wink, wink) on a certain "north cell" in Orange County, even as recently as last week. I first mentioned this in 2006. (I am in no way trying to derail this thread)
 
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zz0468

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Bottom line is that you have no answer to why the toughest city in the US is keeping their communications completely open to the general public.
Yes I do. I said it here in this post:

That some agencies chose not to encrypt while others do merely reflects the opinions of the individuals making the final decisions...
The decision to encrypt or not encrypt is entirely local, and based entirely upon the perceptions held by the decision makers. LAPD is unencrypted because they chose not to be. Riverside county is encrypted because they chose to be. It's really not much more complex than that.

You seem to pick apart paragraphs and have a complete negative thought process about everything. Of course you are a radio engineer that drinks the Kool-Aid too. Sounds like you have some strong ties to Riverside County. We all can read between the lines.
I've not taken in any kool-aid. I simply have a level of inside and background information that you do not have. I also don't look at it from a hobbyist perspective. This stuff is what I do for a living, scanner listening is not a hobby for me.

I'm not unsympathetic to the hobbyist crowd, I'm just aware of the motivations and perceptions that are driving the evolution of encrypted systems. The reasoning used by the hobbyist point of view against encryption is generally WAY off target, and is centered around the loss of a hobby that is loved. I get that, I really do. But that's insufficient to counter the reasoning used to encrypt a system.

From the engineering perspective, the guys who risk getting shot at tell the guys who build radio systems that they want their communications to be secure. It's then the engineers job to build it, not talk them out of it because people with scanners can't listen anymore. To be sure, there will be some agencies that will encrypt BECAUSE scanner listeners can't listen anymore, but I assure you, that is not always the case. Not by a long shot. Again, it's a local decision made for local reasons based on local perceptions.

If it was all about perception then every radio communication would be full Encrypted. Fire and Public Works too, RIGHT??????
Wrong. What I mean when I say "perceptions" is that the point of view being held is unique to that particular individual making the final decisions. Assuming that every agency facing the decision to encrypt or not to is weighing in an identical set of facts, statistics, and cost-benefit analysis, there will be some who will encrypt, and some who will not. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and different agencies have different priorities on how they interpret them.
 
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pepsima1

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Thank you Brandon for that refreshing post. I was grinding my teeth reading the responses in this thread.

Riverside County L/E is encrypted folks, deal with it! No amount of *****ing will change anything! :evil:

Felt good to let that out.



+1 . I've heard "stuff" (wink, wink) on a certain "north cell" in Orange County, even as recently as last week. I first mentioned this in 2006. (I am in no way trying to derail this thread)
Wink Wink. Got the Wink Wink. Thanks for the reminder. Its a GEM in the rough. Wish there were more
 

pepsima1

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Yes I do. I said it here in this post:



The decision to encrypt or not encrypt is entirely local, and based entirely upon the perceptions held by the decision makers. LAPD is unencrypted because they chose not to be. Riverside county is encrypted because they chose to be. It's really not much more complex than that.



I've not taken in any kool-aid. I simply have a level of inside and background information that you do not have. I also don't look at it from a hobbyist perspective. This stuff is what I do for a living, scanner listening is not a hobby for me.

I'm not unsympathetic to the hobbyist crowd, I'm just aware of the motivations and perceptions that are driving the evolution of encrypted systems. The reasoning used by the hobbyist point of view against encryption is generally WAY off target, and is centered around the loss of a hobby that is loved. I get that, I really do. But that's insufficient to counter the reasoning used to encrypt a system.

From the engineering perspective, the guys who risk getting shot at tell the guys who build radio systems that they want their communications to be secure. It's then the engineers job to build it, not talk them out of it because people with scanners can't listen anymore. To be sure, there will be some agencies that will encrypt BECAUSE scanner listeners can't listen anymore, but I assure you, that is not always the case. Not by a long shot. Again, it's a local decision made for local reasons based on local perceptions.



Wrong. What I mean when I say "perceptions" is that the point of view being held is unique to that particular individual making the final decisions. Assuming that every agency facing the decision to encrypt or not to is weighing in an identical set of facts, statistics, and cost-benefit analysis, there will be some who will encrypt, and some who will not. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and different agencies have different priorities on how they interpret them.

Okay all of your points have been covered and it seems that you know more than the rest of us which is fine. I guess its time to stand down and accept the fate that us citizens will not have any decision making as a tax payer. I guess we will all have to lay on our backs and go into a submissive position for the time being.

So it looks like agencies will have their time to bath in the sun and have their way.

Dont count out software defined radios. It will be the future of radio listening and coding software programs to which flavor you will want is endless. It will probably be a matter of time until software will be-able to clean up the garble which is truly possible and we as citizens will just have to be patience and take what we want back into our own hands. History will always repeat.

There is already home brew software programs decoding different digital modulations now including DMR/MOTOTRBO, and NXDN pretty good now. The sky will be the limit with these radios. Excited to see this industry take off at 90 mph.

Scanners are going to be part of the past within 5 to 10 years for sure. There will be a limit to what builders like Uniden and other vendors will be-able to do legally and stay within scope of what is legal and what is not.
 

zz0468

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Okay all of your points have been covered and it seems that you know more than the rest of us which is fine.
It's not so much a matter of someone knowing more than someone else. It's more a matter of having participated in the discussions that lead to the decisions.

I guess its time to stand down and accept the fate that us citizens will not have any decision making as a tax payer. I guess we will all have to lay on our backs and go into a submissive position for the time being.
Being melodramatic is not going to make it easier to accept. I would just search the spectrum for something else interesting to listen to.

So it looks like agencies will have their time to bath in the sun and have their way.
I don't know... It's entirely reasonable to expect some agency to come along that wants to encrypt, but the political body that governs said agency wants to keep it in the clear. In that case, they wouldn't be getting their way.

Want to listen to RSO? The thing to do would be to put a rational intelligent position together, and take it to the County Board of Supervisors at their weekly public meeting, take your 3 minutes, and explain to them why you think RSO should be in the clear.

You don't have to roll over and submit. Put up a fight, but I wouldn't expect to win based on the reasoning I see on RR.

Dont count out software defined radios. It will be the future of radio listening and coding software programs to which flavor you will want is endless. It will probably be a matter of time until software will be-able to clean up the garble which is truly possible and we as citizens will just have to be patience and take what we want back into our own hands. History will always repeat.
Real time decryption of current methods is not a trivial task, and never will be. Software defined radios will certainly allow demodulation of the waveform, but probably not decryption of the demodulated data. They are two separate functions and require processing at separate layers.

There is already home brew software programs decoding different digital modulations now including DMR/MOTOTRBO, and NXDN pretty good now. The sky will be the limit with these radios. Excited to see this industry take off at 90 mph.
I agree... to a point. What you will see is SDR taking over where scanner manufacturers drop the ball, probably because they do not deem it to be cost effective and profitable enough. But writing software to demodulate digital formats not covered by present day scanners is a trivial task in comparison to real time decryption.

And if/when someone develops the ability to decrypt present day encryption methods for hobby level use, expect the state of the art and available production products to be at least two generations ahead of the hobbyists.

But personally, I am of the opinion that hobby level decryption will never be available. That is not to say that some university research team won't come with a method using serious mainframe computers.

Scanners are going to be part of the past within 5 to 10 years for sure. There will be a limit to what builders like Uniden and other vendors will be-able to do legally and stay within scope of what is legal and what is not.
Which is where SDR and home software developers will fill in the gap. I can see the hobby evolving into one that requires considerably more technical skill than today's Home Patrol type scanners do. It's kind of like the evolution of electronics from tubes to solid state to integrated circuits to surface mount technology. Every step of evolution left some people behind, but picked up some new ones along the way.

Adapt, or die...
 
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AZScanner

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Want to listen to RSO? The thing to do would be to put a rational intelligent position together, and take it to the County Board of Supervisors at their weekly public meeting, take your 3 minutes, and explain to them why you think RSO should be in the clear.

You don't have to roll over and submit. Put up a fight, but I wouldn't expect to win based on the reasoning I see on RR.
Or, just fire up a compatible scanner and wait for an officer to be transmitting in the clear by accident. It happens quite a bit, actually - I hear it all the time here in Phoenix. Just heard something today about a drug bust that was about to go down. I guarantee you those officers didn't know they were in the clear. They assumed the channel was secure because it always has been in the past. It pays to scan those encrypted talkgroups sometimes, folks.

-AZ
 

pepsima1

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Or, just fire up a compatible scanner and wait for an officer to be transmitting in the clear by accident. It happens quite a bit, actually - I hear it all the time here in Phoenix. Just heard something today about a drug bust that was about to go down. I guarantee you those officers didn't know they were in the clear. They assumed the channel was secure because it always has been in the past. It pays to scan those encrypted talkgroups sometimes, folks.

-AZ
Well you are pretty fortunate to have that happen hear and there and also have some open clear talkgroups. Most systems these days are pretty tightly secured to where the APX7000 radios do not have the ability to talk in the clear at all. That feature in the software has been disabled for that reason. Most radio admins follow best practices when it comes to turning on and turning off Encryption. Wondering when those C-Deck talkgroups are ever going to come back, probably never.
 

brandon

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I thought the encryption was forced by the system on the assigned talkgroups? I have not personally seen any "accidental" clear transmissions on either RSO or OC Green channels. But on the San Diego RCS, I have noted both red and green comms on a same talkgroup though. Same thing with the CBP and FBI VHF repeaters.

Speaking of PSEC does anyone know what happened to the non RSO users? I'm assuming they have joined PSEC system as I'm not seeing them on EDACS anymore. No clear talkgroups have been noted so I'm going to assume the Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Public Works are encrypted too?
 

AZScanner

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Well you are pretty fortunate to have that happen hear and there and also have some open clear talkgroups. Most systems these days are pretty tightly secured to where the APX7000 radios do not have the ability to talk in the clear at all. That feature in the software has been disabled for that reason. Most radio admins follow best practices when it comes to turning on and turning off Encryption. Wondering when those C-Deck talkgroups are ever going to come back, probably never.
Yep, I will be surprised if they ever come back. There's literally no reason for PPD to change them. If they could, I think they'd encrypt A and B deck too. I'm sure that's coming next.

-AZ
 

pepsima1

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I thought the encryption was forced by the system on the assigned talkgroups? I have not personally seen any "accidental" clear transmissions on either RSO or OC Green channels. But on the San Diego RCS, I have noted both red and green comms on a same talkgroup though. Same thing with the CBP and FBI VHF repeaters.

Speaking of PSEC does anyone know what happened to the non RSO users? I'm assuming they have joined PSEC system as I'm not seeing them on EDACS anymore. No clear talkgroups have been noted so I'm going to assume the Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Public Works are encrypted too?
Encryption is done at the hardware layer of the radio. There is an encryption hardware board installed on the radio and there is KVL keyloader device which writes the pre-determined encryption key that is made and stored by the radio admins into the radio and stored on the encryption board. Some radios are programmed to have a button to either have encryption turned on or off. Most department disable that feature and force encrytption at all times.

If a radio gets into the wrong hands then the radio can be disabled and bricked. If you even try to mess wit h the encryption board the key will go into outer space and have to be re-programmed. The San Diego system is pretty much 99 percent in the clear and The OC system is watched like a hawk at all times. Any monkey business the alerts go off and somebody is going to search for the culprit
 

AZScanner

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I thought the encryption was forced by the system on the assigned talkgroups? I have not personally seen any "accidental" clear transmissions on either RSO or OC Green channels. But on the San Diego RCS, I have noted both red and green comms on a same talkgroup though. Same thing with the CBP and FBI VHF repeaters.
If I understand P25 system security correctly, it is designed to allow in the clear transmissions even on encrypted talkgroups, and many radios let you turn encryption on and off at will. Therefore it's very easy to have accidental in the clear comms, as you've already found on the federal systems. If it happens at the federal law enforcement level then it definitely happens at the county/city level.

I
Speaking of PSEC does anyone know what happened to the non RSO users? I'm assuming they have joined PSEC system as I'm not seeing them on EDACS anymore. No clear talkgroups have been noted so I'm going to assume the Animal Control, Code Enforcement, Public Works are encrypted too?
Probably. I think that's a security risk too - that's alot more radios to keep track of, and I'm sure getting into a public works vehicle and stealing a radio is much easier than taking one from a patrol car. If someone who knew what they were doing stole a radio they could easily extract the keys from it before anyone even realized it had been stolen. Scary.

Then there's this: Flaws in P25 radio standards leave users vulnerable to eavesdropping, jamming -- GCN

Pretty sad when a multi million dollar radio system could be rendered useless by a kid's toy, an RF amplifier and some custom firmware.

-AZ
 

pepsima1

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Also with these new Phase II systems the Encryption key and programming can be done over the air and in some states their Encryption key is changed every 16 days by default. You turn on the radio and it checks in with the system and see if there are any changes for any new updated programming and new encryption key and the system writes to the radio instantly. And if the radio doesn't get the full intended package then the radio will not work. Its stays in a non-working mode until it is fixed by the radio admins.
 

pepsima1

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If I understand P25 system security correctly, it is designed to allow in the clear transmissions even on encrypted talkgroups, and many radios let you turn encryption on and off at will. Therefore it's very easy to have accidental in the clear comms, as you've already found on the federal systems. If it happens at the federal law enforcement level then it definitely happens at the county/city level.



Probably. I think that's a security risk too - that's alot more radios to keep track of, and I'm sure getting into a public works vehicle and stealing a radio is much easier than taking one from a patrol car. If someone who knew what they were doing stole a radio they could easily extract the keys from it before anyone even realized it had been stolen. Scary.

Then there's this: Flaws in P25 radio standards leave users vulnerable to eavesdropping, jamming -- GCN

Pretty sad when a multi million dollar radio system could be rendered useless by a kid's toy, an RF amplifier and some custom firmware.

-AZ
Once a key loader has written the encryption key to the radios encryption board thats it. You can't go back and extract the key by default. If you were able to get a hold of a radio you could take out the encryption board and put it into another radio but when that encryption board loses any sort of power from the board then the encryption key gets deleted. Now with the newer radios the encryption is just built into the radio by default. And if the radio department finds out that some police officers radio has gone missing and never was returned then the OTAR will go out and change the encryption key accrosss the board on all radios. Its all been thought of and figured out.

The best way is to make friends with your neighbor that is the radio admin for a radio shop and he will hook you up on the down low as long as you keep your commerical radio away from the public eyes and for home use only and lock it at fort knox.

Trust me it happens all the time. Radio admins always hook up their radio friends all the time. And if that does not work then if you can't beat them then join the radio team and then the world is your oyster to hear the cows come home all the time.
 

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FYI getting RSO disp tfc patched on the edacs right now.

Sent from my Moto X using Tapatalk
 
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pepsima1

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See the Riverside Co Sheriffs was feeling too much pressure so he decided to switch back over to his old EDACS system and scratch the new system for good. HAHA. NOT
 

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When a talkgroup is created in the system, 3600 baud OR P25, the system admin tells the system whether its clear only, encrypted only or to allow both. If the talkgroup is set to encrypted only, then clear transmissions will not be allowed. This is the case with the OC law talkgroups, as well as other area trunked talkgroups that are encrypted. If the portable or mobile radio tries to talk in the clear on a "secure strapped" talkgroup, the portable/mobile will get bonked.

The reason the feds always TX in the clear is because their radios in most cases that I've seen, are programmed with a secure/clear switch and it's up to the operator to make sure they're in secure when they need to be. Of course the feds are conventional, so there's no talkgroup to restrict whether they're clear or secure.
 
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The beat to death topic of going encrypted stops here. Anything further that does not specifically and directly involve the RVCO system will be deleted.

I'm going to be nice and not nuke all the OT encryption posts posted previously so please play nice. Thanks,
 
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