The Official Thread: Live audio feeds, scanners, and... wait for it.. ENCRYPTION!

trentbob

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Police in my county and surrounding counties are all fully encrypted now. Law enforcement made no secret that it was cellphone streaming that caused encryption, there was no negotiating with the chiefs of police regarding time delays or what was streamed. They don't care, there was NO compromise or negotiation. There certainly is no transparency or a desire to have it.

The city I worked in actually was in the clear on a new radio system for 5 years but always said if it starts to go on cell phones they will be throwing the switch and somebody streamed dispatch and they kept their word.

Police in my area never had a problem with First Responders, serious hobbyist and media types purchasing expensive, sophisticated equipment and programming it to listen in with good intentions, there wasn't that many of us, once police dispatch went on cell phones that all ended.

Listeners pretty much knew that's what would happen and didn't stream the police because they knew better, they didn't want to lose the ability to hear them at all, but not everybody got the memo or thought it out. It's a shame.

Our police always had the option of selective encryption and data talk groups were always encrypted. Any information that needed to be protected should and could be. They just didn't want to be heard at all anymore and the politicians couldn't stop them even if they wanted to.
 

GregOH

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Police in my county and surrounding counties are all fully encrypted now. Law enforcement made no secret that it was cellphone streaming that caused encryption, there was no negotiating with the chiefs of police regarding time delays or what was streamed. They don't care, there was NO compromise or negotiation. There certainly is no transparency or a desire to have it.

The city I worked in actually was in the clear on a new radio system for 5 years but always said if it starts to go on cell phones they will be throwing the switch and somebody streamed dispatch and they kept their word.

Police in my area never had a problem with First Responders, serious hobbyist and media types purchasing expensive, sophisticated equipment and programming it to listen in with good intentions, there wasn't that many of us, once police dispatch went on cell phones that all ended.

Listeners pretty much knew that's what would happen and didn't stream the police because they knew better, they didn't want to lose the ability to hear them at all, but not everybody got the memo or thought it out. It's a shame.

Our police always had the option of selective encryption and data talk groups were always encrypted. Any information that needed to be protected should and could be. They just didn't want to be heard at all anymore and the politicians couldn't stop them even if they wanted to.
Same here with everything you've stated. Do you live in my county?
 

rustyhodge

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Broadcastify only allows "Official" feeds to run delays and is adamant that they will not allow it for others.
Broadcastify could implement the delay on their end within the streaming servers. It's pretty trivial to increase the stream server's buffer size.
 

GregOH

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Broadcastify just does what anyone with a $25 USB SDR stick or $20 Baofeng can do. Take away Broadcastify and the issue is still there.
It's very unlikely alot of criminals would make use of SDR dongles with laptops or be using Baofengs, maybe a handful, but not on a large scale. As for Broadcastify, even if it were taken away, encrypted tg's would not go to the clear, again maybe a handful would, but on a large scale most encryption would remain and the damage has already been done.
 

mmckenna

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It's very unlikely alot of criminals would make use of SDR dongles with laptops or be using Baofengs, maybe a handful, but not on a large scale. As for Broadcastify, even if it were taken away, encrypted tg's would not go to the clear, again maybe a handful would, but on a large scale most encryption would remain and the damage has already been done.
Agreed, most wouldn't use an SDR, but there are those that will. Some tech criminals are pretty smart and thanks to the internet will find what they need, one way or the other. Banishing Broadcastify won't satisfy the push for encryption, it's just an easy target.
 

GregOH

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Agreed, most wouldn't use an SDR, but there are those that will. Some tech criminals are pretty smart and thanks to the internet will find what they need, one way or the other. Banishing Broadcastify won't satisfy the push for encryption, it's just an easy target.
And then we see the newest reason for law enforcement encryption which would be the nutjobs pushing to defund the police and would use any means they can to try to remove them.

When I referred to handful, of the population of this world, we the hobbyist listening in amount to a small handful and I don't think tech savvy criminals amount to much more than that.
 

drdispatch

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When Michigan built out the statewide P25 system in the late 1990's-early 2000's, I remember hearing: "There are no scanners on the market that can monitor this system". Then when P25 scanners hit the streets, it was: "There are only a few scanners that can monitor this system, and they're cost-prohibitive; criminals aren't going to spend that kind of money". As those scanners became more common and affordable, it was: "The system is encryption-capable, so if you encrypt your talkgroups, they can't be monitored". When my county switched to the system in 2006, the decision was made to encrypt all law enforcement talkgroups. The only reason at that time was scanners, as Broadcastify wasn't a thing yet. But I agree with mmckenna that Broadcastify became an easy excuse, and I don't think it matters to the agency heads and others in authority if their traffic is being streamed or not, it's the potential that it could be streamed in the future.
 

GregOH

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"The system is encryption-capable, so if you encrypt your talkgroups, they can't be monitored".
That's a big part of it too. If something was given to you and you could use all the bells and whistles at someone else's expense, sure why not?

The amount of hobbyist and criminals out there using scanners and two way radios is still small beans compared to the amount of the population that uses cell phone's and the app since the launch of the app.
 
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AK9R

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Some tech criminals are pretty smart and thanks to the internet will find what they need, one way or the other.
I know of a situation where a fairly sharp electronics hobbyist was hired to build timers that were then found in mailbox bombs that were being used to "terrorize" a rural community. Yes, people with criminal intent will find a way...even if that means paying someone to handle the tech for them.
 

paulears

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Like everything nowadays - people just demand what they want and won't listen to any opposite viewpoint. In the UK, radio programming is a day to day function of the comms department - with new radios, repairs and changes being made all the time. Ticking the encrypt button costs nothing and when done, gives the users a little more simplicity. No need to use complex codes or use double-talk when for operational reasons they suddenly need privacy. Why would any radio user of any kind not opt for privacy if offered it at no cost?
 

jthorpe

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But I agree with mmckenna that Broadcastify became an easy excuse, and I don't think it matters to the agency heads and others in authority if their traffic is being streamed or not, it's the potential that it could be streamed in the future.
When you've been flanked by Antifa because they are listening to you, get back with me on that. Because it happened to us...
 

Bustergrn

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When you've been flanked by Antifa because they are listening to you, get back with me on that. Because it happened to us...
You were flanked in a protest by Antifa because of an IOS app with at least a 90-120 second natural internet delay because your agency is broadcasting tactical operations in the clear? Is this correct?

Please let this ring through to your administration. At the very least, run this up your FOP chain.
  • Encrypt your tactical channels
  • Implement PnP to switch teletype, operational, emergency and car-to-car communications to encrypted tactical channels
  • Train and hold accountable members to ensure this traffic is moved as common practice
  • Implement in-service training to standardize proper riot tactics and ensure all members assigned to the operation are trained
  • Stop blaming Broadcastify for your agency's lack of proper policy and training
:cool:
 

drdispatch

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When you've been flanked by Antifa because they are listening to you, get back with me on that. Because it happened to us...
I'm sorry that happened to you.

The powers-that-be could encrypt the tac channels, and the NCIC query channel, and leave the dispatch channels in the clear. Encrypting the channels for SWAT, bomb squad, vice, surveillance, etc don't bother me; I'm perfectly fine with that and understand the reasoning. But encrypting the dispatch channels screams an unwillingness to accept accountability and transparency. There are plenty of instances where someone with a scanner helped the police; I've been on both ends of those calls.
 

jthorpe

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You're not getting the point, and I'm not going to waste my time explaining it any further. When you're out there in the middle of the mess and you know what it's like, get back to me. Then we may be able to have a conversation where you may REMOTELY understand. Point being, it's not going away and streaming has caused some major issues for departments all over the country. The damage has already been done.
 

Bustergrn

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You're not getting the point, and I'm not going to waste my time explaining it any further. When you're out there in the middle of the mess and you know what it's like, get back to me. Then we may be able to have a conversation where you may REMOTELY understand. Point being, it's not going away and streaming has caused some major issues for departments all over the country. The damage has already been done.
Hey, I get it brother. I'd be furious if my agency's lack of training and policy created the mess you were in too. It's avoidable. Your FOP should be the loudest critic - not some random 10-7 on a scanner forum. Totally get it.

I've laid out bullet points for your administration to consider that will save injuries and lives for future operations. The fact that you feel a 2min delayed IOS app is to blame before your policy, procedure and training is indicative of a more deeply rooted problem in your agency. We've all been in budget crunches brother. We've all had to improvise. It's up to you and your rank-and-file to perfect your operational-moxy. I'm all about the agency's responsibility to train but in the end, it's your tail out there.

I've been there bud. Made it out with proper training and operational execution.
 

mmckenna

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When you've been flanked by Antifa because they are listening to you, get back with me on that. Because it happened to us...
Yeah, I understand what you are saying, really. But your statement raises a lot of red flags.
I get your frustration, but I think it's misdirected.

If you are being put in situations like that and are not given the right tools, then you need to talk to your leadership. Encryption isn't hard.
Broadcastify is just one resource. It's not hard for anyone to set up their own streaming without using Broadcastify. When that happens, who are you going to blame?
And what happen when someone has a scanner? Is it still the fault of Broadcastify?
What about when they overhear your radio traffic from some officer with their radio cranked up? Still Broadcastify's fault?

Might be time to take a step back and consider your options. If your agency is not properly equipping you for the job, it might be time for some change. The broadcastify/antifa boogyman isn't the issue here.
 

GregOH

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New Phila, OH
You were flanked in a protest by Antifa because of an IOS app with at least a 90-120 second natural internet delay because your agency is broadcasting tactical operations in the clear? Is this correct?

Please let this ring through to your administration. At the very least, run this up your FOP chain.
  • Encrypt your tactical channels
  • Implement PnP to switch teletype, operational, emergency and car-to-car communications to encrypted tactical channels
  • Train and hold accountable members to ensure this traffic is moved as common practice
  • Implement in-service training to standardize proper riot tactics and ensure all members assigned to the operation are trained
  • Stop blaming Broadcastify for your agency's lack of proper policy and training
:cool:
I agree.

Tac channels wouldn't need to be encrypted because they're not supposed to be on a broadcastify feed. So the only thing Tac channels need to be is Utilized in emergency situations.

Why have Tac channels if nobody is going to use them? I listen to many law enforcement agencies in neighboring counties and None of them Ever use Tac channels!
 
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drdispatch

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You're not getting the point, and I'm not going to waste my time explaining it any further. When you're out there in the middle of the mess and you know what it's like, get back to me. Then we may be able to have a conversation where you may REMOTELY understand. Point being, it's not going away and streaming has caused some major issues for departments all over the country. The damage has already been done.
You're absolutely right. My 37+ years as a 9-1-1 dispatcher means nothing.
 
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