Thoughts on County and Municipal Operations Using Phase 2 and Encrypted?

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BuggyBoo

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Hey all!
I was wondering what you all think about Counties and Municipalities like Monmouth County, East Brunswick, Asbury Park, Colts Neck and a lot of other Municipalities police departments and even First aid squads and fire departments using encryption for some of their channels. I understand Encrypting sensitive channels like special operation groups and IA and prosecutors. but having a EMS Squad or Fire Response or PD Dispatch Encrypted kinda annoys me because what purpose does it serve for dispatch of ems fire or pd. It should be public record.
What do you think?
 

Joseph11

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I agree with you 100%. Unless a city has a bad problem with people abusing scanners on record, day-to-day operations that aren't of a sensitive nature I feel should not be encrypted. Kudos to Howell for jumping on NJICS recently and staying in the clear for day-to-day operations.
 

K2YYN

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Encryption

Hey all!
I was wondering what you all think about Counties and Municipalities like Monmouth County, East Brunswick, Asbury Park, Colts Neck and a lot of other Municipalities police departments and even First aid squads and fire departments using encryption for some of their channels. I understand Encrypting sensitive channels like special operation groups and IA and prosecutors. but having a EMS Squad or Fire Response or PD Dispatch Encrypted kinda annoys me because what purpose does it serve for dispatch of ems fire or pd. It should be public record.
What do you think?
Just be careful about discussing encryption. These subject threads tend to go negative very easily. RR has a policy on this and there is a place in the forums section to discuss this subject more freely. Please see this LINK
Thanks
 

BuggyBoo

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Just be careful about discussing encryption. These subject threads tend to go negative very easily. RR has a policy on this and there is a place in the forums section to discuss this subject more freely. Please see this LINK
Thanks
Gotcha! Sorry Didn't Know! You can Close this Thread if You need to
 

Pyro658

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The wonderful world of social media has brought encryption to the forefront. For scanner hobbiest like us, we listen to the scanner and pretty much keep it to ourselves. However, for the Joe Shmoe listening to the scanner that has no etiquette, posts everything he hears on facebook. The problem is they post sensitive information and sometimes even names. The problem with that is, peoples families are finding out their son was in an accident via facebook, instead being notified by the victim himself, or proper authorities. The other issue with these types of listeners is, they post information about incidents that could cause an officer safety issue.

Do I like that these places are going dark, no, not at all, but I do understand why it is happening at an alarming rate. It is unfortunate for us, because it is killing a hobby we all love.
 

KevinC

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Just be careful about discussing encryption. These subject threads tend to go negative very easily. RR has a policy on this and there is a place in the forums section to discuss this subject more freely. Please see this LINK
Thanks
Radio Reference has no policy against discussing encryption.

The referenced link is concerning encryption AND streaming, not encryption by itself.
 

coolderb

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The wonderful world of social media has brought encryption to the forefront. For scanner hobbiest like us, we listen to the scanner and pretty much keep it to ourselves. However, for the Joe Shmoe listening to the scanner that has no etiquette, posts everything he hears on facebook. The problem is they post sensitive information and sometimes even names. The problem with that is, peoples families are finding out their son was in an accident via facebook, instead being notified by the victim himself, or proper authorities. The other issue with these types of listeners is, they post information about incidents that could cause an officer safety issue.

Do I like that these places are going dark, no, not at all, but I do understand why it is happening at an alarming rate. It is unfortunate for us, because it is killing a hobby we all love.
Social media is merely the latest scapegoat. Many agencies in NJ have sought to keep us in the dark long before Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. First they switched to digital before digital scanners were available in the hopes that it would prevent the public from listening. Then when digital scanners became available many switched to digital modes such as Provoice in an effort to remain 'private'. Encryption is their last line of defense against a curious public which simply would like to know what is happening in their own communities. More often than not the public is able to assist L.E. when needed, but keeping us in the dark is a disservice to all.
 

jim202

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Working on public safety radios for more years than some on here are old, I have seen simple, open systems go to fully encrypted. If you can even find anyone inside the department that will talk about why it happened, it generally boils down to the radio vendor sales force marched in and did the normal tap dance and the wine and dine routine to sway the department managers to install full encryption. The only benefit that took place was to the bank account of the sales force of the vendor.

I have no problem with specific communications like admin, swat, drug enforcement and the likes. But to do it fully agency wide just ticks off the public. Now you have the public feeling the agency is trying to hide something. You no longer have the public helping in the apprehension of the bad guys and the list goes on.

I am sure that I am not the only one that feels this way. But the damage has been done. Until the department heads can see clear air and not be clouded by the radio vendor, this issue will prevail.

Trying not to be negative here, but just presenting the facts. See this all the time. Makes it harder to obtain the public's support when an agency is looking for money for their radio system via a tax. There is a fine line that this balance is taking place on and it may have leaned the wrong way and be hard to change down the road. Only time will tell.

Being a consultant is not an easy position to be in these days when your working on a public safety radio system.
 

safetypro79

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I agree too bad

Yes it's sad to see thus great hobby going away slowly over the years but as previous posters pointed out the media like the public has access to broadcastify and we often see/hear incidents on our nightly national /local news with repeated PS radio traffic sometimes bringing every nut job and wannabe to the scene to get it the way. While most of us sit at home enjoying the hobby. And like some being from the retired PS profession it's easy for government;City, county, state to overeact based on a few folks.

Just like my hometown of Anchorage Alaska last fall went "dark" on all PS comms citing safety of first responders. Alaska State Troopers (have been encrypted for a few years)

And even here in SW Idaho we see our county/city (and four LE channels are non encrypted) PD/SO and an adjacent county cities/SO LE using encryption. It's not the same as it was 30 years ago.
 

richee2000

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a great hobby, back in the day... no more..... I will not spend another penny on scanners,... I would have spent over $1000 this year if the hobby was not going down the drain, due to the Big E
 

safetypro79

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Me too almost

After over 20 years of using top rated scanners and more recently a TRX-1 and 436

I am back to an HP-2, simple and basic and serves my needs for local PS traffic and on road trips to the Oregon coast.

So when things get more dicey with reception and restrictive listening I like some will just sell it forget the hobby ( but still get that rush when the Fire/EMS goes down the street) after 40 years on the job it does not go away.... LOL. and drop by my local coffee shop and enjoy retirement.... and travel to safe far away places and enjoy life.
 

crazyboy

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It makes no sense for a department not to go 100% encrypted. Especially since basic encryption is included in a lot of radios. Too many people can't keep their lips closed about what they hear, social media is a serious culprit of this. People posting call by call with personal insulting comments to how stupid the callers can be for that to happen. Never mind the amount of personal information that someone get get about someone in just a few minutes. Name, address, birthday, social etc. The claims that departments are using it to hide stuff is complete bogus, has no one ever heard of OPRA requests.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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This brings up an interesting issue regarding P25 interoperability among old P25 phase 1 systems and new phase 2 systems. Older radios cannot interoperate with new systems where p2 is prevalent.

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Spitfire8520

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This brings up an interesting issue regarding P25 interoperability among old P25 phase 1 systems and new phase 2 systems. Older radios cannot interoperate with new systems where p2 is prevalent.
This is not an issue if the system administrator sets the system up to allow for that kind of interoperability. A Phase 2 system can fallback to FDMA (Phase 1) mode if a radio that is not TDMA capable affiliates to the system and it is setup to do so. This would effectively allow an older Phase 1 radios to interoperate with a Phase 2 system if it were needed and desired.

Of course silly stuff gets involved where certain people may not like their system operating in such modes. One could then fallback onto the analog backup built into the P25 standard. Interoperability is an attitude.
 

Septa3371CSX1

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The big thing I've noticed with encryption is it tends to be most common in suburban areas and small to medium sized cities (think Reading and Allentown, PA; Burlington, VT; Manchester, NH; various towns and counties in NJ and other states). I've also seen it used in heavy tourist areas (Orange Co, FL (Orlando) for example) as well as areas with known corruption in government (Edison, NJ for example). It is less common in the bigger cities though some do use it (Fort Worth, TX and St Louis, MO come to mind).

The main thing I've noticed is that encryption is often used more to control what gets out in terms of what is happening around town. Officer safety, social media, security of personal information, while all valid concerns, are mostly being used as smoke and mirrors to hide the real reason - control. With across the board encryption on LE channels these towns are able to force everyone to use their social media pages or press relations people to get information on incidents going on in town. Without full encryption (I use that term to specify that everything is not necessarily in the clear but dispatch usually is) more details on incidents are known to all and has the potential to give the community a bad rap. Think of how several towns in New Jersey that are often rated among the best places in the country to live (Brick Township in Ocean County and Franklin Township in Somerset County come to mind) use full encryption on LE channels thus keeping many things going on in the towns out of the public eye. Full encryption gives these towns the ability to sweep things under the rug and classify calls for things like shots fired and burglaries as simple disturbances.

So while I understand the valid concerns in regards to encryption, simple education and outreach to those who listen and stream could go a long way in helping keep things open. The desire not to do this (which really doesn't cost much - at least not as much as these radio systems cost) shows the true reasoning is to control the spread of information on incidents happening in town.
 

richee2000

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and the big one: Rutgers University. its campus, newark and new brunswick in high crime cities. and how much MONEY can they lose if crime related incidents, etc get out ?? parents would not be sending their kids there...at around $30,000 a year for 4 years.... =$120,000 lost per student... again.. CONTROL ALL rutgers comms are 100% ENCRYPTED
 

N2ZGE

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I have noticed that in "most" counties (at least in NJ), all have a few full time active FD dispatch and EMS dispatch frequencies on analog/conventional mode. Even look at Woodbridge for example where everything is digital except for there one active FD/EMS paging frequency. There are also quite a few other municipalities that have at least a couple analog dispatch or pager analog frequencies. I don't think they will be going anywhere anytime soon due to all the volunteers who may not be issued these expensive digital radios to bring home with them. Furthermore, many times digital just fails when in certain locations and smart to have analog as a backup.

As far as encryption is concerned, I will also not spend another penny on these newest scanners since I predict most of NJICS and current digital frequencies now in the clear will be going encrypted in the next 7 years. We already see this happening now. I tell all new hobbyists, just buy a basic analog scanner because eventually, they will be all you really need once most digital PS goes encrypted.
 

902

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The main thing I've noticed is that encryption is often used more to control what gets out in terms of what is happening around town. Officer safety, social media, security of personal information, while all valid concerns, are mostly being used as smoke and mirrors to hide the real reason - control.
That might be the case in some places, although I don't know, and I don't take a position one way or another aside from: "good people listening are a force multiplier." There is another reason why at least one of the agencies you mentioned uses encryption: piracy.

I won't say which, but one had "issues" with people cloning compatible privately-owned radios with commonly available software to create their own subfleets (yes, that far back), and talkgroups which could not be taken out in a negative subscriber list. They could key up and spoof the system, and also affiliate into the system and steer the legitimate user ID off to another zone or talkgroup creating real danger to the user. The "E word" negated the entire issue. The only radio valid on the system is an issued radio.
 

Signal-Zero

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As far as encryption is concerned, I will also not spend another penny on these newest scanners since I predict most of NJICS and current digital frequencies now in the clear will be going encrypted in the next 7 years. We already see this happening now. I tell all new hobbyists, just buy a basic analog scanner because eventually, they will be all you really need once most digital PS goes encrypted.

So you are telling people to buy an analog scanner now because you predict in the next SEVEN YEARS everything will be encrypted.....how many Departments that switched to NJICS in Essex and Union County are running full-time encryption on their dispatch channel ? I see that statement as missing out on the action for the next seven years !!!!

As a reference, how long has Rockland County, NY's system been online....I remember all the encryption rants when that system was being built and how many years later and still in the clear for everyday ops ???




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