• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Why the Forsyth County fire department has decided to encrypt its radios, and why that concerns First Amendment expert

apco25

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
23
Location
Southern Arizona
This thread gives me a migraine.

Same tired, old nonsense comments regarding radio systems and encryption.

Whaaa encryption is bad!
1st amendment!
The police are out to get me, you, everyone, we have to know what they are doing!
HIIPPA, cuz privacy
Motorola is raping the government!
I'm a taxpayer an I want to dictate how money is spent!
Government has to be hiding something!!
I want the old technology back!

Why is the radio world filled with fat, mouth breathing basement dwellers who constantly blab conspiracy theories or participate in self-aggrandizing volunteer, quasi public safety whacking?

And yet you all wonder, postulate and theorize when an agency has enough of this BS crap and decides to their encrypt 24/7.

Let's review a few things:

While your "right" to listen to the electromagnetic spectrum exists (mind you there is no constitutional right to do this) it is limited by the Communications act of 1934. You don't divulge communications that you're not party to. Any government entity can encrypt and they don't need your dorky radio nerd permission to do so. No, the 1st amendment doesn't really apply here, because you listening to the government doesn't have the government infringing on your speech. Listening isn't speech and it isn't protected as free speech.

NEED TO KNOW. I hate to break this to you all, but you as joe blow citizen has essentially zero need to know things. You may think you do, but in reality you don't. Your oversight is through your elected officials (try finding them on the radio sometime, you won't). You as joe blow citizne don't have the right to access literally any level of materials from LES all the way up to TS with compartmentalization. You just don't. Really want to know, file a FIOA, after the fact....really, really want to know? Go work for the government, either civilian or armed services and get yourself the appropriate security clearances which of course will still abide by need to know so area 51 is still gonna be off limits to you and your APX8500

Your dictating government budgets is done through your elected representatives,, don't like it complain to them.

Motorola like any company engaged in RF engineering is a for profit enterprise just like Harris or JVC Kenwood. You act all uppity because how dare they make money selling RF devices to a government agency. If this bothers you please go read about a capitalist economy. BTW, feds started the encryption thing..local agencies have followed suit. It isn't Motorola pushing anything.

If you believe domestic law enforcement is out to get you or the government is hiding something just because they use encryption ( i saw one comment of monitoring the police for my and others safety, lol) then you need to actually move to a country that is a police state. In the mean time you're not that important

Want old technology? Don''t like NC Viper, Starcom21 , go back to 50khz wide FM Motorola T powers and get on the ham repeater and discuss your last bowel movement and colonoscopy. Technology moves forward regardless if your like or dislike of it.

You all sound like a bunch of whackers....
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,796
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
This thread gives me a migraine.
I found the "like" button, but wasn't able to locate the "love" button. (that's what she said…)

quasi public safety whacking?
As they say: "Whackers gotta whack."


I'm working with a consultant on designing/building a partially encrypted system right now. At no point has the consultant, chief of police, the agency, the funding sources or myself ever said one bleeping word about anything that resembles concern for scanner listeners having access to the system.

I appreciate your passion and clear/concise statement on the matter.
 

BoxAlarm187

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
1,503
Location
Old Dominion
I'm working with a consultant on designing/building a partially encrypted system right now. At no point has the consultant, chief of police, the agency, the funding sources or myself ever said one bleeping word about anything that resembles concern for scanner listeners having access to the system.
Different areas have different expectations. I know of a 800MHz system that was recently awarded to a vendor where both the chief law enforcement officer and the fire chief have expressly stated they’ll leave their routine comms in the clear for the benefit of the public who monitors at home.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

12dbsinad

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,044
I'm working with a consultant on designing/building a partially encrypted system right now. At no point has the consultant, chief of police, the agency, the funding sources or myself ever said one bleeping word about anything that resembles concern for scanner listeners having access to the system.
Yet here you are, a very active person on the largest SCANNER and streaming website around. Can I ask you why?

I have a hard time understanding the mindset, especially someone like yourself that tries to help scanner users and streamers the best one can. I am not trying to be an a**, just trying to understand.

Public access to general communications certainly has benefits, perhaps that's what you meant by "partially encrypted"?
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,796
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Yet here you are, a very active person on the largest SCANNER and streaming website around. Can I ask you why?
There is more to this site than just scanners.

I have a hard time understanding the mindset, especially someone like yourself that tries to help scanner users and streamers the best one can. I am not trying to be an a**, just trying to understand.
Fair question, and I wouldn't assume you were being an a**, you are pretty active on here, too.

I got my start with CB's, scanners and SWL. I believe it's a great hobby and there's a lot that it can lead to. I had a lot of people that took the time to help me out along the way. What started off as a hobby turned into a job, then a career. I'm thankful to those that assisted me along the way and I've done my best to pass that on to the new generation.

But, having done this sort of work for a long time, I do not understand the mindset of scanner listeners that can't comprehend encryption. The idea that all public safety communications needs to be accessible 100% of the time is baffling. What has been a convenience for so long has somehow been translated into a "right". I sometimes wonder if some of the people here that complain about encryption also assume they have some sort of right to eavesdrop on all the phone calls that go in/out of a public safety agency? Or have the ability to read all the e-mails? FOIA is one thing. 100% real time access to all communications is unrealistic.

But, yeah, I get it. Those that enjoy listening to scanners want to keep their access. But it's not a realistic expectation. It's a nice thing to ask for, but the demands, claims of "first amendment", etc. doesn't fly with me. Some will disagree (and I'm sure they'll let me know), and that's OK.

The one that really makes me "LOL" are the amateurs that think they deserve some special access/encryption keys/permission to TX on public safety frequencies and/or some sort of "public safety official" status. Never quite understood the whacker attitude that leads some to think that passing a 35 question multiple choice test somehow translates into some level of security clearance.

Public access to general communications certainly has benefits, perhaps that's what you meant by "partially encrypted"?
Sure. It's very likely we'll keep the primary dispatch channel in the clear. But it's very likely that the other channels will be encrypted. There are a lot of valid reasons to use encryption. Entertainment and/or hobby use is not a valid reason to not use encryption.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,796
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Different areas have different expectations. I know of a 800MHz system that was recently awarded to a vendor where both the chief law enforcement officer and the fire chief have expressly stated they’ll leave their routine comms in the clear for the benefit of the public who monitors at home.
It should entirely be up to the agency/agencies to decide that. Scanner hobbyist that confuse convenience with rights seem to be the issue here.
 

apco25

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
23
Location
Southern Arizona
Work is 24/7 AES256 with OTAR and no one complains. It's an entitlement problem. Great example..at another agency we had the option for DES-OFB or AES as needed but normally ran clear analog or P25 (mixed mode system); after showing up at a scene where numerous people were listening on their "scanner app" and felt the need to offer their opinions about how we handled the current call and everything else that took place earlier that night, guess what....the TMSS got put on secure. If you all kept what you hear to YOURSELF as per Comm Act 1934 you wouldn't see the avalanche towards encryption.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,796
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Work is 24/7 AES256 with OTAR and no one complains. It's an entitlement problem. Great example..at another agency we had the option for DES-OFB or AES as needed but normally ran clear analog or P25 (mixed mode system); after showing up at a scene where numerous people were listening on their "scanner app" and felt the need to offer their opinions about how we handled the current call and everything else that took place earlier that night, guess what....the TMSS got put on secure. If you all kept what you hear to YOURSELF as per Comm Act 1934 you wouldn't see the avalanche towards encryption.

There was some pretty good discussion at the last APCO meeting along those lines. One large agency went encrypted after a school shooting. Someone posting info on social media created mass panic in the community. Rather than the agency getting to focus on addressing the immediate issue, they had to dedicate a large portion of their people to crowd control. That directly impacted their response.

Public Safety agencies have many ways to involve the public in real time, if they choose, without relying on scanner listeners.
 

apco25

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2001
Messages
23
Location
Southern Arizona
There's a handful of hams involved in real public safety communications work that do deserve and need access to trunking systems up to and including encryption from the agency they are affiliated with. Notice I said HANDFUL. The delusional whacking of CERT, REACT, ARES, SKYWARN, Roadside Assistance and unaffiliated SAR teams causes great issues. If one more ham says but FEMA to me I'm going to bluntly remind them FEMA will show up and rip their crap out of their way and put up their tactical infrastructure without a care.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,796
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
There's a handful of hams involved in real public safety communications work that do deserve and need access to trunking systems up to and including encryption from the agency they are affiliated with.
And those would be agency issued/controlled/keyloaded radios.

Not to be confused with scanners with decryption capability, amateur radios with encryption keys loaded/modified for out of band use, e-Bay radios, or shared radio ID's/trunking keys.
 

kayn1n32008

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,606
Location
In the \'patch
And those would be agency issued/controlled/keyloaded radios.

Not to be confused with scanners with decryption capability, amateur radios with encryption keys loaded/modified for out of band use, e-Bay radios, or shared radio ID's/trunking keys.
Also note it is their JOB that gives them access to it, not their hobby...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

iamhere300

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
1,298
Location
Chappell Hill TX
That's what I've always thought. Due HIPPA I agree that medial calls should be encrypted. Even though they don't use names and SS numbers, they do use addresses with a description of the individual in need of help and what the problem is. All someone has to do is look up the address and figure from there. To encrypt the whole department is just plain ridiculous. I was reading the the database last night, don't remember where it was, the whole city was encrypted including pubic works. Heaven knows that we don't need to listening to where the garbage trucks are located. LOL. Sensitive info yes regular calls no. They've encrypted the whole county except for 3 talkgroups. That's just plain silly.
First off, it is HIPAA. HIPPA is some strange variant of a HIPPO.

Second of all, HIPAA does not apply to radio communications.
 

zerg901

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
2,674
Location
Arlington MA
1. Here is a suggestion - require every public safety agency to stream their radio traffic via the Internet. Better yet - require every smart phone to be able to hear nearby public safety radio traffic whenever there is a public threat or when it would be beneficial. Which would be nearly every 911 call of course. The call for the barking dog might actually be a rabid axe murderer. The call for the sick old man might be someone building a WMD. The call for door to door salesmen might be actually door to door insurance salesmen.

2. I cant understand why people are here touting encryption when this thread is full of examples of lives being saved with scanners.

3. Accountability comes very slowly to police agencies. Boston Police will start to use body cams in just 1 district starting June 3 2019 - https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/06/01/boston-police-to-wear-body-cameras-in-south-boston-dorchester/ - a full 3 years after the idea began.

4. Here is a rough timeline from Virginia Beach - killing started at 4PM - first tweet at 433 pm - way too late to save any lives - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/officer-hit-officer-hit-how-the-dramatic-virginia-beach-shooting-unfolded/ar-AACfHQf

5. Re HIPPA - going to need invisible ambulances to maintain full privacy in a world where everyone has a camera in their cellphone.

6. The Internet is hopelessly biased. Mel Brooks has said that 'scorn and ridicule" are the most effective weapons for good. Is "scorn and ridicule" allowed here?

7. Rochester NY police chief used to be a scanner head - http://forums.radioreference.com/threads/rochester-ny-police-chief-used-to-be-a-scanner-head.389391/#post-3136113
 

buddrousa

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
6,035
Location
NW Tenn
If you do not like the way your local and state government is run by elected officials THEN VOTE FOR CHANGE WHERE YOU LIVE.
 

BoxAlarm187

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
1,503
Location
Old Dominion
1. Here is a suggestion - require every public safety agency to stream their radio traffic via the Internet.
How is this going to help the general public?

4. Here is a rough timeline from Virginia Beach - killing started at 4PM - first tweet at 433 pm - way too late to save any lives - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/officer-hit-officer-hit-how-the-dramatic-virginia-beach-shooting-unfolded/ar-AACfHQf
So you propose that everyone's phone in the immediate area be tuned to the VBPD channels?

5. Re HIPPA - going to need invisible ambulances to maintain full privacy in a world where everyone has a camera in their cellphone.
Nothing in HIPAA precludes photographing/taping incidents occurring in the public venue.
 
Top