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Local Police frequencies now encrypted, yet media outlets have access?

Discussion in 'Scanning & Shortwave Listening' started by loosecannon, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Back in the bad old analog days the bad guys had to use a "monitor" radio. A tuneable multiband portable transistor radio with a slide-rule dial on the front. You had to tune in the local police while they were transmitting, but once it was tuned, you could eavesdrop.

    The selectivity of these radios was not great, and if a nearby channel was also transmitting, bleedover would screw up the audio. My boss installed an "all call" button on the PD's radio console that activated all three adjacent repeater channels at the same time. The dispatcher was instructed to flip that switch for anything they didn't want the bad guys to hear. With all three repeater channels transmitting at once, the cheap monitor radios would only produce garbled audio.



    In a year or two scanners got cheaper and more plentiful. They were built to be more selective, so this trick no longer worked.

    But it was the cheapest "scrambling" setup I ever heard about.

    73
     
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  2. Beetle

    Beetle Sr. Member

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    I went to 5th Street School (hint: "LV Blvd" wasn't around until early 1960s) and LVHS (the old one on South 7th). Walked to school, even in kindergarten, by myself, with no fear of anything, and nothing ever happened. Now, I have to think about it a couple times before I'd DRIVE down 6th, and the windows would be rolled up and doors locked.

    I've read reviews in the Sun and Review-Journal about the Christmas goings-on at OV. Claudia (my sister) used to love the festivity. If you want to read a book on the history of OV, find a copy of "Open Hands; Open Hearts".

    It cooled off here about a week ago, after a very dry three weeks of September got washed away by a VERY rainy end of the month!

    If you want to continue my hijacking of the thread, PM me and we can take it to email! 73
     
  3. fogdog

    fogdog Well-Known Member

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    Long live Analog!
     
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  4. Slowmover

    Slowmover Sr. Member

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    Encrypted by government isn’t “legal” in the Constitutional sense.

    First, citizens are the defenders of government. Not hired hands or mercenaries.

    Second, it’s being used as privilege. Also extra-legal when the same rules don’t apply to everyone.

    Third, there is NO history of secret communications that isn’t eventually used against the citizens.

    Citing a threat is fear-mongering. Dishonorable behavior. As with civil asset forfeiture.

    The post-er above is absolutely correct that LE will (no, sorry, already has) lost citizen support.

    As the only ones still concerned about rules and their implementation, actual Americans have been boxed in. All others haven’t the least interest. Only what furthers themselves or group so long as others carry the cost.

    Doing the same with LE only heightens the tension. Communications according to the original FCC act back in 1934 cited the First Amendment as guideline.

    As the NSA has the ability to literally track — thus shut down ANY criminal organization — the “need” is a lie. Boldfaced.

    That this would backfire on those who think us cattle is why those tools aren’t implemented.

    Finally, as the Constitution requires a report of how monies are spent, there cannot be secrecy.

    Secrecy = Tyranny.

    The Bill of Rights isn’t quite protection. But IT IS your guideline to tyranny.

    .
     
    #19 Slowmover, Oct 10, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  5. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    There are two main reasons for this. First is the safety of the officers on scene. You don't want the bad guys hearing the police setting up to do a take down. The other issue is related to the original post. Problems like we saw with the Vegas multiple shooters where the police response did not resemble the news reports, can be problematic when covering up the truth.
     
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  6. Slowmover

    Slowmover Sr. Member

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    “Officers on the scene” have cellphones and other.

    “The bad guys” is an excuse. Holds water just like a colander.
     
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  7. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    So during a manhunt a couple dozen officers as well as dispatch and possibly a helicopter are all expected to use cell phones to communicate with each other then? (n)
     
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  8. CDX8412

    CDX8412 Active Member

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    As I said previously, I was a police officer and I am opposed to encrypted communications...at least as far as dispatch comms. If you want to make the argument that tactical comms should be encrypted, in order to protect officers, that’s fine...but (and this is a big but !)...
    Your local media outlets put officers at risk by flying their helicopters over the scene, allowing the actor to see the positions of officers, and no one is stopping them. This just happened in Philadelphia a few months ago, when an armed subject was shooting at police, and the standoff lasted for hours. The local media (and even national media) had helicopters and cameras all over the scene. Far more likely that the actor had access to a TV than a scanner. Should we ban televisions as well, in the interest of officer safety ?

    You have to understand my perspective. I worked in that profession, and I know what is happening. This is not an officer safety issue. I worked for many years, using low band VHF radios (before we went to 800 mHz), and not once did we encounter an issue where an actor was monitoring our comms, or that it had any impact on our operations. In fact, most of the times where I was aware of someone listening to us, it was simply a law-abiding citizen with a scanner, and they were more likely to call with valuable information, since they were aware of an incident.

    Over the past few years, we have all become aware of how the US Department of Justice has been politicized, acting at the whim of a prevailing political power, violating the law, spying on American citizens, and attempting to alter the results of an election, and to defy the will of the American people. The same thing is happening at the municipal level, and encrypting police communications is just another step in turning our police departments into an armed security force for government that operates in the shadows, out of view of the citizens. That is far more dangerous than having a criminal listening in on scanner communications.
     
  9. dledinger

    dledinger WDX995 / 2NC995

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    It’s nice to hear your take and perspective on this CDX.

    Too many individuals in govt see themselves as the gatekeeper to public information.

    While not directly related to radio communications, we ran into an issue here recently with the town police. We had a drunk individual in our neighborhood (at 700 am on Sunday) wandering around checking doors, and who eventually let out two pit bulls which charged my wife while she was in our yard with a puppy. She was injured, and called 911. An officer responded, and explained that the guy wasn’t from around here and gave us the whole circumstances.

    A while later, we decided that we would like to have a copy of the police report, thinking that would be easy and reasonable. A few calls back and forth with the Chief, and then he suddenly appeared in our driveway. He had the report in hand, but wouldn’t give it to us. He was very firm, and said repeatedly, “my job now is to get to the bottom of why you want this information”...as if we were being investigated. It was ridiculous. He eventually relented after I repeatedly told him that it was either public record or not. It felt like 20 minutes of butt kissing and tap dancing.

    We DID have a reason we wanted the info - the individual was an active duty service member, and we’re both fairly recent retirees. We wanted to (and did) let his command know about this incident before he becomes a bigger problem. Yes, we “ratted him out” for the greater good of the organization.

    However, we felt no need whatsoever to justify a request for access to public records, and were not about to play that game.
     
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  10. DainBramage

    DainBramage Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to have a reason to require the information, the fact that you wanted it is the ONLY requirement.


    BTW, I don't know any LEO's that don't carry a "throwaway" cell phone. Completely untraceable to the user as long as the contents of the conversation is properly phrased.

    you can buy them anywhere, no user identification is required to use them. Just keep buying airtime minutes.
     
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  11. dledinger

    dledinger WDX995 / 2NC995

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    Yeah, I have requested a LOT of public records, and have had very mixed results.

    We have very generous state laws, and the individuals aware of them readily and cheerfully hand over information. Others, not so much....fighting every inch of the way by not responding, requiring information from you, creating their own requirements, claiming they don’t exist, or simply refusing with the expectation that you won’t follow through.

    Some of the bad responses are simply because individuals don’t know, and in other cases it’s because the information would embarrass them.
     
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  12. dledinger

    dledinger WDX995 / 2NC995

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    Here’s another situation wrt unencrypted radio comms that is interesting.

    There’s a certain law enforcement office on a nearby military base that I used to listen to occasionally. The guys were always chatting it up and rarely doing anything productive. Radio chatter was at least 80% about goofing off, often for long periods of time. They didn’t use names but unit numbers. One day, they were on the radio goofing off and bad mouthing their customers (not criminals, but people that requested administrative services). It was pretty bad.

    The catch - the supervisor was a peer of mine.

    So I call the office and said sternly, “Why are you bad mouthing your customer over the radio? You’re unit XYX aren’t you, Officer Jones. And who is the officer you were taking to, that’s Officer Smith, isn’t it? And you two have been screwing off all day long, haven’t you?”

    They knew they were in trouble and spilled their guts - they probably would have told me anything. I told them to have the supervisor call me, but didn’t tell them who it was.

    He called - and was FURIOUS! He swore up and down that I must had STOLEN one of their ENCRYPTED radios and demanded to know where I was so I could be arrested!

    I then told him who I was, and explained that I wanted to prevent him embarrassment. I also explained that his radios were anything but encrypted. He told me he truly thought the radios were encrypted, and that they shared private information (including full personal information and social security numbers) over the radios on a daily basis.

    In the end...he thanked me up and down, but listening was much less interesting thereafter!
     
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  13. Rwb

    Rwb Sr. Member

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    2 sides to this coin.i can see offficers safety in raids of bad people. But wait theres more.i see our side,corrupt copss and tyrenny. We have a right to know,we pay taxes that pay le so that kinda opens a big bucket of thought
    Im nosy too
     
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  14. 357magnum

    357magnum Sr. Member

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    I actually heard the Local Pd on the scanner yesterday !:) That doesn't happen in this town often . Most Comms are done Via Cell phone or through the PC mounted on the console .
     
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  15. Rwb

    Rwb Sr. Member

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    Sometimes around here all le has to use analog as several countys are still analog,and mshp has to use analog,our ozark hills mess up digital.im lucky get to hear lots in my area
     
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