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Encryption As Just the Beginning

11/24/2022

I manage my Buffscan content with a bold concept in mind:  To restore the cognizance of police and other public safety activity in communities where such agencies have encrypted their radio systems.  And, specifically, through the development of some human based "parallel" radio and digital media network operated by enthusiasts and journalists at the chaotic level.

But let me be clear here: Encrypted radio systems are not necessarily the sole motivation behind the development of such networks.

Encrypted radio systems are really just a milestone marker for the degradation wrought by more complex technological advances.  Even where agencies do not encrypt their traffic outright, more and more communication occurs "in the dark" by way of mobile data consoles or one-to-one communication over private cellular or near-cellular phone networks. 

Pushing successful public access policies with respect to radio traffic would certainly resolve the most convenient vantage point for a curious public -- people could sit back and continue to "just listen" -- but such policies would be, in the bigger picture, limited.  People can do better.  Cognizance can have a much, much, wider range.

Public access policies where they may be enacted might actually have the affect of slowing down the evolution of my proposals in totality of "the vision".

I haven't given a workable label for this parallel "human based network", but I'm always mulling it.  I tend to consider a name for it much like a novelist might for the title of a book they are working on, best given once the story of it all has taken a more concrete form.  In essence, at this point I am content to let the story write its own title.

It is interesting to note that here in Buffalo where I find myself geographically, most of anything the typical scanning hobbyist or a member of the working media, isn't actually encrypted.  While most of it is all digital, it is all "in the clear", requiring only more expensive police scanners than what might have been required prior to the 2000s.

That being said, we can anticipate that Buffalo public safety will hop on the encryption band wagon as the risk of doing so is always there at every upgrade juncture. 

As an example, my birth county of Luzerne Pennsylvania switched on police encryption during just such a casual upgrade only a few weeks ago.  In doing so, local officials proactively honored a public access-friendly policy of keeping fire and medical transmissions in the clear, so, that community will at least continue be aware of things that "rise to the level of fire trucks".

But that is not the trend or the rule of compelling temptation, when it comes to agencies that find themselves on the fence.  And in any event, it's again, not the full gist of what can be had by an outright replacement for police scanning.

The cause and reason for a human network only begins with the reality of public safety radio encryption, but is much deeper.  It is not tolerable that there be a cluster of police lights or police action, unexplained except through the conduits of official police press releases, or profit-driven media, unofficially "deputized" with private backroom access over regular people, of which media workers are just.



  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan openpublicsafety projects

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