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Why do we allow the police to go digital without any debate ?

By thomas%00 - 22 February 2007 37

Police are encrypting their everyday lives onto the digitally encrypted radio system.

And you know what. The police in Canberra are operating under stealth conditions. They answer to nobody and their radio system is non-readable due to digital encryption.

Do we want a society that can do whatever they like and not tell anybody. What sort of society encourages encrypted digital technology. Does Any ?

Are we so poor that we are not allowed to pick-up the police radio transmissions. Are we so stupid that we allow the police to monitor us without us monitoring them.

Why do we allow the police to go digital without any debate?

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
Why do we allow the police to go digital without any debate ?
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barney 4:46 pm 09 Mar 08

*sigh*

Mælinar 1:17 pm 09 Mar 08

Is this some kind of example of taking 12 months to decrypt something ?

barney 11:43 am 09 Mar 08

I always thought that the reason behind encryption, was to prevent people from reading your information.

I could understand the need for encryption in certain circumstances, but for general policing duties, well, what is their to hide?

Perhaps we don’t need to know anything. I think I’ll just take everybody’s word for anything that they tell me. As there is no other way of verifying it, I’ll just assume it’s all okay. Innocent until proven guilty? Well, who would know. The public are the only people who could possibly commit crimes, and that’s why we need things like cameras on every street, to enforce our honesty. Because let’s face it, we are all terrorists. The only thing the cameras do is make the terrorists (the public) do their crimes away from the cameras, where nobody can see.

Nothing like a good “Police State”. Is there?

rockcottage 4:48 am 09 Mar 08

In reply digital Tetra is IMPOSSIBLE to decrypt.

fred

Ho hum.

Any digital communication is decryptable, people who like listening to police comms will still be able to do so should they have the desire.

They will probably not be listening to ‘realtime’ data by the time they manage to decrypt it, therefore the sanctity of the information is maintained by virtue of its halflife.

Crims with access to serious amounts of hard cash will invest in upgraded equipment, but there’s nobody in the ACT with that amount of resource (that I know of), it’ll come in from elsewhere if it does.

Police are happy cause they have to wait for the squelch before they start talking, Police wannabees are happy cause they can still hear old information (once their 386 pc chugs through the decryption), and crims will work it out eventually, and we’ll do it all again in a scene reminiscent of any movie involving the CIA or FBI.

Comment by Maelinar — 25 February, 2007 @ 9:15 am

rockcottage 4:46 am 09 Mar 08

Here in the UK the police have gone digital. This system (Tetra) is impossible to monitor with scanners. The fact that criminals can no longer monitor the police has caused a large reduction in the crime rates.

Angry Ant 7:08 pm 27 Feb 07

Only a fool would consider making policing even more difficult to catch a criminal.
The only other reason I can see for wanting to listen to a Police radio is:
A person who has such a boring life they need to listen to a police radio,
or
They want to pursue a criminal activity.

Wake up to your self…

Angry.

vg 9:37 am 25 Feb 07

“This is Canberra, if it doesn’t cause a problem for Washington DC Metro police, and many other police departments, las vegas PD for example, provide a link to a live feed on their very own websites, I can hardly see it being too great a problem here.”

I very much doubt the aforementioned feed is live, and secondly, watch shows like Cops and you’ll see how many US Police act like irresponsible, verbose, thrill-seeking cowboys who love nothing more than hearing the sound of their own voices and to whom operational security is a non-existent phrase. That might explain why they do it.

99% of what is said on Police radio is mundane. People who would like to make a hobby of listening to it are crankers of the highest order

Maelinar 9:15 am 25 Feb 07

Ho hum.

Any digital communication is decryptable, people who like listening to police comms will still be able to do so should they have the desire.

They will probably not be listening to ‘realtime’ data by the time they manage to decrypt it, therefore the sanctity of the information is maintained by virtue of its halflife.

Crims with access to serious amounts of hard cash will invest in upgraded equipment, but there’s nobody in the ACT with that amount of resource (that I know of), it’ll come in from elsewhere if it does.

Police are happy cause they have to wait for the squelch before they start talking, Police wannabees are happy cause they can still hear old information (once their 386 pc chugs through the decryption), and crims will work it out eventually, and we’ll do it all again in a scene reminiscent of any movie involving the CIA or FBI.

vg 10:04 pm 24 Feb 07

What a load of hysterical bollocks. The AFP has been didgital for the last 10 years at least (as HA states).

I second the comments regarding Waterford as well.

The CT has cocked up relationships with several govt organisations by doing a little thing called lying. I myself was subject to the lying of a CT ‘reporter’ covering the local Courts.

Thomas%00 might like to pull his head out of his ass if he suggests “They answer to nobody and their radio system is non-readable due to digital encryption.” to be true.

No Commonwealth agency has more levels of accountability than the AFP, or should I say its individual members. What an absolute twat, but then again people who spend their lives listening to scanners are either twats, or people who can;t get into the cops but need someway to maintain a fantasy

HA 11:50 am 24 Feb 07

Couple things to note boys and girls:

1. Digital comms/encrypted comms have been part of the local policing scene for almost a decade. AFP was one of the first to go digital. The Queensland coppers faced a grilling before their Crime Misconduct Commission-equivalent because the media up there complained the Q coppers going digital had spoiled their lazy access to prangs, poofters and peds being arrested. (How the lriginal posting of alarm even started I’ll be stuffed.)

2. Jack Waterford knows SFA. He’s a has-been in the CT newsroom, tucked away in a corner office and told top shut-up (his mouth, not the long neck of a wine bottle). He writes occasionally about the good ‘ol days when as a cub reporter he could walk behind Civic police station, read them plods’ blotter, and get the scoop on who’d been arrested overnight. Privacy Act prevents that sort of thing now.

3. The whole issue of media monitoring behaviour/misbehaviour of emergency services personnel is a furphy in the sense having access to their comms. Likewise, it’s the lazy journos of this city’s local media who don’t get diddly-squat from the coppers’ media unit because they have no idea of developing relationships and contacts. The worst of them, Renee Cutrupi, was Michael Stevenson’s lackey until she finally broke down and left the CT in tears. Her hubby, joined at the hip, is PR for ESA though he’s not taken very seriously (is anyone at ESA these days?).

4. Thank god, buddha and allah for the cops. Without ’em we’d be stuffed. They do tough work in difficult conditions. YOU make it easy for them by obeying the law and guess what: everyone gets along!

Al 1:15 pm 23 Feb 07

richopesto assumes just because we are using computers that we are all young…
DarkLady: very funny. I’ve gotta stop this laughing out loud in the middle of the office stuff…getting weird looks.

sim_m_o 11:07 pm 22 Feb 07

This is Canberra, if it doesn’t cause a problem for Washington DC Metro police, and many other police departments, las vegas PD for example, provide a link to a live feed on their very own websites, I can hardly see it being too great a problem here.

bigred 9:26 pm 22 Feb 07

I don’t have a lot of good to say about the local plods but it is entirely reasonable that operational matters are not available for two compelling reasons: to keep sightseers away from incidents and to protect the operational modus operandi from those likely to use it for their own uses. For the second reason you won’t see too many agencies revealing their case selection algorithms.

richopesto_once more 5:23 pm 22 Feb 07

wow, what a bunch of do-the-right-thing compliant do-gooders.
Not one voice of dissent. Not even as devils advocate. What is wrong with the youth of today?

Most of the private comms between police occurs on mobile phones now anyway.

…..and when they came and took my brother away, I didnt say anything, ’cause it wasn’t me…..

James-T-Kirk 1:30 pm 22 Feb 07

OMG!!!

You just figured that out – The police have been using a digital system for *Years and Years* – Probably about 15+of them.

They have also been encrypting the transmissions on an as required operational basis. Gone are the days where you can purchase a scanner and listen to the latest drug bust.

I strongly suspect that the Privacy Act requires protection of data relating to individuals from being disseminated into the public domain (Which Radio is). You will also find a requirement that information above a certain classification requires protection as specified under the Commonwealth Protective Security Manual. I also suspect that the police have classified their data as being Protected – given the sensitive nature of personal and crime related details

As a home owner, I certainly expect the police to be protecting information about my personal circumstances (ie – the fact that I was broken into, and my address details)

Other agencies who are using digital and encrypted communications include (and are not limited to) ASIO, Customs, Defence, and The Australian Protective Service. These guys will also be rotating their encryption keys on a monthly basis, as they are serious about security.

Get a life!

Tool 1:18 pm 22 Feb 07

There is no need for people to know what is going on. If you are concerned that there is some ‘conspiracy’ going on put in a request to access the radio chatter. Peoples ignorance that the whole digital encryption goes untouched and is unaccountable is laughable.

Good old Jack Waterford surely would know this, he is after all an expert on everything.

sim_m_o 12:55 pm 22 Feb 07

Way behind the US? Try visiting http://www.policescan.us . Listening to the washington metro feed is particularly interesting. Many of these feeds come from the police department’s own website. You used to be able to get Sydney on that site, the link is still there but it is inactive, as it has gone digital

The territory radio network, in operation since 2004, is the digital system that all emergency service in the ACT use, and no equipment from tandy is going to allow you to listen. It has always been perfectly legal to listen, anywhere in Australia, so long as you don’t listen to help you commit crimes, you don’t discuss what you hear, record what you listen to, or make transcripts.

It is the restrictions on the use on scanners that limit their use as a journalistic aid, and Jack Waterford once told me that before the introduction of the territory radio network, that the scanner would do little but than sit in the background unnoticed by most. But what it did do is keep emergency services personnel accountable, and dimiminished the gap between, for example, the AFP and the media, that was so apparent in the DJ Suicide Ngunnawal siege incident. Presently even with expensive equipment, outlets like the CT have no access.

Another example of emergency services personnel being held accountable is in suburban Sydney early 2004, a fire was called in, but there were no firetrucks. Radio chatter revealed the reason there was no truck available, is because somebody had gone out on a pizza run, and was away from their radio. The only reason people found out, and action was taken, was the accountability that free access to the network allows.

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