More police departments are encrypting their scanners, raising freedom of information concerns
An interesting extension of this; legitimate news sources can request access to the encrypted dispatch frequencies for receive only if, and only if, they allow the police to inspect a media outlet’s “pertinent books, documents, papers and records.”
It's a tough one. While these are public services, paid for by taxpayer dollars, potentially sensitive and personally identifiable information can be leaked over unsecured channels. House Bill 1061 failed pretty miserably back in 2018 so like it or not, encryption is here to stay in Colorado.
The DPD is saying that they will provide community information via social media (twitter, facebook, etc). They are sharing this, within 7 days, if it is shared at all.
As a result, they are causing the media to rely upon public input, with all the high noise rate that offers. This is an excellent way to ensure that the police work well away from public scrutiny.
I don't know about that since practically everyone carries a video camera now.
Media has no more right to the information than citizens do and I'm not exactly trusting of their coverage anyway. I've gotten into some pretty good dust-ups with 9news in the past over their omissive reporting.
I'll concede DPD has been pretty prompt with their Tweets but who can know what they're not reporting...
Having worked on the other side of the mic for over 31 years in the law enforcement field, I can say without a doubt there is a need and justification for at least some encrypted channels. In this field, it is quite often a tense, rapidly evolving time competitive situation that is often life threating, encryption can sometimes give the good guys a slight advantage for a positive and less than life threating out come to a situation.
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I certainly don't disagree that some communications must and even should be encrypted. Up until recently for DPD, the only unencrypted channel, as best I understand, was the dispatch channel. The fact that DPD is willing to provide access to that dispatch channel to accredited media is acceptable in my mind. My challenge with this is that the string attached to this is unfettered access to _all_ “pertinent books, documents, papers and records” belonging to that media outlet and all associated or affiliated reporters.