This story was originally published June 30 in the Daily Post. To get all of the local news first, pick up the Post in the mornings at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.
BY ELAINE GOODMANDaily Post Correspondent
The Berkeley Police Department might decide to keep one of its radio channels unencrypted, meaning the public would be able to listen in to some police activities, an official said yesterday.
If Berkeley keeps a radio channel public, it would be a departure from the approach taken by Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos, which fully encrypted their police radio transmissions earlier this year.
The Berkeley Police Department is still undecided if we will encrypt BPD-1 as well; or just BPD-3 (RB-1), Berkeley Police Capt. Kevin Schofield said in a written statement provided to the Post.
Details werent immediately available on what information would be transmitted over BPD-1 versus BPD-3. A police department manual on the citys website described BPD-1 as a primary channel for patrol officers, and said RB-1 is used to communicate with the records center.
The question of encrypting police radio transmissions comes after the California Department of Justice in October told law enforcement agencies that they have to protect individuals personally identifiable information and criminal justice information when using the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, or CLETS. Examples of information that needs protecting are a persons drivers license number, Social Security number or criminal history.
The DOJ memo, from Joe Dominic, chief of the California Justice Information Services Division, described two ways a law enforcement agency could protect the information: by encrypting radio traffic, or establishing a policy to not publicly broadcast certain types of information.
Police scanners go silent
Police departments in cities including Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Los Altos responded to the DOJ memo by going to full encryption of their radio channels. News reporters and the public can no longer tune in using police scanners to hear what officers in those cities are doing. Police scanners have been in existence for about 70 years.
But some cities are taking a different approach. As the Post reported last month, the San Francisco Police Department will partially encrypt its radio transmissions when it moves to a digital system this year.
San Francisco dispatchers will use a public channel to send officers to an incident, such as a report of a robbery at a particular location. After that, radio communications related to the incident will be encrypted and the public wont be able to listen in. But when the incident concludes, dispatchers will state on an unencrypted channel what the outcome was, for example, officers took a report or made an arrest.
San Francisco officers will check a persons drivers license information or criminal history using encrypted channels.In Berkeley, whose police department is closer in size to that of Palo Alto, the move to encryption is complicated by a number of factors, according to information obtained by the Post through a public records request.
The department noted that Berkeley is a member of the East Bay Regional Communications System, or EBRCSA, a radio system that operates under a joint powers agreement between Alameda and Contra Costa County. EBRCSA owns and manages the digital radio system.
It could take more than two years for EBRCSA members to move to encryption. In the meantime, the Berkeley PD is taking steps to protect subjects personal information.
Phones for confidential information?
In the interim, we will attempt to use our MDTs, department cellular phones, or land line telecommunications to transmit and receive PII, the police department stated in a letter. An MDT is a mobile data terminal, or computer, that officers use in their patrol cars. PII refers to personal identifiable information.
In Palo Alto, Police Chief Robert Jonsen said in a January blog post that alternative methods of protecting personal information, such as using cell phones, are not operationally practical or safe for our personnel.
In Berkeley, officers have a strategy to help protect personal information when cell phones or MDTs arent feasible and they transmit the information over the radio. In those cases, officers will break up the personal information by transmitting details such as a persons name, birthday and address in separate transmissions, or even in different channels, Berkeley PD said in its letter.Budget shortfalls may hamper the move to encryption, the letter said.
Due to Covid-19, we are anticipating budget shortfalls in our projected revenue for projects such as this, the letter stated. In addition, the community is asking to reduce our budgets.
The letter ends by referring further questions to Lt. Peter Hong. Hong did not respond to the Posts request for a telephone interview yesterday.
Previous stories about the encryption of police radios
June 16, 2017, Palo Alto to spend $4 million on new radio system; Redwood Citys experience was a fiasco
Jan. 6, 2021, Police cut off their radio transmissions to the public
Jan. 8, 2021, Editorial, Police decision to encrypt police radio transmissions reduces transparency
Jan. 11, 2021, Mayor says that encrypting police radio signals was a mistake
Jan. 11, 2021, Palo Alto Council will discuss police radio encryption, Mountain View will follow Palo Altos lead
Feb. 14, 2021, Opinion, Encryption isnt a mandate, its a choice
March 29, 2021, Police chief willing to consider alternatives to full encryption but lacks examples
April 1, 2021, One city is reluctant to switch to encrypted police radio
April 5, 2021, Palo Alto Police ask state if they can temporarily drop encryption
May 24, 2021, San Francisco finds an alternative to full encryption of police radios
May 27, 2021, Opinion, 55 days later and state DOJ hasnt complied with records request for information on police radio encryption
- WhatsApp rolls out encryption for chats backed up in the cloud - Mashable - October 17th, 2021
- WhatsApp now lets users encrypt their chat backups in the cloud - TechCrunch - October 17th, 2021
- Meet the Alliance for Encryption in Latin America and the Caribbean - EFF - October 17th, 2021
- Apples plan to scan images will allow governments into smartphones - The Guardian - October 17th, 2021
- WhatsApp to bring in encryption for backup chats after privacy fears - The Guardian - October 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are rolling out on both Android and iOS - GSMArena.com news - GSMArena.com - October 15th, 2021
- Encryption: Why security threats coast under the radar - Philstar.com - October 15th, 2021
- Encryption Management Solutions Market 2021 : Industry Analysis ,Size, Share, Revenue, Prominent Players, Developing Technologies, Tendencies and... - October 15th, 2021
- TLS Support Redis - October 12th, 2021
- Signal >> Documentation - October 12th, 2021
- Encryption Consulting announces their first-ever virtual conference - "Encryption Consulting Virtual conference 2021." - Tyler Morning... - October 12th, 2021
- [Update: Rolling out] WhatsApp adds end-to-end encryption for Android cloud backups - 9to5Google - October 12th, 2021
- Homomorphic Encryption Market New Coming Industry to Witness Great Growth Opportunities in Coming Years From 2021 to 2027: Microsoft (US), IBM... - October 12th, 2021
- SmartKargo Incorporates EDIfly Advanced Aviation Messaging At No Cost for Customers of its E-Commerce Logistics Solution - Yahoo Finance - October 12th, 2021
- No outages, no data leaks: The new WhatsApp killer built on the blockchain creates privacy-focused encrypted messenger - Cointelegraph - October 12th, 2021
- Mosyle's $ 16M Series A Drives Growth by Launching the Mosyle Business with the Market's First Encrypted DNS Filtering and Security Solution -... - October 6th, 2021
- Tips to Secure and Encrypt your WIFI Network Security - H2S Media - October 6th, 2021
- Data Encryption Standard (DES)? - All You Need to Know | Techfunnel - TechFunnel - October 4th, 2021
- XSOC CORP Recognized by CyberSecurity Breakthrough Awards Program for Overall Encryption Solution of the Year - Business Wire - October 4th, 2021
- Encryption: Why security threats coast under the radar - Express Computer - October 4th, 2021
- Hardware Encryption Devices Market 2021 Technology Development, Key Manufacturers, Forecast Based on Major Drivers and Trends Up to 2027 - Digital... - October 4th, 2021
- Container security without governance is neither secure nor governed - The Register - October 4th, 2021
- Sectigo Certificate Manager Wins 2021 CyberSecurity Breakthrough Award for Overall Encryption Solution Provider of the Year - PRNewswire - October 4th, 2021
- Customs and Border Protection Signs Major Contract With Amazon-Owned Encrypted Chat App Wickr - Gizmodo - October 4th, 2021
- Encryption cant be used as excuse to deny sharing details to law enforcement: Govt - The Financial Express - October 4th, 2021
- Facebook announces WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) backups - Techiexpert.com - TechiExpert.com - October 4th, 2021
- Bluefin Issues New Payment Security Brief on PCI-validated P2PE for Petroleum and Convenience Stores - PR Web - October 4th, 2021
- Get a lifetime of easy, automatic encryption for all of the files on your computer for just $30 - ZDNet - September 24th, 2021
- Tide encryption is ready to end the cyber breach pandemic - TechCrunch - September 24th, 2021
- The FBI has kept the presence of the encryption key secret from Casey for three weeks. - Cheraw Chronicle - September 24th, 2021
- Braves non-tracking, browser-based video conferencing tool is out of beta - TechCrunch - September 24th, 2021
- 5 ways to stay ahead of government-targeted ransomware - GCN.com - September 24th, 2021
- Encryption Software Market expectation surges with rising demand and changing trends by industry analysis through 2026 Stillwater Current -... - September 24th, 2021
- What Is a Hardware Security Module? HSMs Explained - Hashed Out by The SSL Store - September 24th, 2021
- Making the Most from WEP - Wi-FiPlanet.com - Wi-Fi Planet - September 24th, 2021
- Brave, the startup behind untracked browser-based video conferencing tool is out of beta - Security News - BollyInside - September 24th, 2021
- Hardware Encryption Devices Market Is Expected To Witness Healthy Growth At A CAGR Of More Than 40% - Herefordshire Live - Herefordshire Live - September 24th, 2021
- WhatsApp launches encryption in iCloud and Google Drive backups - InTallaght - September 24th, 2021
- WhatsApp boosts end-to-end encryption - BusinessTech - September 17th, 2021
- WhatsApp to offer encryption on cloud backups: Heres all you need to know - India Today - September 17th, 2021
- London's Top Cop Says 'Big Tech,' Encryption Are Letting The Terrorists Win - Techdirt - September 17th, 2021
- Zoom unveils new security features including end-to-end encryption for Zoom Phone, verified identities and... - ZDNet - September 15th, 2021
- Insights on the Hardware Encryption Global Market to 2026 - by Algorithm & Standard, Architecture, Product, Application and Region - PRNewswire - September 15th, 2021
- Light Start: WhatsApp rolls out backup encryption, LG is more attractive, Google goes dark and iPhones only laak gud vaabs Stuff - Stuff Magazines - September 15th, 2021
- Revenant REvil. WhatsApp offers encryption. Hortum spyware in Turkey. Update on the UN data breach. Healthcare breaches disclosed. - The CyberWire - September 15th, 2021
- How a glitch in the Matrix led to apps potentially exposing encrypted chats - The Register - September 15th, 2021
- Secure cloud storage: which are the most secure providers? - ITProPortal - September 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp is finally allowing users to encrypt chat backups uploaded to iCloud and Google Drive - Buzz.ie - September 15th, 2021
- WhatsApp is adding encrypted backups - The Verge - September 11th, 2021
- What Is Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE)? - CIO Insight - September 11th, 2021
- WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted messages arent that private after all - Ars Technica - September 11th, 2021
- UK government backs Apple, and wants to scan encrypted messages for CSAM - 9to5Mac - September 11th, 2021
- VPN and Email Encryption Provider, WiTopia, Inc., Is Now Raising Capital Via StartEngine - PRNewswire - September 11th, 2021
- Future in the cloud for encryption - Capacity Media - September 8th, 2021
- WhatsApps Claims Of End-To-End Encryption Might Be Entirely True - Ubergizmo - September 8th, 2021
- Debunking Wi-Fi Security Myths: Wi-Fi Encryption Is Weak - TechSpective - September 8th, 2021
- WhatsApp Flaw Casts Doubt on End-to-End Encryption - Security Boulevard - September 8th, 2021
- Bluefin Receives U.S. Patent on Systems for Vaultless Tokenization and Encryption - WFMZ Allentown - September 8th, 2021
- Priti Patel backs ad campaign that criticises Facebook's stance on end-to-end encryption - Graham Cluley Security News - September 8th, 2021
- EXCLUSIVE: What's in the new zero-trust strategy - Politico - September 8th, 2021
- 3 ways to protect yourself from cyberattacks in the midst of an IT security skill shortage - Help Net Security - September 8th, 2021
- Apple Has Betrayed Its Privacy Legacy and Will Undermine End-to-end Encryption Everywhere - Privacy News Online - September 8th, 2021
- IBM's first 7nm Power10 chip arrives in E1080 server system with a wealth of shiny features - The Register - September 8th, 2021
- The adoption of multi-cloud drives the need for better data protection and management of encryption keys an... - Security Boulevard - August 26th, 2021
- Cryptomator Vs. BoxCryptor: Which One Is The Best Encryption Software? - Analytics Insight - August 26th, 2021
- Why you should encrypt your data on your computer and how to do it - The Star Online - August 26th, 2021
- Video end-to-end encryption on Ring to be available worldwide - ITP.net - August 26th, 2021
- What is a Vocoder? How an audio encryption device used in WW2 became the sound of electro and modern pop - Mixdown - August 26th, 2021
- Privacera partners with StreamSets to strengthen data security for ETL processing in the cloud - Help Net Security - August 26th, 2021
- R400m cocaine-in-a-boat accused used encryption app to communicate - TimesLIVE - August 26th, 2021
- Evervaults encryption as a service is now open access - TechCrunch - August 24th, 2021
- How to Encrypt Your Own Windows and Mac Devices (and Why You Need To) - Lifehacker - August 24th, 2021
- Why encryption is the key to digital fitness, according to Thales - iTnews - August 24th, 2021
- How to check each of your WhatsApp chats are ACTUALLY private right now and not being intercepted by h... - The Sun - August 24th, 2021
- WebCam: How Australia paved the way for Apple's encryption backflip - Crikey - August 24th, 2021
- Staggering 400% rise in child sexual abuse images detected by Facebook as fears over encryption plans g... - The Sun - August 24th, 2021
- Hardware-based Full Disk Encryption Market 2021 and Analysis to 2027 Micron Technology Inc, Seagate Technology PLC, Toshiba, Intel - The Market... - August 24th, 2021
- WhatsApp could soon have an iPad app for the first time - Engadget - August 24th, 2021
- Facebook is bringing end-to-end encryption to Messenger calls and Instagram DMs - TechCrunch - August 14th, 2021
- Apple opens the encryption Pandora's box - Axios - August 14th, 2021