Encrypting Police Radio Transmissions

There is an important debate taking place regarding the growing trend of encrypting law enforcement radio transmissions.

172434_1012On one side you have law enforcement agencies insisting on encryption to prevent criminals from monitoring transmissions and protect the safety of officers.

On the other side you have the media and the general public arguing for right of access to information transmitted over the public airwaves.

While easily accessible smart phone apps and scanners can help the general public to hear when a traffic accident blocks a major intersection, it can also enable criminals to determine when and where officers may be located.

Some states already have legislation in place that allows encryption on emergency communication. Law enforcement agencies can then choose to provide the media and other agencies with an encryption key to restrict access to radio transmissions.

What do you think? Should law enforcement restrict access to its transmissions?

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