Note: The following letter was sentFriday to Lancaster County Commissioners Dennis Stuckey, Craig Lehman and Josh Parsons.
I strongly urge you to reconsider the decision to encrypt police department radio transmissions before this change takes place in November.
First, the health and safety of both our Lancaster County community and the law enforcement officials who protect it are paramount.
Second, essential to the well-being of our county must be a government system that values public accessibility, transparency and accountability.
These two truths must find a way to co-exist.
Certainly, a healthy democracy and an informed citizenry here do not depend solely on public and news media access to Lancaster County police radio broadcasts. Both are, however, seriously diminished when the publics right to know is further eroded something that is becoming alarmingly common in our commonwealth and across this country.
Our newspaper has long relied on police communication to provide the public with emergency information. I consider a scanner as essential to my job as a wrench to a plumber, a longtime television journalist in Oklahoma wrote to me last Sunday. He reached out in support of LNPs July 5 editorial opposing encryption.
Think snowstorms. Vehicular accidents. Road closings. Gas leaks. Homicides. Violent protests.
Radio access enables news outlets to work hand-in-hand with first responders to keep the public away from dangerous situations, Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, noted in a recent LNP article. Total encryption addresses a problem that doesnt exist where the media is concerned.
West Hempfield Township Police Chief Mark Pugliese I, who chairs the county chiefs Police Advisory Board to Lancaster County-Wide Communications and represents the county Chiefs of Police Association on this issue, appears to agree.
Referring to events worldwide and expressing concern for police safety, he told you its not unusual for officers today to be ambushed. But he also acknowledged that were not getting that so much in Lancaster County.
Additionally, the chief spoke about incidents here where the public or the media interfered with investigations, in some cases by getting to crime scenes more quickly than police.
When pressed by an LNP reporter, Chief Pugliese could not cite a single situation in Lancaster County where the media interfered at a crime scene.
The chief says he is not anti-media.
Nor am I anti-law enforcement.
When the earth rumbles or a gun fires, citizens rely on police and other first responders to courageously address the emergency. They expect us in the news media to tell them what is happening. Shutting off access to information feeds distrust and anxiety; it fuels the spread of misinformation by social media commenters unbound by the journalistic standards of citing sources and confirming details.
Chief Pugliese said that the removal of public and media access to police broadcasts will make it incumbent on police to improve the lines of communication.
Experience suggests to me that will not happen; I dont see that as law enforcements primary role, and I dont see how it does either. Access to timely and accurate information that serves the public interest will suffer as a result.
Like law enforcement, we in the news media must be allowed to do the work we are trained to do. It is incumbent upon us to get it right and to be held accountable if we dont.
While all three of you are and must be concerned about police safety, Commissioner Lehman has said that blocking police communication might give officers a false sense of security and further isolate them from the community. Hes suggested a compromise of encrypting public transmissions, but allowing access to the news media.
It is certainly a better option.
I was at home July 2 and only yards away from the horrific Manor Township gas explosion that killed one man and injured others as it leveled a house, severely damaged neighboring homes and, in seconds, rattled the psyche of an entire community.
Frightened neighbors ran outside their homes, erroneously speculating about the cause of the blast. I called the newsroom and was accurately informed that it was a gas explosion. Then I walked to the scene to join my newspaper colleagues in probing more deeply as we talked with witnesses, questioned officials and provided real-time information that a county wanted and needed in that moment.
Fire and ambulance dispatches, the ones that guided us that day, are not part of the planned encryption here. At least not yet. As Chief Pugliese noted, the scrambling of police communication, and that of fire and ambulance, is becoming the national norm.
I dont think thats the way to go. I do believe a compromise can be struck, one that will allow law enforcement to do its work, and enable those of us in the news media to do ours.
We both exist, after all, to serve our Lancaster County community to the very best of our abilities.
Barbara Hough Roda is executive editor of LNP and LancasterOnline. Email: broda@LNPnews.com; phone, 717-481-7335; Twitter, @BarbRodaLNP.
Commissioners need to rethink encryption – LancasterOnline
- Security Awareness - Encryption | Office of Information ... - October 15th, 2017
- Data Encryption and Decryption (Windows) - October 14th, 2017
- Trumps DOJ tries to rebrand weakened encryption as responsible ... - October 11th, 2017
- How to encrypt (almost) anything | PCWorld - September 22nd, 2017
- Private Internet Access | VPN Encryption - September 21st, 2017
- Encryption Substitutes | Privacy | Encryption - September 21st, 2017
- Data Encryption: Hardware & Software Security: Online ... - September 21st, 2017
- How To Enable BitLocker Drive Encryption In Windows 10? - September 21st, 2017
- PGP Encryption Tool - iGolder - September 21st, 2017
- encryption - How to encrypt String in Java - Stack Overflow - September 21st, 2017
- Encryption Software Market, Size, Trends and Forecast 2020 - September 21st, 2017
- Encryption Definition - Tech Terms - September 20th, 2017
- Why You Should Be Encrypting Your Devices and How to Easily Do It - Gizmodo - September 6th, 2017
- Black Hats, White Hats, and Hard Hats The Need for Encryption in Mining and Resources - Australian Mining - September 6th, 2017
- How can enterprises secure encrypted traffic from cloud applications? - TechTarget - September 6th, 2017
- Encryption Explained - Arizona Daily Wildcat - September 6th, 2017
- News in brief: Call to link encryption to ID; Facebook maps everyone ... - Naked Security - September 2nd, 2017
- 'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption - The Register - September 2nd, 2017
- High-Dimensional Quantum Encryption Performed in Real-World ... - Futurism - September 2nd, 2017
- It's Time to Replace Your Encryption-Key Spreadsheet - Data Center Knowledge - September 2nd, 2017
- Legislation to limit smartphone encryption 'may be necessary,' deputy AG Rosenstein says - Washington Times - August 31st, 2017
- Cloud Encryption Market by Component, Service Model, Organization Size, Vertical And Region - Global Forecast to ... - Markets Insider - August 31st, 2017
- Cipher Suites: Ciphers, Algorithms and Negotiating Security Settings - Hashed Out by The SSL Store (registration) (blog) - August 31st, 2017
- Encryption in Office 365 - Office 365 - August 29th, 2017
- Need-to-Know Only: Use Encryption to Make Data Meaningless to ... - Security Intelligence (blog) - August 29th, 2017
- Four strategies to prevent data encryption from hijacking your network - Digital News Asia - August 29th, 2017
- Amber Rudd is wrong - real people do want end-to-end encryption - ITProPortal - August 29th, 2017
- Why encryption is for everyone - IFEX - August 29th, 2017
- 4D quantum encryption successful in first real-world test - New Atlas - New Atlas - August 29th, 2017
- For the First Time Ever, Quantum Communication is Demonstrated in Real-World City Conditions - Futurism - August 26th, 2017
- High-Dimensional Quantum Encryption Takes Place in Real-World ... - Photonics.com - August 26th, 2017
- Hedvig Bakes Encryption into Software-Defined Storage Platform - IT Business Edge (blog) - August 26th, 2017
- Hedvig storage upgrade adds flash tier, encryption options - TechTarget - August 26th, 2017
- How to use EFS encryption to encrypt individual files and folders on Windows 10 - Windows Central - August 26th, 2017
- Cloud Encryption Market Worth 2401.9 Million USD by 2022 - Markets Insider - August 23rd, 2017
- To Protect Genetic Privacy, Encrypt Your DNA - WIRED - August 23rd, 2017
- Data Encryption in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online - August 21st, 2017
- Researchers use encryption to keep patients' DNA private - Engadget - August 21st, 2017
- Additional proof that Lancaster County Commissioners should reconsider encrypting police transmissions - LancasterOnline - August 21st, 2017
- iPhone Secure Enclave firmware encryption key leaked - TechTarget - August 21st, 2017
- Encryption, speed push the modern mainframe into the future - TechTarget - August 21st, 2017
- Hardware encryption vs software encryption: the simple guide - Kroll Ontrack UK (press release) (blog) - August 21st, 2017
- Encryption Technology Could Protect the Privacy of Your DNA - Gizmodo - August 21st, 2017
- Beginner's guide to Windows 10 encryption - Windows Central - August 18th, 2017
- Encryption key for iPhone 5s Touch ID exposed, opens door to further research - AppleInsider (press release) (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- How security pros look at encryption backdoors - Help Net Security - August 18th, 2017
- The Laws of Mathematics and the Laws of Nations: The Encryption Debate Revisited - Lawfare (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- 72 percent of security pros say encryption backdoors won't stop terrorism - BetaNews - August 18th, 2017
- Ex-MI5 Boss Evans: Don't Undermine Encryption - Infosecurity Magazine - August 14th, 2017
- Despite end to end encryption, apps like WhatsApp, Messenger are still vulnerable to hacking: Study - Firstpost - August 13th, 2017
- What is Encryption? (with pictures) - wiseGEEK - August 12th, 2017
- Ex-MI5 chief warns against crackdown on encrypted messaging ... - The Guardian - August 12th, 2017
- Former UK security service head says weakening encryption would be too dangerous - 9to5Mac - August 12th, 2017
- News in brief: facial recognition planned for Carnival; spy chief backs encryption; ginger emoji planned - Naked Security - August 12th, 2017
- Avoid getting lost in encryption with these easy steps - We Live Security (blog) - August 12th, 2017
- Here's why IBM Z Mainframe Wants to Encrypt the World - Edgy Labs (blog) - August 10th, 2017
- Symantec Announces Plesk Will Integrate Symantec Encryption Everywhere Security Into Its Website Management ... - Business Wire (press release) - August 10th, 2017
- Australia: Shelve Proposed Law to Weaken Encryption - Human Rights Watch (press release) - August 6th, 2017
- IBM India Helps Create Breakthrough Encryption Technology That's Completely Hacker Proof - Indiatimes.com - August 6th, 2017
- Letter to Prime Minister Turnbull re Encryption and Human Rights - Human Rights Watch (press release) - August 5th, 2017
- Zscaler Finds Hackers Using SSL Encryption in Malware to Hide ... - eWeek - August 5th, 2017
- HBO Hack Highlights Importance of Encryption, Data Governance - eSecurity Planet - August 3rd, 2017
- UK flip-flop on encryption doesn't help anyone - CNET - August 3rd, 2017
- UpVote: Turkish regime jails IT trainers in encryption clampdown - Ars Technica UK - August 3rd, 2017
- Telegram messaging app strikes deal with Indonesia on encryption - Digital Trends - August 2nd, 2017
- Encryption is for 'Real People' - Human Rights Watch - August 2nd, 2017
- We don't want to ban encryption, but our inability to see what terrorists are plotting undermines our security - Telegraph.co.uk - August 2nd, 2017
- Real people don't need encryption - Fudzilla - August 2nd, 2017
- Ex-NSA boss questions encrypted message access laws proposed by Malcolm Turnbull - ABC Online - August 2nd, 2017
- Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: WhatsApp metadata informs governments about terrorist activity in spite of encryption - CNBC - July 31st, 2017
- Ex-NSA chief Chris Inglis backs government's encryption push against Apple, Facebook - The Australian Financial Review - July 31st, 2017
- Oak Ridge licenses its quantum encryption method - FCW.com - July 31st, 2017
- iStorage diskAshur2 1TB PIN-protected encrypted external hard drive [Review] - BetaNews - July 31st, 2017
- Top 5: Risks of encryption backdoors - TechRepublic - July 31st, 2017
- Indian IT firms value scaling encryption, lag in adoption: Study - Economic Times - July 31st, 2017
- Industry firm patents new cyber encryption technology - Defense Systems - July 12th, 2017
- The Encryption 'Balance' Trump's FBI Candidate Wants Is Mathematically Impossible - New York Magazine - July 12th, 2017
- We need to protect encryption - ITProPortal - July 12th, 2017
- End-to-End Encryption is Key to Securing Government Databases - Nextgov - July 12th, 2017
- Quantum satellites demonstrate teleportation and encryption - physicsworld.com - July 11th, 2017