Fire departments are ‘going dark’ and becoming secret public safety organizations

Across the country fire departments in ConnecticutGeorgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Illinois have begun encrypting their radio transmissions, effectively turning them into secret public safety organizations.

The latest fire department to ‘go dark’ and hide its communications from the public is the Denver Fire Department in Colorado.

The Denver Post reported that once the fire department learned that they could no longer communicate with the Colorado Police Department which also went dark; they decided they had to do the same thing.

Fire department spokesman Greg Pixley said, “that the fire department was not planning on encrypting its channels, but said that the department later learned it would need to do so to facilitate easy communication with police. It’s difficult to switch between encrypted and unencrypted channels.”

A 2016 Homeland Security report titled “Considerations for Encryption in Public Safety Radio Systems” has served as a blueprint to turn police and fire departments into secret public safety organizations.

The report reads like a who’s who of federal agencies helping public safety organizations go dark.

On page 2 of the report the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications which is a Homeland Security organization, thanked four different Homeland Security organizations for their help.

“The Federal Partnership for InteroperableCommunications wishes to acknowledge the valuable input of the following groups and organizations: Department of Homeland Security OneDHSEmergency Communications Committee, SAFECOM Emergency Response Council, the National Council for Statewide Interoperability Coordinators and the DHS SouthwestBorder Communications.”

How is that for redundancy? Thank yourself four times for helping turn public safety into a national secret.

Why does Homeland Security want to create a secret first responders communications network?…

Public safety, or RICO government safety?   Corruption grows spontaneously and penetrates every nook and cranny of the power structure regardless of political ideology.   It’s a generic problem which has no known algorithmic preventative.   Public awareness is the only known solution, and encrypting routine government communication will hinder this public oversight function.

Encryption will have two consequences: it will hinder the ability of street criminals to act with impunity, and it will aid the ability of official criminals to act with impunity.

Which is the bigger problem?   Which operates on a more robust social networking substrate (complete with secret societies) and has access to more resources and legal defenses?   Which largely creates the other by funneling public resources into bottomless pits of payoffs and offshore accounts as main street becomes more impoverished?

As the government pushes personal privacy and the 4th amendment aside, it gathers more privacy for itself.

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