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Police scanner encryption lawsuit filed

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 8:51am

SHERWOOD (KATV) -Police departments in Russellville, Conway, Little Rock and North Little Rock have encrypted radio traffic without a challenge...until now.

A lawsuit has been filed that seeks to reopen police communication to everyone again.

You might have expected the corporate lawyers who work for KATV or the Democrat Gazette to have filed this lawsuit, but instead it is two brothers from Sherwood who say encrypted radio traffic violates the Freedom of Information Act.

Jeremy Mullens says in other states it has been the media to challenge police departments after a switch to encrypted communication.

"People have sued for access," says Jeremy Mullens. "But they have always stopped because the police have given it to the media. In this case I'm not the media. If they give it to me they're going to have to give it to everybody. The whole public should have it."

Jeremy works as an independent adjuster. His brother Brandon is a truck driver who relies on scanner traffic to help him avoid traffic tie-ups that can delay the delivery of time sensitive cargo. 

But he has other reasons to listen in as well.

"If there is a manhunt in my neighborhood...I'd like to know about it before the news picks it up or anybody else," says Brandon Mullens. "First hand information. Unedited. Uncut. It protects myself as well as my family."

The brothers realize that criminals may monitor scanner traffic and that may put police at a disadvantage, but they don't agree it puts them at greater risk.

"It's unfortunate when officers die," says Jeremy Mullens. "Not a single one has been injured or killed due to open radio traffic, anywhere. It's just not anything that I have been able to find. I've looked and I have not been able to find any instances of officers being unsafe because of open radio traffic."

The Mullens brothers don't have an attorney. They are representing themselves in this challenge. 

A hearing in Pulaski county circuit court will be set soon. 

August 19th, 2014

- KATV

KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

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arkansasobserver
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arkansasobserver 08/20/14 - 02:07 pm
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Doing the job of a compliant media.

I agree with the Mullens brothers 100%, and hope they are successful with this lawsuit. Encrypting police communications deprives citizens of real-time information that can be vital, at the same time reducing the accountability of police officers to the community that pays for their service. "To Serve and Protect" has become "Trust us, we always do right". Weather-related damage, auto accidents, traffic backups, gas leaks, and fleeing suspects are all good situations for a citizen to avoid when you know what is happing. While the safety of police officers is always cited, I can remember no case where open communications got an officer hurt. When privacy & security is an issue, then an encrypted channel is still available. How about a good lawyer out there contacting these guys and offer assistance?

mikeng1994
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mikeng1994 08/20/14 - 03:12 pm
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It also provides criminals

It also provides criminals with real-time communications. Besides, truthfully, what are the number of people who spend their day doing nothing but scanning the police? Maybe the conspiracy theorists, but that's about it.

fdsjfsdjfsda543543543
2760
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fdsjfsdjfsda543543543 08/21/14 - 12:02 am
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Most criminals are pretty

Most criminals are pretty stupid much less having the cash to invest in or the brains to figure out a police scanner. Without a list of 10-codes, they wouldn't understand most of what's said.

Your scenario is highly unlikely, mostly Hollywood fantasy. Stop watching so much HBO.

mikeng1994
11177
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mikeng1994 08/21/14 - 07:39 am
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Oddly enough, the sport

Oddly enough, the sport scanner I bought for $59 scans the emergency services that can still be monitored and a list of "10-codes" is easily obtained by anyone, even me with my non-criminal stupidity. I won't even waste your time with a Quill like cut-n-paste link to the codes.

Therefore your entire statement is as retarded as your LCD alias.

FYI, I have liberated myself from the cable. So no HBO for me. I do play Call of Duty tho, much to the displeasure of my VA appointed mental health doctor.

crypted quill
10940
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crypted quill 08/21/14 - 08:42 am
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Oh, comment box Mike... Like

Oh, comment box Mike...

Like the four "blood moons" of 2014 & 2015, facebook, social media, and the zombie apocalypse shall immanentize the eschaton.

fdsjfsdjfsda543543543
2760
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fdsjfsdjfsda543543543 08/21/14 - 10:55 am
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Well aren't you swinging the

Well aren't you swinging the miniature appendage between your legs around this morning eh? Zip your pants up mike and go reload some ammunition or something.

I'd listen to your government health care doctor and cool it with the shoot em ups. Otherwise you'll end up a 5150. (Look that code up!)

mikeng1994
11177
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mikeng1994 08/21/14 - 04:38 pm
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I've got 3000 ready to fire.

I've got 3000 ready to fire. Give or take a hunnered.

As far as the other, the only problem I have with it is when I use the 3 finger and thumb hold and I wind up wetting 2 of the fingers.

conwaygerl
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conwaygerl 08/21/14 - 02:21 pm
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also

A lot of police communications is done over cell phone, so we've been missing "the good stuff" for years now already.

Police are part of the government, we can trust them 100%.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 08/21/14 - 10:55 am
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That's what was asserted when this went in place.

With scant, less-than-scant, proof that was actually happening.

"The kids are listening to scanners so when we try to break up their beer-fueled parties they're gone before we get there," and funding was allotted.

Since that time the number of party busts had not gone up any significant degree - at all.

Like most of us, police hate people looking over their shoulder. Alas in light of the civil service role, well, got to take the good with the bad (and the bad's been had, if I may).

Budnmud
22227
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Budnmud 08/20/14 - 04:21 pm
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Sales guys

Maybe its the work of some high pressure sales guys trying to squeeze every dime they can out of the communications budget. After all every public safety entity in central Arkansas already uses the big M. If you cant sell more radios sell more add-ons... just saying...

I used to be one of those scoundrels, sold a lot of scramblers in public safety...

out

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