22 JUNE 2021

WHY ENCRYPTION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO AND USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

BY MICHAEL HALEY

There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons related to law enforcement’s use of encrypted communications.  The arguments against encrypted law enforcement communications assumes that encryption is inherently at odds with transparency, which it is if there is not a way to record and retain encrypted communications.   When encrypted communications are easy to use and documented, they work, hand in hand, with efficiency, data retention and transparency.

 

Pros for Encrypted Communications

 

There are many positives to encrypting police communications.   Encrypted communications can protect valuable information from criminals and others who might listen to or gain access to protected data.  Encrypting police communications also protects personal information about suspects, victims, callers and witnesses that are relayed over police communications platforms.

Some will still argue that encrypting communications could make it more difficult to hold law enforcement accountable and make it harder for rapid communications between law enforcement and other agencies during emergencies.  The very opposite is true.  Why? The concern around encryption and transparency rests on the assumption that encrypting communications means those communications would not be available to the public.  In a world where popular encrypted consumer communications apps that protect communications leaving no paper this is a valid concern.  Information collected by law enforcement must remain protected and private but also must be recorded, retained and made available to the public when they request such communications.

 

Transparency is Possible with Encryption

 

The answer is to use encrypted communications tools that can securely document any communications that leave a paper trail.  Law enforcement and the public would benefit from encrypted communications platforms that save copies of all communications around public safety information and response coordination so that they can easily and quickly be released to the public.  Using an encrypted communications platform that saves a copy of all communications is the best of both worlds: it shows communities that law enforcement values their safety and privacy while also recognizing the importance of transparency and building trust between law enforcement and local communities.

 

Increasing Efficiency of Law Enforcement Communications

 

Encryption can also make law enforcement communications more efficient.  Another cause for concern about encrypting communications rests on the assumption that using encryption means sacrificing efficiency, because police departments might opt for tools or infrastructure that external agencies do not have access to, making it harder for them to rapidly reach out to police during an emergency.  With the right tools, encryption does not have to be bulky or limiting. A simple, intuitive encrypted communications platform that can be used on any phone, PC or tablet makes it easy for anyone to share critical information rapidly.  In fact, these tools can increase efficiencies when they let users broadcast messages or automate information sharing.

 

Accountability and Privacy Can Coexist

 

Using technology like encryption should not be about tradeoffs.  In the case of law enforcement, you do not need to assume that opting for encryption means sacrificing efficiency or accountability.  Instead, using technology like encryption is about figuring out how to make it work for all concerned.  You do not have to stop encryption, you can make sure to use it alongside documentation using standard tools you already have access to like phones, tablets and PC.  You do not have to decide which is more important, privacy or transparency.  You just must understand the right tools to use and how to ensure transparency, access and retention are part of our platforms design.

 

Written by Michael Haley, Former Sheriff of Washoe County, Nevada, with 34 years’ law enforcement experience, and is the current President of Public Safety, Secured Communications, a global technology company specializing in safeguarding communications. With a proven security and technology leadership team, Secured Communications provides ultra-secure, enterprise communications software that is trusted by businesses, public safety and counter terrorism professionals worldwide.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sustainability

EULA

SLA

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

22 JUNE 2021

WHY ENCRYPTION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO AND USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

BY MICHAEL HALEY

There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons related to law enforcement’s use of encrypted communications.  The arguments against encrypted law enforcement communications assumes that encryption is inherently at odds with transparency, which it is if there is not a way to record and retain encrypted communications.   When encrypted communications are easy to use and documented, they work, hand in hand, with efficiency, data retention and transparency.

 

Pros for Encrypted Communications

 

There are many positives to encrypting police communications.   Encrypted communications can protect valuable information from criminals and others who might listen to or gain access to protected data.  Encrypting police communications also protects personal information about suspects, victims, callers and witnesses that are relayed over police communications platforms.

Some will still argue that encrypting communications could make it more difficult to hold law enforcement accountable and make it harder for rapid communications between law enforcement and other agencies during emergencies.  The very opposite is true.  Why? The concern around encryption and transparency rests on the assumption that encrypting communications means those communications would not be available to the public.  In a world where popular encrypted consumer communications apps that protect communications leaving no paper this is a valid concern.  Information collected by law enforcement must remain protected and private but also must be recorded, retained and made available to the public when they request such communications.

 

Transparency is Possible with Encryption

 

The answer is to use encrypted communications tools that can securely document any communications that leave a paper trail.  Law enforcement and the public would benefit from encrypted communications platforms that save copies of all communications around public safety information and response coordination so that they can easily and quickly be released to the public.  Using an encrypted communications platform that saves a copy of all communications is the best of both worlds: it shows communities that law enforcement values their safety and privacy while also recognizing the importance of transparency and building trust between law enforcement and local communities.

 

Increasing Efficiency of Law Enforcement Communications

 

Encryption can also make law enforcement communications more efficient.  Another cause for concern about encrypting communications rests on the assumption that using encryption means sacrificing efficiency, because police departments might opt for tools or infrastructure that external agencies do not have access to, making it harder for them to rapidly reach out to police during an emergency.  With the right tools, encryption does not have to be bulky or limiting. A simple, intuitive encrypted communications platform that can be used on any phone, PC or tablet makes it easy for anyone to share critical information rapidly.  In fact, these tools can increase efficiencies when they let users broadcast messages or automate information sharing.

 

Accountability and Privacy Can Coexist

 

Using technology like encryption should not be about tradeoffs.  In the case of law enforcement, you do not need to assume that opting for encryption means sacrificing efficiency or accountability.  Instead, using technology like encryption is about figuring out how to make it work for all concerned.  You do not have to stop encryption, you can make sure to use it alongside documentation using standard tools you already have access to like phones, tablets and PC.  You do not have to decide which is more important, privacy or transparency.  You just must understand the right tools to use and how to ensure transparency, access and retention are part of our platforms design.

 

Written by Michael Haley, Former Sheriff of Washoe County, Nevada, with 34 years’ law enforcement experience, and is the current President of Public Safety, Secured Communications, a global technology company specializing in safeguarding communications. With a proven security and technology leadership team, Secured Communications provides ultra-secure, enterprise communications software that is trusted by businesses, public safety and counter terrorism professionals worldwide.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

22 JUNE 2021

WHY ENCRYPTION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO AND USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT

BY MICHAEL HALEY

There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons related to law enforcement’s use of encrypted communications.  The arguments against encrypted law enforcement communications assumes that encryption is inherently at odds with transparency, which it is if there is not a way to record and retain encrypted communications.   When encrypted communications are easy to use and documented, they work, hand in hand, with efficiency, data retention and transparency.

 

Pros for Encrypted Communications

 

There are many positives to encrypting police communications.   Encrypted communications can protect valuable information from criminals and others who might listen to or gain access to protected data.  Encrypting police communications also protects personal information about suspects, victims, callers and witnesses that are relayed over police communications platforms.

Some will still argue that encrypting communications could make it more difficult to hold law enforcement accountable and make it harder for rapid communications between law enforcement and other agencies during emergencies.  The very opposite is true.  Why? The concern around encryption and transparency rests on the assumption that encrypting communications means those communications would not be available to the public.  In a world where popular encrypted consumer communications apps that protect communications leaving no paper this is a valid concern.  Information collected by law enforcement must remain protected and private but also must be recorded, retained and made available to the public when they request such communications.

 

Transparency is Possible with Encryption

 

The answer is to use encrypted communications tools that can securely document any communications that leave a paper trail.  Law enforcement and the public would benefit from encrypted communications platforms that save copies of all communications around public safety information and response coordination so that they can easily and quickly be released to the public.  Using an encrypted communications platform that saves a copy of all communications is the best of both worlds: it shows communities that law enforcement values their safety and privacy while also recognizing the importance of transparency and building trust between law enforcement and local communities.

 

Increasing Efficiency of Law Enforcement Communications

 

Encryption can also make law enforcement communications more efficient.  Another cause for concern about encrypting communications rests on the assumption that using encryption means sacrificing efficiency, because police departments might opt for tools or infrastructure that external agencies do not have access to, making it harder for them to rapidly reach out to police during an emergency.  With the right tools, encryption does not have to be bulky or limiting. A simple, intuitive encrypted communications platform that can be used on any phone, PC or tablet makes it easy for anyone to share critical information rapidly.  In fact, these tools can increase efficiencies when they let users broadcast messages or automate information sharing.

 

Accountability and Privacy Can Coexist

 

Using technology like encryption should not be about tradeoffs.  In the case of law enforcement, you do not need to assume that opting for encryption means sacrificing efficiency or accountability.  Instead, using technology like encryption is about figuring out how to make it work for all concerned.  You do not have to stop encryption, you can make sure to use it alongside documentation using standard tools you already have access to like phones, tablets and PC.  You do not have to decide which is more important, privacy or transparency.  You just must understand the right tools to use and how to ensure transparency, access and retention are part of our platforms design.

 

Written by Michael Haley, Former Sheriff of Washoe County, Nevada, with 34 years’ law enforcement experience, and is the current President of Public Safety, Secured Communications, a global technology company specializing in safeguarding communications. With a proven security and technology leadership team, Secured Communications provides ultra-secure, enterprise communications software that is trusted by businesses, public safety and counter terrorism professionals worldwide.

SAN FRANCISCO | RENO TAHOE  | SYDNEY | LONDON

©2021 SECURED COMMUNICATIONS

  •  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sustainability

EULA

SLA