Does Wireless Encryption Really Make A Difference? We Check it Out
Encryption, like any other thing, has its own merits and demerits. Most of us, when asked about privacy, will always vote for encrypting everything that moves around us.
The whole equation of privacy and life management changes, when encryption comes to play. There are many instances when life can be at stake because of encrypted network and vice-versa.
The debate of encryption of wireless network is never-ending and the correct usage depends on the scenario. For example, Safety officials argue on the usage of encryption for their networks. According to them, using encrypted networks provides a safer environment. On the other hand, adversary makes the opposite call by arguing law-abiding citizens should work without any secrecy as it lets others know what they are up to. They also argued that this will let everyone know what’s going around when a critical situation unfolds.
So, what fuelled the whole debate or at least what made the topic fuelled? The answer is none other than cell phone scanner apps. These apps are real-time broadcast information from wireless devices.
A perfect example decapitating the whole scenario (for encryption) would be a bank robbery or a gunman who listened to all the officers wireless talks and ran away before the officers can arrive at the scene.
On the other hand, argument for using encryption boils down to officers working under secrecy. Also, media operations can get a set-back as they won't be able to access live media and furthermore result in manipulation of the original news.
Recent news of police departments encrypting theirs device has surfaced. 32 police departments in Camden County moved their wireless technology to a unified single communication system. Encryption used in the whole system is of military grade.
To add to the misery of media, Jim Jankowski, chief of the county’s communication said that this would render police scanners and internet apps useless.
Encryption has gained pace after a serious issue in September this year that resulted in shooting at Navy Yard, Washington D.C. The death-toll was 13. The incident lead to encryption of the department communication including the D.C. radios. The role of the fire department has been questioned here as they could not reach the incident zone even after the broadcasts are made.
There is much at stake when we choose to see both sides of the same coin. As the golden words say "Everything around us has both advantage and disadvantage.
"So, do we really need to encrypt the radio transmission? A trade-off is what we are looking at. We cannot have best of all worlds. Any organization looking to encrypt the whole network should view the problem from different angles. They have to keep a balance between the role of law-abiding citizens and their benefits, media role in transmitting breaking news and criminals using the unencrypted data for escaping and planning their next move. Cost is also an important aspect of the infrastructure. Authorities also need to take care of it.
Everything apart, will the new encryption system change the whole game? Only time can tell us until then we wait and watch.
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