State Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo, pushes for public access in Assembly Appropriation

San Mateo Daily Journal
By Curtis Driscoll

A proposed bill requiring law enforcement agencies to not fully encrypt radio communications to ensure public access is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, with bill author state Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo, working to ensure passage.

 “It’s a process. There are some obstacles out there, some people who don’t want it to pass. We have to just keep fighting,” Becker said.

Senate Bill 1000 would require law enforcement agencies to ensure public access to the radio communications of that agency by no later than 2024. Access could be through unencrypted radio communications on a radio frequency, streaming through an agency’s website, or upon request and for a reasonable fee. The bill passed the Senate in May and received its first public hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Aug. 3, where it was placed in a suspense file, which allows it to further consider the fiscal impacts as a whole. The Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled an Aug. 11 hearing date to discuss the bill and related finances.

Becker said it was not right to encrypt information on public safety and law enforcement in current times, noting it was possible to protect people’s personal information and keep the public’s right to know around.

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