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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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Old 07-29-2008, 1:28 PM
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Default New digital scanners decoding Digital Encryption

I was just wondering if anyone has been hearing about a scanner that decodes encrypted (secure) radio traffic on a digital radio system. I hear of several instances in my area that people have been recieving encrypted signals on police scanners. A patrol officer heard himself on a persons scanner, so he double checked his radio and it was on secure "code". Another time a dispatcher could hear herself over the phone and again the dispatch radio was set to secure "code".

I would like to what radios can do this. I was told that it may be a model by Uniden.
Thanks, Luke
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Old 07-29-2008, 1:33 PM
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Nope no models can decode encryption, that would be illegal.
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Old 07-29-2008, 1:33 PM
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There are no scanners that legally receive encrypted traffic. Chances are they have heard that digital is not scannable and believe what they have heard however wrong it is. I have had officers tell me before that the Ohio MARCs system is unable to be heard with a scanner, and Ill be darned if Im going to tell them any different...............Hoser
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Old 07-29-2008, 1:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoser147 View Post
There are no scanners that legally receive encrypted traffic. Chances are they have heard that digital is not scannable and believe what they have heard however wrong it is. I have had officers tell me before that the Ohio MARCs system is unable to be heard with a scanner, and Ill be darned if Im going to tell them any different...............Hoser
That is exactly right, I have been told by local cops that digital couldn't be scanned and I showed him that it could (don't really care, he is a friend of mine).
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Old 07-29-2008, 2:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landscaperluke View Post
I was just wondering if anyone has been hearing about a scanner that decodes encrypted (secure) radio traffic on a digital radio system. I hear of several instances in my area that people have been recieving encrypted signals on police scanners. A patrol officer heard himself on a persons scanner, so he double checked his radio and it was on secure "code". Another time a dispatcher could hear herself over the phone and again the dispatch radio was set to secure "code".

I would like to what radios can do this. I was told that it may be a model by Uniden.
Thanks, Luke
Maybe the transmissions are not really being encrypted do to a system malfunction or setup problem, or the always possible operator error.

Dave
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Old 07-29-2008, 2:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoser147 View Post
I have had officers tell me before that the Ohio MARCs system is unable to be heard with a scanner, and Ill be darned if Im going to tell them any different...............Hoser
Yes, and Private Calls/phone patches are completely private also.

Wondering if someone is confusing digital with encryption here.
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Old 07-29-2008, 2:24 PM
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Hahaha, a Battalion Chief in my area got a serious pee-pee slapping for a conversation made over a private call. He was FLOORED when he found out that, not only will scanners monitor these calls, but they even show the IDs of the two portables involved in the call. NAIL IN COFFIN.
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Old 07-29-2008, 2:44 PM
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Actually technically, there ARE scanners out there that will decode encrypted P25 transmissions. Sounds like R2D2 having a seizure, but they decode the signal just fine. Decrypting these comms is a whole other matter....

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Old 07-29-2008, 3:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick0413 View Post
That is exactly right, I have been told by local cops that digital couldn't be scanned and I showed him that it could (don't really care, he is a friend of mine).
And he tells his boss, who tells his boss, who screams about it... and the next thing you know, viola, encryption.

The problem here is either system problem, or more likely read the manual or attended training, and somebody said flip this switch and you're encrypted. But his radio doesn't have it and there are are only a few that do.

But showing your cop "friends" that you can monitor there conversations with a scanner is not a good idea. Especially when they were sold on digital because "nobody" could monitor it on a scanner. Generally, they solve that oversight, and then you really can't monitor it anymore. And not turning them down around cops will likely attract unwanted attention too.
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Old 07-29-2008, 3:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsalan View Post
And he tells his boss, who tells his boss, who screams about it... and the next thing you know, viola, encryption.

The problem here is either system problem, or more likely read the manual or attended training, and somebody said flip this switch and you're encrypted. But his radio doesn't have it and there are are only a few that do.

But showing your cop "friends" that you can monitor there conversations with a scanner is not a good idea. Especially when they were sold on digital because "nobody" could monitor it on a scanner. Generally, they solve that oversight, and then you really can't monitor it anymore. And not turning them down around cops will likely attract unwanted attention too.
Depends... When you know the "boss" and the boss doesn't want encryption. Like he told me for things that sensitive they have cell phones.
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Old 07-29-2008, 9:56 PM
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I have never heard these scanners myself, but I do know that the county I am speaking of encrypts 99% of their radio traffic, and it is a digital system too. I can recieve the digital portion with my PRO-96, in the clear, but the encrypted sounds like R2D2 as was mentioned. I know that decrypting coded is illegal but I have been told this more than once.
I recently started to do the radio programming for our local rescue squad and it seems that I am always learning new things.
Just thought I'd check with you guys
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Old 07-30-2008, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZScanner View Post
Actually technically, there ARE scanners out there that will decode encrypted P25 transmissions. Sounds like R2D2 having a seizure, but they decode the signal just fine. Decrypting these comms is a whole other matter....

-AZ
Technically it is demodulating the signal, not decoding it, but the point is still the same.
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Old 07-30-2008, 1:12 PM
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I was searching some fed freqs a few months ago and one of the radios was in the clear. The operator was not aware but at least one other user could tell and told him to return to the station and have the radio rekeyed.
It could have been similar circumstances.

chris
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Old 07-31-2008, 7:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landscaperluke View Post
I was just wondering if anyone has been hearing about a scanner that decodes encrypted (secure) radio traffic on a digital radio system. I hear of several instances in my area that people have been recieving encrypted signals on police scanners. A patrol officer heard himself on a persons scanner, so he double checked his radio and it was on secure "code". Another time a dispatcher could hear herself over the phone and again the dispatch radio was set to secure "code".

I would like to what radios can do this. I was told that it may be a model by Uniden.
Thanks, Luke
Impossible. Never gonna happen.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:30 AM
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Basically, what the OP has been hearing are people who have no idea what they are talking about. There are a lot of them around radio, and many of them actually have to use radios on a daily basis.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landscaperluke View Post
I know that decrypting coded is illegal but I have been told this more than once. I recently started to do the radio programming for our local rescue squad and it seems that I am always learning new things.
Just thought I'd check with you guys
You're programming radios for your local "rescue squad" and you actually believe there's a scanner that will do digital decryption? Don't you have to have some kind of FCC license to be programming radios?
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Old 07-31-2008, 1:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAR2401 View Post
You're programming radios for your local "rescue squad" and you actually believe there's a scanner that will do digital decryption? Don't you have to have some kind of FCC license to be programming radios?
Yes, because only experts in the radio field are allowed to program radios right?
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Old 07-31-2008, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAR2401 View Post
You're programming radios for your local "rescue squad" and you actually believe there's a scanner that will do digital decryption? Don't you have to have some kind of FCC license to be programming radios?


It's not 1970 anymore
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:45 PM
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It's not 1970 anymore
No, but apparently the concept of sarcasm ended somewhere around then.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:09 PM
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Kinda like when people say that your Motorola radio on a TRS can be identified even if you don't key it up. Simply don't program it to affiliate on systems. Programming it with the SAME user ID as the dispatch console is another way - because if the stun the radio, something else goes down.

You can forget about downloading the encryption key from a radio, even if someone gave you one to get it from, it's a 1 way street. You can't download it. From what I understand, if, with some Motorola equipment, if it is left without power to the unit for an extended period, it will lose it's encryption code as well.
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