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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 10-10-2009, 8:06 PM
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Default Scanners - Are They Really Needed?

I want to open this discussion by saying that the radio hobby is a great place to be. Lots of neat things to learn, good times to be had, good people most of the time. But, I want to address whether or not scanners should be available for just any person who wants them.

Should the communications act be re-written? Should a federal license be issued the same way an amateur license is issued, requiring a criminal background check AKA "Red Light Review" by the FCC before allowing the purchase and possession of a scanner?

Or

Should the Amateur Radio Community be the only thing available to those who want into the radio hobby given the fact that the amateur radio service is stated to be experimental in aim for the most part?

Is it really a right or a human need for people to listen to scanners just because the communications act doesn't prohibit scanning? Can we ever live without any ability to intercept communications? Is the risk to people using the various radio services too high in this day and age for there to be permissible monitoring? Should the FCC require all radio systems to be encrypted to prevent terrorism and harmful intelligence gathering?

What everyday service to the public merits the possession and use of scanners by anyone and everyone? Why should scanners and any implied privilege of radio interception be preserved? Make the case for AND against.

Keep it thoughtful and relevant!
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Old 10-10-2009, 8:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
I want to open this discussion by saying that the radio hobby is a great place to be. Lots of neat things to learn, good times to be had, good people most of the time. But, I want to address whether or not scanners should be available for just any person who wants them.

Should the communications act be re-written? Should a federal license be issued the same way an amateur license is issued, requiring a criminal background check AKA "Red Light Review" by the FCC before allowing the purchase and possession of a scanner?

Or

Should the Amateur Radio Community be the only thing available to those who want into the radio hobby given the fact that the amateur radio service is stated to be experimental in aim for the most part?

Is it really a right or a human need for people to listen to scanners just because the communications act doesn't prohibit scanning? Can we ever live without any ability to intercept communications? Is the risk to people using the various radio services too high in this day and age for there to be permissible monitoring? Should the FCC require all radio systems to be encrypted to prevent terrorism and harmful intelligence gathering?

What everyday service to the public merits the possession and use of scanners by anyone and everyone? Why should scanners and any implied privilege of radio interception be preserved? Make the case for AND against.

Keep it thoughtful and relevant!

Holy Cow!! I don't know where to begin with this one.

I guess if you want to control who gets to listen to scanners, you want to control guns, the types of cars, who gets to drive a car, what day do we buy groceries, where does it end. I'm a pretty politically conservative guy but I think the peoples right to monitor radio frequencies that are on the PUBLIC airwaves should not be infringed.

The less control by Gov't the better.

As for Amateur Radio community, thats a pretty smug comment, kind of self serving. What makes you believe that your group is any more special than anybody else? I think you opened up a major can of worms with this one, I hope the replies remain "civil"!
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Old 10-10-2009, 8:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
I want to open this discussion by saying that the radio hobby is a great place to be. Lots of neat things to learn, good times to be had, good people most of the time. But, I want to address whether or not scanners should be available for just any person who wants them.

Should the communications act be re-written? Should a federal license be issued the same way an amateur license is issued, requiring a criminal background check AKA "Red Light Review" by the FCC before allowing the purchase and possession of a scanner?

Or

Should the Amateur Radio Community be the only thing available to those who want into the radio hobby given the fact that the amateur radio service is stated to be experimental in aim for the most part?

Is it really a right or a human need for people to listen to scanners just because the communications act doesn't prohibit scanning? Can we ever live without any ability to intercept communications? Is the risk to people using the various radio services too high in this day and age for there to be permissible monitoring? Should the FCC require all radio systems to be encrypted to prevent terrorism and harmful intelligence gathering?

What everyday service to the public merits the possession and use of scanners by anyone and everyone? Why should scanners and any implied privilege of radio interception be preserved? Make the case for AND against.

Keep it thoughtful and relevant!
Geez, and I complain my wife asks alot of ir relevant questions.
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Old 10-10-2009, 8:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cfr301 View Post
Holy Cow!! I don't know where to begin with this one.

I guess if you want to control who gets to listen to scanners, you want to control guns, the types of cars, who gets to drive a car, what day do we buy groceries, where does it end. I'm a pretty politically conservative guy but I think the peoples right to monitor radio frequencies that are on the PUBLIC airwaves should not be infringed.

The less control by Gov't the better.

As for Amateur Radio community, thats a pretty smug comment, kind of self serving. What makes you believe that your group is any more special than anybody else? I think you opened up a major can of worms with this one, I hope the replies remain "civil"!
I can't be in charge of other people's behavior. All I can do is state my own intent and hope people abide by it. But, as to your comment on the airwaves being public...when a license is required for amateurs to operate and a license exists for almost all of the radio services withe the exception of CB, MURS, and FRS, I realistically don't see the airwaves as "public".

I had no intent to be smug and am sorry you saw it that way. I actually have an intent to help the scanning community but it's a surprise and hopefully, it'll play out the way I want and gain support. I can hint that it has to do with certain states limiting scanners in some way. We amateurs have a federal pre-emption, why not the scanning community?
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Old 10-10-2009, 8:44 PM
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Its called FRRREEEEEDOM !!!!!!!!!!! You can take my wife and you can take my money But you wont take my guns or my scanners. . And for the terrorist part, "It takes one to know one" Their is a reason why almost the whole world hates America. Dictating to other countries what they can and cant do is rediculous. Eventually everyone and everything will be controlled, its just a matter of time. So, stock up on bullets and batteries cause it dont look good to me
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Old 10-10-2009, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
I can't be in charge of other people's behavior. All I can do is state my own intent and hope people abide by it. But, as to your comment on the airwaves being public...when a license is required for amateurs to operate and a license exists for almost all of the radio services withe the exception of CB, MURS, and FRS, I realistically don't see the airwaves as "public".

I had no intent to be smug and am sorry you saw it that way. I actually have an intent to help the scanning community but it's a surprise and hopefully, it'll play out the way I want and gain support. I can hint that it has to do with certain states limiting scanners in some way. We amateurs have a federal pre-emption, why not the scanning community?
Point taken.

Truthfully I think that if STATES passed laws tough ones for using scanners in the commission of a crime, that would GO a LONG way to clearing up issues about scanning. I firmly believe thats whats said over the airwaves is free speech, Licensing is the privilege of transmitting a signal, same as it is in driving a car. If I follow your apparent train of thought, applying the analogy I just used, Passengers in my car would need a license to ride.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:03 PM
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Civil servants our our employees. We hire them, we pay them, and we have a right to know that they are doing their job - in a way that is fair, open, and forthright. Just as you are subject to monitoring by your employer at work, our civil servant employees should be subject to the same.

By the same token - and relevant to that argument - I feel that encryption, with very few exceptions, should not be allowed on public safety frequencies.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfr301 View Post
Point taken.

Truthfully I think that if STATES passed laws tough ones for using scanners in the commission of a crime, that would GO a LONG way to clearing up issues about scanning. I firmly believe thats whats said over the airwaves is free speech, Licensing is the privilege of transmitting a signal, same as it is in driving a car. If I follow your apparent train of thought, applying the analogy I just used, Passengers in my car would need a license to ride.
No. Not where I'm going. There are already laws in almost every state that make it illegal to use a scanner to further a crime or facilitate a crime. I'm talking about a special licensing that could take place which would teach some technical issues about using a scanner/receiver, the laws governing such, ethics in scanning, and then the issuance of a license by the FCC after a test is passed.

Now, if we can go there with this, scannists who aren't hams can then use PR91-36 as a firm piece of case law to back - up the push for a federal pre-emption that would do away with state level bans on scanners or other receivers that can be used to intercept all of the spectrum already allowed in the communications act. Then, no one has to worry about whether or not it's legal for scanners to be installed in their cars! Or, in Indiana, whether or not it's legal for you to have your scanner on your front porch or front yard. No one could force scanner users to obtain a state police permit ever again! PR91-36 would simply be the evidence that there is something substantial for scannists to urge the FCC to rule over each of the 50 states instead of re-writing 91-36 to cover scanners.

Edit: with the feeds up live, I see a danger possibly at some time and some place that mobile cmoputer users, even those with the apps on their cell devices could get nailed for having a sort of "scanning device" where it's restricted, illegal, or whatever. Let's protect innocent users!

Last edited by KC9NCF; 10-10-2009 at 9:07 PM..
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:06 PM
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Well, you have to have a license to own an automatic assault rifle right? But criminals still have full auto AKs and SMGs. That law doesn't stop them. How would making it illegal to have a scanner make it any more difficult for a criminal who wants one to get one, while taking away a privilege of law abiding citizens.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jjudson View Post
Civil servants our our employees. We hire them, we pay them, and we have a right to know that they are doing their job - in a way that is fair, open, and forthright. Just as you are subject to monitoring by your employer at work, our civil servant employees should be subject to the same.

By the same token - and relevant to that argument - I feel that encryption, with very few exceptions, should not be allowed on public safety frequencies.
Yes, ding, ding, ding! But, we need a VERY convincing argument to support that view!
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KF5ALO View Post
Well, you have to have a license to own an automatic assault rifle right? But criminals still have full auto AKs and SMGs. That law doesn't stop them. How would making it illegal to have a scanner make it any more difficult for a criminal who wants one to get one, while taking away a privilege of law abiding citizens.
That's a great question! You're also on the right path.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:15 PM
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Yes, ding, ding, ding! But, we need a VERY convincing argument to support that view!
No matter how you want to word it your advocating more control on a free or what used to be a free society, my analogy was very correct I'm not going to allow the Gov't to license the people who ride in my car before they can go with me. The same goes for scanning if you want to transmit then fine you need a license but to listen thats just flat out not going to fly.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:19 PM
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cfr301, I understand your feelings. I'm not advocating more control, just the elimination of any danger faced by scanner users while the law lags behind and a group gets left out of any respectable legal protections. With the advent of computers and cell phones being used as a way to receive these scanner signals, don't you think it should get some legitimate time to be considered for protection?
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:21 PM
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In the USA we are innocent until proven guilty. So until it's been proven that someone is using a scanner radio for some diabolical mission, they should continue to have the freedom to buy, own, and use a scanner radio for their personal hobby and entertainment.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:25 PM
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Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
cfr301, I understand your feelings. I'm not advocating more control, just the elimination of any danger faced by scanner users while the law lags behind and a group gets left out of any respectable legal protections. With the advent of computers and cell phones being used as a way to receive these scanner signals, don't you think it should get some legitimate time to be considered for protection?

You let the Gov't FCC or whatever start messing with this they'll mess it up just like everything else they tinker with, let a sleeping dog lay. As for the laws on the books they aren't tough enough in most states. Using a scanner as a criminal tool IMHO should be a felony. That ends the problem, because the only people you have to worry about having a scanner and using it for criminal purpose is criminals to begin with. Regulating the rest of us is just nuts.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:25 PM
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In the USA we are innocent until proven guilty. So until it's been proven that someone is using a scanner radio for some diabolical mission, they should continue to have the freedom to buy, own, and use a scanner radio for their personal hobby and entertainment.
Yes, but with these rights eroding bit by bit, we need to protect them by using substantial, factual, presentations of exactly what you are saying so it doesn't get put asunder if you know what I mean. You are advocating in short what I'm saying, but I'm talking about taking it further and getting documented legal protection so as not to lose it and have that freedom remain intact.
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Old 10-10-2009, 9:48 PM
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Yes, but with these rights eroding bit by bit, we need to protect them by using substantial, factual, presentations of exactly what you are saying so it doesn't get put asunder if you know what I mean. You are advocating in short what I'm saying, but I'm talking about taking it further and getting documented legal protection so as not to lose it and have that freedom remain intact.
I think you'll be opening a big can of worms! Live and let live. Leave well enough alone. You'll be bringing unwanted attention to the hobby and when the fear mongers find they have some new ammunition you'll be in for the battle of your life.

I do not think there is any imminent threat to our hobby.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
Yes, but with these rights eroding bit by bit, we need to protect them by using substantial, factual, presentations of exactly what you are saying so it doesn't get put asunder if you know what I mean. You are advocating in short what I'm saying, but I'm talking about taking it further and getting documented legal protection so as not to lose it and have that freedom remain intact.
Dude u need to drop your stupid political crap about scanning. Take care of the homeless and the hungry first, then when u make the world a safer place for me to walk or talk in, you can worry about threats to scanning, ufo's or ET coming back home. . . We're here to share info and scan and have lots of fun, SOOOOO stop bugging and go back to MY SPACE or where ever you go to cause little rifts
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:40 AM
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What everyday service to the public merits the possession and use of scanners by anyone and everyone? Why should scanners and any implied privilege of radio interception be preserved?
So just because people enjoy a particular recreational past time that really serves no purpose other than entertainment, it should be illegal? I think your tinfoil hat is on a little too tight!
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Originally Posted by KC9NCF View Post
We amateurs have a federal pre-emption, why not the scanning community?
Federal pre-emption to do what? I am an amateur radio operator and the only thing I have that non-amateur radio operators have is the right to transmit on certain frequencies.
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Last edited by scottaschultz; 10-11-2009 at 12:46 AM..
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:43 AM
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The KOW has spoken .. Now move along.. nothing more to see...
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