• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Cleveland Bank robbers used cell phone scanner apps to track police

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#3
I hope this opens a few eyes on Guys putting there scanners online.
One thing to put Air Traffic controllers, Fire EMS but Police Traffic is different. I hope who ever had there scanner on line feel bad about helping out the bad guys. no wonder every one wants to encrypt everything now.
Just my 2cents.
 

rdale

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#4
I hope this opens a few eyes on Guys putting there scanners online.
Not really, since they could have bought a scanner just as easily.

I hope who ever had there scanner on line feel bad about helping out the bad guys.
Actually as a user of RR, you are just as guilty since you are supporting this forum which supports the streamers.
 
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#5
Dare I ask ... just how useful was the live feed to the string of robberies? I'm wondering what they heard that made them think it was okay to walk into a bank. It's not like they have a live AVL map of every patrol car in the city.

I'm thinking the only benefit was a false sense of security.

Someone should take a recording of dispatch announcing "robbery suspects in custody" and play it for these bozos.
 
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#6
I haven't read the article, but does it say anything about it coming from RR or are you just jumping to conclusions?
 

CoolCat

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#7
Not really, since they could have bought a scanner just as easily
They could have bought a scanner (and learned how to use and program it) just as easily as downloading a free app on their cell phone (where all they have to do is type in the town they want to hear)?

Actually as a user of RR, you are just as guilty since you are supporting this forum which supports the streamers.
No, that statement is just flat out wrong.
 
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#8
What's really funny about this, is that the CPD and CFD are on the air courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. They use a radio programmed by the CPD. The scanner audio is random and can not be stopped on any of the six Cleveland precincts. Channel 19 has always been a 'sensationalist' news broadcaster. Reading the article just shows they have no clue about what they are inferring. I may reside in GA now, but was a native Clevelander.
JMTCW,
Larry
 

CoolCat

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#9
I haven't read the article, but does it say anything about it coming from RR or are you just jumping to conclusions?
I don't think it really matter where the feed was hosted. It is the cellphone apps that are the issue, not the feed source.

If the feeds were limited to just computers then it wouldn't be be an issue, but the cellphone apps ARE becoming a problem. The apps ARE a legitimate reason why police depts are going encrypted.
 
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#10
They could have bought a scanner (and learned how to use and program it) just as easily as downloading a free app on their cell phone (where all they have to do is type in the town they want to hear)?
Maybe for the surrounding area, but Cleveland is digital and using an ancient Moto system called VSELP. No scanner out there can monitor it.
Just thought I'd throw that into the mix.
Larry
 

redbeard

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#11
I don't think it really matter where the feed was hosted. It is the cellphone apps that are the issue, not the feed source.

If the feeds were limited to just computers then it wouldn't be be an issue, but the cellphone apps ARE becoming a problem. The apps ARE a legitimate reason why police depts are going encrypted.
Yeah because NOBODY has a WHOLE COMPUTER with mobile data capability on 3G/4G networks...

/sarcasm

By your argument we should take away anything that makes it easy for 'dumb' criminals to commit a crime?
 
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#13
As someone else stated - I doubt these criminals actually got much real benefit from their efforts. anyone serious enough to moniotor during a crime woiuld just learn how to use a digital scanner, to aviod the delay and to be able to pick specific TG's to monitor.

Still, it is minus one point in the eyes of LE officials, I'm sure. Let's wait and see how long until they try to go ENC now.
 

jerk

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#14
Heck, just check the cell tower logs, can't have been that many "streaming" data, and if the same number shows up at bank robbery b, c, d... they are good as caught.

Of course LE will have to get the cell phone companies cooperation.
 
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#15
Heck, just check the cell tower logs, can't have been that many "streaming" data, and if the same number shows up at bank robbery b, c, d... they are good as caught.

Of course LE will have to get the cell phone companies cooperation.


This may work, but I'm against that completly. That just brings us deeper into the "police state". What, does that mean that I should be scarred now if a crime occurs in the area that I am using my completly legal and legitamate cell app?


Just seems like another way to invade privacy to me.

Although, I still will admit that these fools are a black eye to our hobby.
 

CoolCat

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#16
anyone serious enough to moniotor during a crime woiuld just learn how to use a digital scanner, to aviod the delay and to be able to pick specific TG's to monitor.
Yes, the smart ones would; but most criminals are idiots (after all, that's why they robbed a bank and got caught). The apps just make it too easy.

Still, it is minus one point in the eyes of LE officials, I'm sure. Let's wait and see how long until they try to go ENC now.
I think it is minus a lot more than just "1 point". If I was in LE and it was up to me to decide whether or not to go encrypted, this would be the only reason I need to justify it.
 
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#17
Thing is.......the cellphone probably HELPED law enforcement catch the criminals.

There have been cases before where cell phone records were used to find out what phones were located in the vicinity at the time of the crimes.

It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to tie 5 robberies together based on what phone was in the vicinity of each robbery as well as any telephone number dialed or web site visited.

After the 2nd or 3rd robbery, all you have to do is "follow the phone" to the next bank robbery.

Perhaps the goal of the story was to lure more criminals into using a technology that will actually AID law enforcement........It's like voluntarily wearing a tracking device..........It's quite brilliant, if you stop and think about it.
 

dampier

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#18
Here we go.

I don't intend to address all of these comments to any poster in this thread specifically, but rather address this to those who have the knee-jerk "encrypt first, ask questions later"-mentality.

One of the posters here thought it was fine to stream fire/ems, but not police. Really? There are several counties in this country that extend their self-important "daddy" mentality to fire/ems communications and encrypt them as well. Why? Beyond "because they can" and fears of a watchful public and media listening in to keep them honest, the argument goes out -- "what if an arsonist was listening?" I've even heard the nonsense about members of the public using the scanner as some sort of beacon to rush on down to major incidents and "get in the way." (Evidently the smoke plume and screaming sirens can't compare to someone with a Radio Shack portable.)

I'd argue about as many people are familiar with scanner apps as those familiar with police and fire scanners -- it's a small minority. If they didn't have the scanner app, they could carry a portable scanner with them. It's been done before in a small number of cases -- too few in my opinion to allow for wholesale encryption of government communications, much less the shaming of volunteer streamers here. Anyone who tries to assign blame to a stream feeder here for someone else's criminal actions isn't just out of left field, they are miles from the ballpark.

The "story" linked here was a shoddy piece of TV journalism to begin with. Let's analyze:

"19 Action News has new details..."

I am quivering with anticipation.

"...about how two suspected serial bank robbers pulled off several bank jobs with ease."

With ease? Most bank robberies begin and end in a matter of minutes. No robber is going to sit around counting the cash at the teller window until they hear some police call dispatched. They grab the money and go. Perhaps they tried to use the apps to elude police, but let's reserve judgment on whether they were successful for a second.

"Instead of using guns during the robberies, the suspects downloaded police scanner apps to their cell phones to track police whereabouts."

What? Was there no room in their pockets for the guns because they were packing iPhones? What does one have to do with the other?

And, my friends, what good did the scanner apps ultimately deliver to our "high-tech" bandits?

"Richard Persa and Matthew Holland were arrested earlier this week after police followed their footprints in the snow."

I guess there isn't an app for that!

The obvious conclusion here is that 3G/4G access notwithstanding, criminals are generally stupid with or without technology, and their master-plan to outwit law enforcement feel completely apart by pesky shoe prints in the snow.

Now ask yourselves, would encrypting police communications:

a) convince the criminals it was too risky to commit bank robbery?
b) impact the dispatch of police?
c) have contributed to the police catching these master criminals, thanks to shoe prints?

I'm not convinced losing the ability to monitor our government in action is worth giving up because some nitwits held up a few banks. That being said, I'm not opposed to passing laws that increase penalties for those using these communications while engaged in criminal activity.
 

blantonl

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#19
They were caught, the feeds are delayed 1-2 minutes, and the radio scans all channels for CPD.

Yea, I don't think they got much intel from using a feed to further their efforts.

Seriously folks, these guys were caught by the police following their snow tracks....
 

CoolCat

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#20
Thing is.......the cellphone probably HELPED law enforcement catch the criminals.

There have been cases before where cell phone records were used to find out what phones were located in the vicinity at the time of the crimes.

It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to tie 5 robberies together based on what phone was in the vicinity of each robbery as well as any telephone number dialed or web site visited.

After the 2nd or 3rd robbery, all you have to do is "follow the phone" to the next bank robbery.

Perhaps the goal of the story was to lure more criminals into using a technology that will actually AID law enforcement........It's like voluntarily wearing a tracking device..........It's quite brilliant, if you stop and think about it.
I don't think anybody needs to be 'lured' into using a cellphone. Chances are, the criminals would have had a cellphone on them anyways (this is 2011, everybody has a cellphone). They could be 'tracked' using any cellphone, if the police had a legal right to obtain that information.
 
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