• 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

For those that stream scanner audio...

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K9GTJ

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For those of you sending a stream online, did you contact your local public service agencies? Anyone ever get hassled over the stream? Any legal issue ever come up over the streams?

I am just trying to get a feel about it as I do want to set one up.

Anything non technical on the topic is welcome.
 

Chrome69

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I am just going to run mine, if they ask to turn it off i will do so...I honestly don't see any harm, we can go buy a scanner and listen to them so whats the difference...
 

kb2vxa

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Hi all,

"there is no crime in that.. its public info.. the channels that arent public are encrypted."

No, it's NOT public info by a long shot! What's in the public domain is >broadcast< to the general public over radio, TV and the like while all other is >transmitted< and in the private sector. For definitions refer to The Privacy in Communications Act of 1934 and the later one the title and date unfortunately escapes my memory. The Act describes the crime involved and the penalties, however it does not include streaming audio on the Internet or other dissemination specifically. The law is specific regarding the listener but not the mode of dissemination, so while it's legal to make it available to the public and of course the public may receive it directly it's up to the listener regardless to keep the content private.

Regarding encryption, the FCC has mandated that "all transmissions of a sensitive nature must be encrypted" which is why the originator has the option of encrypting or transmitting in the clear. Some take full advantage by considering all radio traffic "sensitive" and use full time encryption. It's sort of like whispering, if what you're saying isn't all that important you speak normally and anyone nearby can hear but if it's some deep dark secret you whisper.

Now go to your dictionaries and look up "private" and "sensitive" so you'll know there IS a difference. Common speech is all too common but if you want to speak with authority use the correct words with specific meanings.
 

K9GTJ

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pinellasfirefighter said:
there is no crime in that.. its public info.. the channels that arent public are encrypted.
I am not oncerned about it being a crime or not. It seems to be an accepted hobby and I would not expect to be a legal test case.

I was more interested if there has ever been any negative (or positive) reaction.
 

pinellasfirefighter

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i can tell you i work for the fire dept and i have many law enfrocement friends i`ve asked them your question and they have never heard of anybody being hassled.. rca seems to have to much time on his hand nobody will ever be hassled about this matter unless they are using the info from a scanner to commit a crime..
 

N1TUI

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I might be splitting hairs here but when I set my feed up I chose not to feed the icall stuff. The folks on the system I am feeding use icall for more private discussions and reserve business for the group channels.

While I don't believe they should be using a public system that way, I am trying to show a little respect for the people doing public service work.

73
Frank
 

tspainiv

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I haven't been hassled about my feed. I was told by a PD officer, that the city had released a "memo" stating that their new radio system was online for people to hear. I haven't been asked, yet, to take it down, by either the county or the city.

I do try to watch what I put on the scanner though. I mainly just have all the fire dept. talkgroups and just the PD dispatches but not anything "sensitive" as in SWAT, or Drug bust talkgroups.

I have been emailed before by surrounding agencies thanking me for putting up the feed. They said they can monitor it and know if there is a situation close to them that they may end up having to participate in.

I see it just as Chrome69 does. Anyone can just go buy a scanner and listen to the same thing, so why should there be a problem with having it online so people who don't have the money to buy a scanner, especially a digital one, can listen?
 

mastr

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N1TUI said:
I might be splitting hairs here but when I set my feed up I chose not to feed the icall stuff. The folks on the system I am feeding use icall for more private discussions and reserve business for the group channels.

While I don't believe they should be using a public system that way, I am trying to show a little respect for the people doing public service work.

73
Frank
Sympathy would perhaps be more more fitting, as using an interoperability frequency for "private discussions" is such a poorly thought out idea that I would find it difficult to respect anyone who feels that is an appropriate use. There is no way I could have a reasonable expectation of privacy on an I-TAC channel for a number of reasons.

W
 

KC1UA

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This has been a LONG standing debate in numerous venues, and will probably continue to be forever. I've been streaming feeds for years and have not had an issue. Simply put, I think when your stream is "scanning" that departments really can't gripe about it too much, as you are not providing an "exclusive" feed for their department. If you provide a feed streaming one particular channel of a department, they may or may not take issue with it. I know that Connecticut State Police has made it abundantly clear that they do not want their transmissions fed over the internet.

I haven't done this yet, but it might be a good idea to provide an "open letter" at your website or feed host's site to any departments that your feed covers, providing them with the opportunity to e-mail you to request that their channels be removed from the feed. It's better to work with them than against them.

I think there is also an onus on feed providers to act with common sense. Do not include frequencies or talkgroups that are used for covert/tactical/surveillance type of operations. Sure, they're neat to listen to, but consider that you may be compromising the safety of the public safety officials involved. The argument "well, they should be using scrambling or encryption for that type of stuff" is lame; I work in the public safety field and trust me, the coffers are not bottomless. Equipment costs $$, and not all departments have $$. Treat them with respect and openness, and our feeds will continue to stream merrily into the future.
 

studgeman

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mastr said:
Sympathy would perhaps be more more fitting, as using an interoperability frequency for "private discussions" is such a poorly thought out idea that I would find it difficult to respect anyone who feels that is an appropriate use. There is no way I could have a reasonable expectation of privacy on an I-TAC channel for a number of reasons.

W
I belive Frank was referring to "Individual Call" conversations and not the interop channels. For those who don't know, trunked systems can have direct radio to radio calls that are not broadcast across a talkgroup. It is similar to Nextel's "Direct Connect"
 

mastr

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Ok, that makes more sense. In the few 800 systems I deal with that feature is referred to by another name, we use the term "sel call" although that isn't technicallly correct. Maybe it was done to eliminate this sort of confusion. I couldn't imagine why anyone would use I-CALL (or any of the I-TAC channels) for "private" use if there was anything else available. CB would probably offer less chance of being overheard.
 
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