• 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

Madisonville, TN - State considers bill to make it illegal for felons to own scanners

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kb2vxa

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"The bill would basically allow law enforcement to charge someone with illegal possession of a scanner/radio if it was found the scanner/radio had helped in the commission of the crime."
It's been a federal statute since 1934 and many states have adopted it since. IMO this is redundant since law enforcement has the power and the duty to prosecute up to and including the federal level.

"It would also make it illegal for anybody with a felony conviction in the previous five years to possess a scanner/radio."
Yeah, and how do they expect to enforce it outside of special circumstances such as a background check with the radio in plain sight during a traffic stop or warranted investigation?

"As for the charge, if the bill succeeds, Breeden said it would probably be an enhancement charge."
No probably about it, on its own it's quite useless. It raises the question; have any of you ever heard of existing statutes of this kind having been used at all? I'm just a little more than curious because I haven't.
 

DickH

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"The bill would basically allow law enforcement to charge someone with illegal possession of a scanner/radio if it was found the scanner/radio had helped in the commission of the crime."
It's been a federal statute since 1934 and many states have adopted it since. ....
If you're referring to the Communications act of 1934, there were no scanners then, so how could that be part of the federal statute?
 

davidbond21

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It has been a thorn in the side of law enforcement for many years, the thorn being that of lawbreakers having police radios/scanners that let them know where cops are and what they're doing.
Yup, because if you pass a law saying lawbreakers aren't allowed to own scanners, that'll stop the problem of criminals using them to aid their crime sprees. Maybe somebody should pass a law saying that felons aren't allowed to own guns, and then that will keep them out of ostensibly dangerous hands.

This quote from the article is quite illuminating of how useful scanners can be when trying to evade the law:
"I can't recall a drug bust in recent times," Breeden said, "where we didn't go in and find at least one scanner so they could listen to us. Sure, we can use cell phones, at least in town, but the radios offer quick communication.
Yes, those scanners really helped out those drug dealers all right. :roll:
 
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N_Jay

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Yup, because if you pass a law saying lawbreakers aren't allowed to own scanners, that'll stop the problem of criminals using them to aid their crime sprees. Maybe somebody should pass a law saying that felons aren't allowed to own guns, and then that will keep them out of ostensibly dangerous hands.
That is the nature of most laws.

In a perfect world, there would be only one law: "Do the right thing".

This quote from the article is quite illuminating of how useful scanners can be when trying to evade the law:

Yes, those scanners really helped out those drug dealers all right. :roll:
The article did not say how many busts did not happen, or were not successful, or were not as successful as they could have been, so your comment is really sort of a " :roll: "
 

davidbond21

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That is the nature of most laws.

In a perfect world, there would be only one law: "Do the right thing".
Correct. I was however referencing the OPs comment(which came from the article) that scanners have been considered a "thorn" in these law officers sides, as if passing this law would remove that thorn in any way. Now, it could be useful after the fact for an officer, but that is moot when the premise of the article is predicated on this law alleviating the use of scanners by criminals(felons) in evading the police or following police movements to engage in their illegal activities before an arrest takes place. While this may indeed be obvious to you and others, we are still reading media articles that state otherwise, of which it is a high probability that people who don't see this as obvious as you do, can form the opinion that we can pass laws that will change peoples behavior.
The article did not say how many busts did not happen, or were not successful, or were not as successful as they could have been, so your comment is really sort of a " :roll: "
No, it did not state any of those things. Of course, if a bust did not happen, it's hard to consider it within the context of the statement I quoted(much less implying the fact the bust didn't happen because of successful implementation of a scanner :roll: ). While it'd be short sighted to say that nobody has evaded the law using a scanner in that town, it's relevance here as an understood assumption vs quantifiable fact(not through the article but obtainable through police records) does not concede my point. How many terrorist attacks on our country fell apart without any doing by the US, or how many attacks have the US prevented but not publicized? The only answer to that is speculation, and if we were discussing a recent terrorist attack attempt in the tavern I were to engage in this use of these unknowns to defend attacks on the white house's(who are wildly unpopular in the political forum) job of tackling this issue, I would rightly and roundly be criticized for it. I think that applies here as well.

Now, for the other point, as far as not being successful or as successful, I can see where you're coming from, but successful or not, those officers coordinated their activities to gain entrance to a place that was suspected of being involved in narcotics activity. Whether they found drugs or not, if we are to take the officer at his word and ability to recall with significant enough accuracy, the scanners were conspicuously present at a majority(if not all) of these "busts." I will give you that yes, maybe some of these not successful or not as successful busts may have been the result of forewarning by listening to the scanner, letting them flush the dope or get rid of it somehow. What the scanners did not prevent was the police from showing up to these places in the first place, or allowing the targets to remain below the radar as obviously the police had a warrant or enough evidence of illegal activities to proceed with a "bust", successful or not, to begin with. It's akin to people buying scanners thinking they'll be able to know where the police are running the speed traps, and it betrays a certain level of naivete to think that way. In fact, it reminds me of the "Did Motorola Digital Radio Equipment Lead to Cincinnati Firefighter's Death" thread in this forum, where it came out of all the back and forth of best radio usage that if a firefighter is solely relying on the radio as his lifeline, then he's going to have trouble. A successful criminal is going to have well developed tradecraft of which monitoring law enforcement is one component, not the component, which to me is the lesson that can be derived from officer Breeden's statement. Therefore, I think my :roll: was warranted.
 
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N_Jay

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I think it is interesting that in lack of any information of;
1) Number of operations that use a receiver to avoid being busted.
2) Number of bad busts (everyone, and most evidence gone)
3) Number of partially bad busts (some of the people warned and some evidence gone)
4) Number of busts where a receiver yielded a unsafe (or less safe) condition to the officers.
gets the comment "The only answer to that is speculation,"

While the fact that just because "busts" occur, there is doubt presented that the fact that lawbreakers have receivers is (at least partially) dismissed as an significant issue.

Maybe I'm misreading the thread.
 

davidbond21

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I think it is interesting that in lack of any information of;
1) Number of operations that use a receiver to avoid being busted.
2) Number of bad busts (everyone, and most evidence gone)
3) Number of partially bad busts (some of the people warned and some evidence gone)
4) Number of busts where a receiver yielded a unsafe (or less safe) condition to the officers.
gets the comment "The only answer to that is speculation,"

While the fact that just because "busts" occur, there is doubt presented that the fact that lawbreakers have receivers is (at least partially) dismissed as an significant issue.

Maybe I'm misreading the thread.
In the lack of any specific information for any of these items, I'm not sure what else it is. I would agree that they are reasonable assumptions, but since you want to mention the significance of the issue, I would think we'd need to be able to quantify them in some manner as to determine their relative contributions to both aiding criminals in avoiding police action and also to the decrease in officer safety. I would even agree with you that these do add up to a significant issue, but once we start saying that, how exactly significant is it? Enough to warrant some serious thought and consideration, yes, but to use that as a mechanism, a low burden of proof, to make a decision about passing a law? I don't know about in general, but considering who the law actually effects, in this case it's not offensive to the constitution in my opinion.

Of course that was not really my original point, that in my zeal writing the second part of my earlier post seemed to have strayed from somewhat. Initially I was complaining about the futility of passing this law, which if you read the article you gather from it's theme that means it will keep scanners out of the hands of criminals, when it won't do anything of the sort. There is one mention at the end that correctly describes the utility of the law in being able to slap a felony charge onto maybe some lesser charges, and even use it as a bargaining chip for prosecutors, but the article's meme is clearly that by passing this law will "take an advantage away from the criminals that helps them elude capture", and is further suggested that this course of action would be more effective than buying encrypted radios, because they can't afford to replace 50 radios at once(which they probably can't, but I wonder what all the associated legislative costs added up to). Of course that's not to say that encrypted transmissions aren't entirely devoid of useful information to a criminal hoping to elude capture, but they must be clever in how they interpret it. The notion though that a law will keep criminals from obtaining scanners just because it says so, and this is as or more effective than encryption in precluding said criminals from monitoring law enforcement radio traffic as read in the original article is ludicrous.
 
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N_Jay

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I guess I see your point, if you use the over-simplified blurb from the article as the entire justification.
 

AZScanner

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Here in AZ a few years ago, we had a robbery gang going around robbing Sonic's - hence they earned the name "Sonic Bandits". Well, as happens with most serial criminals, they got caught eventually and, yep you guessed it, they were caught with a slew of scanners. Here's the funny part - they didn't bother to program the detective channels, so they had no idea they were under surveillance for several days before the bust went down.

These days, detective comm's are encrypted for the most part, and Nextel's are used as well, so a scanner won't do much good for drug dealers and the like. Sure you could use one to help you evade patrol officers during a pursuit or something, but once that air unit has you in sight you can forget about getting away.

I'm all for such a law if it means even more jail time for these idiots who think because they can listen to the cops they can't be caught. I'd love to see such a law enacted here where if you were caught committing a crime with your scanner it would end up at the next police auction where a guy like me could pick it up cheap. :D

-AZ
 

APTN

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Here in AZ a few years ago, we had a robbery gang going around robbing Sonic's - hence they earned the name "Sonic Bandits". Well, as happens with most serial criminals, they got caught eventually and, yep you guessed it, they were caught with a slew of scanners. Here's the funny part - they didn't bother to program the detective channels, so they had no idea they were under surveillance for several days before the bust went down.

These days, detective comm's are encrypted for the most part, and Nextel's are used as well, so a scanner won't do much good for drug dealers and the like. Sure you could use one to help you evade patrol officers during a pursuit or something, but once that air unit has you in sight you can forget about getting away.

I'm all for such a law if it means even more jail time for these idiots who think because they can listen to the cops they can't be caught. I'd love to see such a law enacted here where if you were caught committing a crime with your scanner it would end up at the next police auction where a guy like me could pick it up cheap. :D

-AZ
Now you're talking. :wink:
 

zerg901

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I suspect that the gun lobby has 1 answer for any new laws putting more limits on guns.

NO!

They probably learned that in Negotiation 101 or Civil Rights 101 or Due Process 101 or Rule of Law 101.

Peter Sz
 

cfr301

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Its Illegal for Felons to own guns too! I think this law is a waist of the paper its printed on, since when did ANYTHING being illegal stop criminals?
 

W6KRU

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Its Illegal for Felons to own guns too! I think this law is a waist of the paper its printed on, since when did ANYTHING being illegal stop criminals?
I was sitting with several coworkers in the cafeteria one day. They had a big screen with CNN on. There was a breaking news report of a couple of criminals that were carrying sawed-off shotguns that had robbed a bank somewhere. I stated that someone should inform the ignorant criminals that it was against the law to own a sawed-off shotgun. Out of the six people sitting with me, one of them busted out laughing. The others couldn't understand what was so funny. Oh well.
 

JoeyC

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Its Illegal for Felons to own guns too! I think this law is a waist of the paper its printed on, since when did ANYTHING being illegal stop criminals?
Laws of this nature are not intended to stop criminals from criminal activity, they give law enforcement more charges to file come arrest time.
More charges = more jail time and/or fines come judgement day. :lol:
 

mikepdx

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The inevitable 21st century loophole:

Would receipt of online PD transmissions via the web on a
wireless mobile device remain legal for felons?

Food for thought...
 
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cfr301

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Laws of this nature are not intended to stop criminals from criminal activity, they give law enforcement more charges to file come arrest time.
More charges = more jail time and/or fines come judgement day. :lol:
You go right on believing that, you'll feel so much safer in your bed tonight! All this law would do, is give defense attorney's and prosecutors something else to bargain out in plea bargain sessions, its a waist of time and tax payer money. This is somebody's feel good idea and that's the ONLY benefit anyone would get from it.

Most states already have a possession of criminal tools law on the books, that pretty much takes care of ANYTHING used to commit a crime including scanners.
 

kb2vxa

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"If you're referring to the Communications act of 1934, there were no scanners then, so how could that be part of the federal statute?"

I'll let the United States Code speak for itself if you care to read it.
 

Utah_Viper

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The inevitable 21st century loophole:

Would receipt of online PD transmissions via the web on a
wireless mobile device remain legal for felons?

Food for thought...
Not to derail the thread.... that opens a huge bag of worms that could affect many of us. What if they used these type laws as reason to make online feeds illegal. What about having your own scanner at home that streams to a private system such as Win500 can do?

very scary to carry out the thought and logical path that "lawmakers" could try to take.
 

JoeyC

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You go right on believing that, you'll feel so much safer in your bed tonight! All this law would do, is give defense attorney's and prosecutors something else to bargain out in plea bargain sessions, its a waist of time and tax payer money. This is somebody's feel good idea and that's the ONLY benefit anyone would get from it.

Most states already have a possession of criminal tools law on the books, that pretty much takes care of ANYTHING used to commit a crime including scanners.
What benefit comes from a "feel good idea"? :confused:
Plea bargains are part of the legal process. So what? If a plea were made to drop the scanner possession charge in lieu of a plea of guilty for the main crime, this is a win, so whats the problem?
 
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