Encryption to end scanners as we know it?

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mjkoe

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Question: Will encrption be the end of listening to police scanners? Will or can you ever get your scanner to listen to encrypted frequencies?
 

gewecke

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I'm not too concerned,since it's not likely in my area. Budgets usually don't allow for it in this area without a lot of hassle.

73,
n9zas
 

MdListener

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Question: Will encrption be the end of listening to police scanners? Will or can you ever get your scanner to listen to encrypted frequencies?
Even with tight budgets, encryption is more affordable and dependable for governments than it has ever been. It's an especially attractive option when systems are replaced, as evidenced when Washington County started with it's UHF P25 system about 2 years ago. All of the law enforcement talkgroups are encrypted, with the only exceptions being the main dispatch TG's for Hagerstown PD and MSP/Sheriff.

There are certainly valid reasons for having and using encrypted channels, but when everything is scrambled, including dispatch, like Frederick PD (I believe it still is), that is a concern, and the police also lose the real potential for help from the montitoring public. As for breaking encryption - I suppose it's possible with enought time and dedication, but not very likely.
 

n5ims

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Question: Will encrption be the end of listening to police scanners? Will or can you ever get your scanner to listen to encrypted frequencies?
Answers:

* Will encrption be the end of listening to police scanners? (Scanners are for much more than just the police so my answer is a bit more general.) No, encryption will not be the end of scanner use since if you try to listen to more than just your local PD and FD, you may find things that can be even more interesting than hours and hours of running license numbers (cars & people) and the occasional interesting call. I've found that a local golf course's beverage/snack cart conversations are often more interesting than the PD transmissions are.

* Will or can you ever get your scanner to listen to encrypted frequencies? Don't count on it since it's illegal in the US and many other countries to do so. This feature will most likely never be added to the typical scanner and even if you got an actual radio with the encryption hardware you'll still need to find the correct decryption key (where other laws will make things even worse for you if found). It may be possible to save a transmission and use a computer to "break" the encryption, but this will be quite a bit of work to simply hear a routine transmission. While some agencies use the same key for years, others change it often (think days or even hours) so taking the time to find one key won't guarantee you'll be able to use it to decode other transmissions by the same agency.
 

leonzo

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For people who listen primarily to law enforcement, yes encryption will end the casual monitoring of law enforcement as we presently know it. Unfortunately the "live feeds" are doing more to encourage encryption of law enforcement frequencies then anything else. The more agencies that are re-broadcast over the Internet, the easier it is for agencies to cite that as the reason to encrypt ALL law enforcement operations. I have never spent time listening to non public safety radio operations. I do not forsee myself listening to "golf courses" or fast food drive thru window ops. Sorry, that just isn't something that I will be doing!
 

redburgundy

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This is not a Maryland-related subject and the moderators should close this thread.
 
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