Heard some cool stuff - unsure what to do!

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Gator596

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Hi Folks,
Was stumbling through the Service Search frequencies of my bcd396xt (I still can't figure how to program it properly!) when I came accross some members of a law enforcement surveillance team in my area chatting. These guys were exhibiting terrible radio discipline - calling themselves and other officers by first and last name, naming suspects and giving their location by naming streets by real name.
Clearly they thought they were on a secure network. It made for really interesting listening, especially because I knew the area they were in.
My question is, do I post the frequency in the appropriate area forum so other can enjoy it? If I post it, I worry that the officers will find out they are not on a secure net and change to one that is. Given their employer, I am sure they have the ability to do so.
Discussion?
Thanks,
Gator596
 

Chris-KH2PM

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Yep, don't divulge what you hear. Keep the frequency to yourself (don't post it or submit it to RR). Enjoy it while the comms are in the clear!
 

FLRAILMAN

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Heard some cool stuff-unsure what to do!

These replies you're receiving from our forum brothers are very good advice.

FLRAILMAN
 
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hoser147

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He didnt know what to do so he asked, didn't divulge no anything that is really important as to compromise the operations. IE: persons place things. No real reason to remove the thread. Might serve to educate others. Just a bonus in the hobby........

EDIT: BTW Welcome to RR
 
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hoser147

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Yep got it, Being a newbie it was good to ask rather than just post and open up a whole can of worms. If it gets read by someone involved maybe they will tightn up their act who knows?;)
 

davidbond21

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This actually sounds pretty typical of surveillance. Names are usually used in lieu of unit IDs, as surveillance teams are usually smaller groups who know each other pretty well. And it's pretty difficult to conduct mobile surveillance without calling out street names and directions of travel. Now as far as calling out suspects names over the air, this is generally not done. Almost always the person of interest is labeled as the target or the crook or some other term. The only time I can say I've heard names called out in this context, is when they're running a license plate check or address of some unknown person they run across. And just to let you know, most of what I'm referring to I've heard from big city and federal operations in the clear, so it's not just some podunk Mayberry police unit I'm basing this information off of.

Especially if this surveillance team thought they were on a secure channel, they'd definitely be talking this way because, why have radio discipline if nobody outside your small group can hear you anyway. I would find that hard to believe though; usually a conventional frequency is either 100% encrypted if it's meant to be a secure channel, or it's a frequency used by this surveillance team and they have the ability to turn the encryption on their radios on or off. The latter case I've frequently heard, and this is readily apparent because most of the radios will be sending encrypted transmissions, but with P25, there is no audio difference between un/encrypted digital voice. So it is very easy for one or more members to not have their encryption turned on and not realize it and talk this way for the duration of the operation. If you were hearing all the units unencrypted, I would not read too much into them thinking they were on a secure net. I more often than not hear surveillance in the clear, and this is from the same teams I've heard use encryption before, so in my case, these LEOs have made a knowing choice. Not to mention, it is a known fact where I live, the law reads this forum, and used it to track down a member here that lived in that city. And yet, these agencies still use unencrypted comms for a lot of surveillance. That's just my two cents.
 

davidmc36

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This actually sounds pretty typical of surveillance.
It is pretty typical around here too. Conscious choice to leave ENC off is my bet too. Seems to be off more than on. Don't usually hear names of the 10-66 though. Often lots of "colourful" vocabulary too.
 

kb2vxa

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As a post script, you were wise to ask but unwise to divulge the general scope of what you heard. Frequencies are always welcome additions to the database but there are ways to "disguise" their true purpose, you will learn.

As an aside, once upon a time one of the detectives in my home town told me when I asked about "channel 6" and he even told me the frequency. It's not like that anymore since they became paranoid, encryption and all that so when you discover a "secret channel" it's best to keep it secret or it goes bye bye and you spoil it for yourself.

One thing I should mention you being new and all, previously there was quite a heated discussion about it. Things went back and forth, even the mod got into it, certain ramifications had to be carefully explained such as who reads these forums. When it became clear there may be bad guys lurking here and such discussion can put lives at stake finally the light shone.

I guess that's as good a way as any to thank you for not posting the frequency, you are wise and you are learning. Welcome to the hobby and RR, but when you can snatch the pebble from my hand, Grasshopper, it's time for you to leave. (;->)
 

Gator596

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Thanks to all for the wise advice.
BTW, the guys involved have either moved on out of the area or have changed freqs. If the latter, I doubt is was because of anything posted here.
Thanks again,
 

davidbond21

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Thanks to all for the wise advice.
BTW, the guys involved have either moved on out of the area or have changed freqs. If the latter, I doubt is was because of anything posted here.
Thanks again,
I would say that, at least on conventional systems, surveillance teams mostly use low power simplex. Often, they're in close proximity to each other so using a repeater is almost completely unnecessary, not to mention the fact they're not trying to broadcast to everybody what they're doing.

If you're still listening to this frequency, and you don't hear anything else on it again for a good long while, it could be that the people you were hearing are from larger, maybe even government agency, that just happened to follow someone into your neck of the woods briefly, and not your local law enforcement. If this is the case, your frequency may already have been posted in the database in one of the nearby larger cities, and finding it could let you identify who they are. Just a thought.
 

torrespi

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IInteresting discussion Gator 596 … I could see you point in regards to what to do!

A good Intercept Operator or Scanner Hobbyist never divulges its content or information as KB2VXA stated!

It is good protocol that you followed!

In the operational security side of the surveillance team, it did put them in harms way and bad guys can do counter surveillance as well and monitor just like you did Gator596.

Then there is the valid point as far as concerns for the safety of the officers and that the officer’s surveillance position is identified.

In addition as far legalities, the law is different in each jurisdiction.

You would have to research your area of Niagara Region of Ontario gator 596.

Generally you could be charged with a crime by the government officer’s such as they possibly could allege obstruction of justice and interfering with law enforcement or other applicable laws as in regards to you posting active law information !

Yeah I know … I don’t make the rules …Just giving you a heads up! I’m sure like positive input on this good subject!


Until then.
 

ampulman

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It is pretty typical around here too. Conscious choice to leave ENC off is my bet too. Seems to be off more than on. Don't usually hear names of the 10-66 though. Often lots of "colourful" vocabulary too.
I do a lot of monitoring of Fed channels. It seems strange that many comms are half encrypted; half clear. Since many times, I hear them test clear vs. encrypted mode (a conscious choice), why would they not just go all encrypted, all of the time (some are)?

Amp
 

mciupa

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Hi Gator596

There isn't much out there in Niagara Region or Southern Ontario that hasn't been monitored already.

If you can't see it in the database listing, please submit it to the database. Our DB's will know if it is a duplicate or not. As has been mentioned, it is best not to post publicly.

What I do when I come across an unexpected "in the clear" E talkgroup or freq. is checkmark it on my hard copy listings.
 
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rvictor

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I realize that law enforcement officers should know whether their communications are secure or not and should be trained to not reveal their operations by careless use of the radio. I also realize that any criminal can buy a scanner and learn to use it just as well as we can.

That said, it's interesting that there has been no discussion in this thread about the possible dangers that these officers faced by the manner in which they were operating nor consideration of whether we should perhaps make them aware that they are in the clear and therefore possibly at risk. It seems to me that we should at least give some thought as to whether their safety and the success of their operation might not be more important than what we like to listen to.

Just food for thought and not intended as criticism of either the OP or of any of the posters in this thread.

Dick
 

torrespi

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Your right rvictor ..catch 22 if you ask me ..your report it and they want to charge you or give you a hard time for your concerns and other issues...or they thank you are greatfull that you brought it to ther attention.. ( roll the dice !) .

I did bring up the possible dangers in which I stated " it did put them in harms way and bad guys can do counter surveillance as well and monitor just like you did Gator596.

Then there is the valid point as far as concerns for the safety of the officers and that the officer’s surveillance position is identified.

Any way cool ....Great replies !
 
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