How To 'Monitor' Encrypted Public Safety 'Peripherally' Vblog?

TailGator911

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I saw an interesting vblog a fewyears ago (Utube, if I remember correctly) where the guy described how he monitored his public safety encrypted agencies by 'peripherally' scanning other communications where he could follow conversations about what was happening (hospitals, hams, taxis, bus drivers, frs, truckers on cb, business bands, gmrs, tow trucks, delivery trucks, media, etc). Does anyone remember this blog and where it originated? It has since been taken down or I am mistaken about Utube. Very creative and informative, he sure knew his way around a scanner. He had an SDS100 and a BCD536HP and a few older analog scanners. I remember a BCT15X, as well. His vblog described how he knew which agency/entity to monitor that relayed information about when there was an emergency 911 dispatch. All of his scanners were assigned particular frequencies and he had a very unique way to scan his area when emergency vehicles were dispatched, and he demonstrated his technique on the vblog. Very interesting vid. Gave me some great ideas about setting up a good monitoring post and how to assign each scanner. I sure would like to watch it again.
 

Blazer7112

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Jul 11, 2005
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Location
Grayson, VA
Anyone can monitor ENC frequencies. If you have money and you go they the process. I do, and this is what I did.
My local department went encryption so I contacted the police department. To inquire. They have t
Me the cold shoulder. Then I went to county board of supervisors, they acted like they didn’t know what I’m talking about.
Then I did the research and began filing a FOIA request daily for the 911 tapes. The county did not produce all I requested. So I filled in circuit court.
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
 

KevinC

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Anyone can monitor ENC frequencies. If you have money and you go they the process. I do, and this is what I did.
My local department went encryption so I contacted the police department. To inquire. They have t
Me the cold shoulder. Then I went to county board of supervisors, they acted like they didn’t know what I’m talking about.
Then I did the research and began filing a FOIA request daily for the 911 tapes. The county did not produce all I requested. So I filled in circuit court.
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
Why can't you hear the "tac channels"? If the public has a right to the airwaves aren't the tac channels on the airwaves also?

Let us know how this works on the FBI.
 

GlobalNorth

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If the public has a "right" to the airwaves, why did you have to spend $800 for a programmed radio and sign a legal document that abrogates your right of free speech?
 

zeppelin11

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Jun 15, 2012
Messages
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Location
Dixie County, FL
Anyone can monitor ENC frequencies. If you have money and you go they the process. I do, and this is what I did.
My local department went encryption so I contacted the police department. To inquire. They have t
Me the cold shoulder. Then I went to county board of supervisors, they acted like they didn’t know what I’m talking about.
Then I did the research and began filing a FOIA request daily for the 911 tapes. The county did not produce all I requested. So I filled in circuit court.
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
That is very interesting, luckily my area is in the clear for now but good information to know. what other legal options are there that you are considering and why would you consider if you got what you wanted by monitoring encrypted channels?
 

hammer

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6
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Las Vegas,NV
Anyone can monitor ENC frequencies. If you have money and you go they the process. I do, and this is what I did.
My local department went encryption so I contacted the police department. To inquire. They have t
Me the cold shoulder. Then I went to county board of supervisors, they acted like they didn’t know what I’m talking about.
Then I did the research and began filing a FOIA request daily for the 911 tapes. The county did not produce all I requested. So I filled in circuit court.
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
LV
 

MTS2000des

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Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
I call B.S.
Plain and simple. Any "case law" would be public record and easily searchable/verifiable on legal search engines like Lexis/Nexis.
Didn't happen.
 

fredva

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Virginia/West Virginia
The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
The conclusion I would draw from your story is that the county didn't want to spend money and time defending its decision from one person, so the cheaper option for them (you paid the $800 for a radio) was to let that person listen to SOME of the encrypted traffic.
 

phillydjdan

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I call B.S.
Plain and simple. Any "case law" would be public record and easily searchable/verifiable on legal search engines like Lexis/Nexis.
Didn't happen.
Says the radio system administrator that also says you can't program a no-affiliate radio 😂
 

nosoup4u

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High Bridge, NJ
The conclusion I would draw from your story is that the county didn't want to spend money and time defending its decision from one person, so the cheaper option for them (you paid the $800 for a radio) was to let that person listen to SOME of the encrypted traffic.
Exactly, but this also shows what one person can achieve. Now imagine if you could get 20+ people to start filing FOIA requests on a regular basis on 1 department?
 

w2lie

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Long Island, NY
Back to OP's question:

I talked about something similar a few times on my podcast, Scanner School.
My local PD is encrypted so my monitoring habits had to change to know what is going on in the county.
While this doesn't give me all the info I need, this is how I can piece together some activity specifically for my area.
Your mileage my vary.



1. Listen to FD. If there is a major accident that requires extrication, EMS, or TRT, FD will be dispatched
2. Listen to State PD. They patrol the State Parkway system and may sometimes offer assistance to county PD
3. Listen to MTA. If there are problems due to the rail system such as person vs train, car vs train, etc, MTA will be notified
4. Buff group frequencies, if available in your area, can give you a clue.
5. Buff group chat groups. Our PD (encrypted) left 2 radios with FD dispatchers. Sometimes they will monitor PD and will drop a few hints in the chat group
6. Monitor USCG for water rescues (FD will usually assist here too)
7. Listen to Medcom. This won't give you location details, but you'll know the type of call that a PD EMS unit may be transporting
8. Media channels during rush hour are good. You'll hear the news helicopters chatting and talking to 'base'.
9. School bus companies can be interesting in the morning, especially the talk group that do the special pickups for kids who require services. They are always complaining if they are late and will explain why in great details over the radio like it is the worst day of their lives ;)
10. If you can find them, tow companies would be a good resource. However, I'm under the impression most tow companies want to remain secure so nobody snatches up their tows.

I'm sure there are more, but this would be how I adjust my listening habits. I don't listen to all 10 at once. I rotate through to give myself something new to listen to.
 

Saint

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Fort Erie Ontario Canada
Back to OP's question:

I talked about something similar a few times on my podcast, Scanner School.
My local PD is encrypted so my monitoring habits had to change to know what is going on in the county.
While this doesn't give me all the info I need, this is how I can piece together some activity specifically for my area.
Your mileage my vary.



1. Listen to FD. If there is a major accident that requires extrication, EMS, or TRT, FD will be dispatched
2. Listen to State PD. They patrol the State Parkway system and may sometimes offer assistance to county PD
3. Listen to MTA. If there are problems due to the rail system such as person vs train, car vs train, etc, MTA will be notified
4. Buff group frequencies, if available in your area, can give you a clue.
5. Buff group chat groups. Our PD (encrypted) left 2 radios with FD dispatchers. Sometimes they will monitor PD and will drop a few hints in the chat group
6. Monitor USCG for water rescues (FD will usually assist here too)
7. Listen to Medcom. This won't give you location details, but you'll know the type of call that a PD EMS unit may be transporting
8. Media channels during rush hour are good. You'll hear the news helicopters chatting and talking to 'base'.
9. School bus companies can be interesting in the morning, especially the talk group that do the special pickups for kids who require services. They are always complaining if they are late and will explain why in great details over the radio like it is the worst day of their lives ;)
10. If you can find them, tow companies would be a good resource. However, I'm under the impression most tow companies want to remain secure so nobody snatches up their tows.

I'm sure there are more, but this would be how I adjust my listening habits. I don't listen to all 10 at once. I rotate through to give myself something new to listen to.
I thought I was the only one who does this, Ever since my police department went TO ENCRYPTION several years ago I listen to all of these departments also, and I pick up a lot of information, especially in the winter everyone loves to talk on the radio's about everything:).
Steve
 

n1das

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Feb 17, 2003
Messages
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Location
Nashua, NH
I thought I was the only one who does this, Ever since my police department went TO ENCRYPTION several years ago I listen to all of these departments also, and I pick up a lot of information, especially in the winter everyone loves to talk on the radio's about everything:).
Steve
I recall hearing about a POTUS visit to a city 20+ years ago where an officer with the local PD on a traffic detail was heard repeating practically word for word what the USSS was saying on their encrypted radios for status updates. An agent from USSS was standing nearby the PD officer and the USSS radio could be heard chattering in the background over the PD radio.

It's all about learning to exploit the "holes" in the system to be able to listen to stuff.
 

MississippiPI

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Oct 4, 2004
Messages
587
Location
All over the Great State of Mississippi
Anyone can monitor ENC frequencies. If you have money and you go they the process. I do, and this is what I did.
My local department went encryption so I contacted the police department. To inquire. They have t
Me the cold shoulder. Then I went to county board of supervisors, they acted like they didn’t know what I’m talking about.
Then I did the research and began filing a FOIA request daily for the 911 tapes. The county did not produce all I requested. So I filled in circuit court.
About a week or two before the court date I was contacted by the sherriff and was told I could purchase a programmed radio from their vendor which would allow me to listen if I would sign a non disclosure agreement.
I agreed. And for 800$ And a bunch of time. I can listen to everything but the tac channels. I’m considering other legal options. Is why I cannot give location and documents.

The case law is clear. The public has the right to the airwaves. And the government has overstepped. I am not the first to do this.
Congrats on your victory of getting a radio, same thing sorta happened to me several yrs ago when I worked at TV station.

Be Safe
 

majoco

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Dec 25, 2008
Messages
3,649
Location
New Zealand
I would be very careful. They know that you have a radio that can listen to their encrypted transmissions. So as soon as there's even a hint of some leaked information, not necessarily by you, the finger will be pointed at you. Even if you do have written permission to listen to the encrypted transmissions, you can not divulge anything that you hear to a third party.
 

mmckenna

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Well, either way, encryption keys can be changed, and said $800 radio would no longer work. While I understand your point, and can appreciate that the agency offered you a solution, they do still have control.
 
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