Listening to cell phones 2017. Possible??

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scott123

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Hello ... I know this has been asked before, and 99.99 percent of you will say it can't be done, but is there some way to pick up cell phone frequencies in this day and age? My thinking is there MUST be, there HAS to be ... somehow. ... I mean can't law enforcement or government eavesdrop on just about anyone with some sort of advanced scanner? What do they use? .... I just remember back in the old days listening on my Radio Shack scanner and it was an absolute blast. Yes, I know everything has changed, but I never had more fun .. I'm just looking for a way to do it again if it's at all possible.

By the way, I wasn't sure where to post this so I put it here. Feel free to move the post if it's the wrong category. Thanks.
 

buddrousa

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The simple answer is no.
That was when the FCC stepped in and required all cell phone frequencies be blocked in scanners. Local police do not have the ability to listen to cell phone traffic the would be the 3 letter Government agencies.
 

scott123

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True ... blocked in the USA. But there are export scanners that have no gaps ... But the problem there is (I guess) that it's analog and most cell frequencies are digital now. It just seems to me that SOMEONE has to know how to do this now ... whether it's some sort of hack or advanced scanner. (By the way, I'm not talking about those apps where you listen to specific numbers etc.)
 

scan_nepal

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Cell phones? Heck I can't even monitor cordless phones nowadays! Government simply taps exchanges rather than via air traffic. At least that's what I think they do. :)

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radio3353

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To the OP,

I suggest you get your nosiness under control.
 

Darkstar350

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Yes most scanners do have the cellular frequencies blocked and even if you could hear the cell freqs you would only hear a bunch of a noise so you would need a "Stingray" type device to decode it and thats only going to happen if you are affiliated with federal govt or law enforcement
The only remotely practical thing to attempt would be to monitor cellular freqs with a service monitor(which is also a very expensive piece of equipment) and that would basically just show you signal strength, etc
Either way its very illegal and this thread is probobly going to get locked soon...
 

KK4JUG

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is there any analog systems out there?
the last one i heard was in the florida keys, years ago.
I think there's a small segment of agricultural groups in Arizona that still use analog but I also think it's being phased out by 2018.
 

RRR

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Simple answer is: Yes.

Ever heard of a "Stingray"? If someone gets a hold of one, they could really wreak havoc. But they are used everyday to listen in to phone calls without warrant.

Pretty bad when little 2 man departments in one horse towns are using them.
 

n1das

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The simple answer is no.
That was when the FCC stepped in and required all cell phone frequencies be blocked in scanners. Local police do not have the ability to listen to cell phone traffic the would be the 3 letter Government agencies.
The simple answer is no but the FCC part is incorrect. Requiring scanning devices to be incapable of receiving or being readily altered by the user to receive on frequencies allocated to analog cell phones was enacted by Congess, not FCC. The FCC had nothing to do with it but has to do what Congress tells them whether they like it or not. The law set a dangerous precedent of radio frequency censorship.

IMHO, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA '86) and the cellular scanner ban set dangerous and grave legal precidents that say: (1) Banning radio receivers is OK in a free society, and (2) regulating what people may listen to is OK in a free society, based solely on the contents of the communications.



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n1das

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To the OP,

I suggest you get your nosiness under control.
Radio listeners are not being nosey. It is the people that do the transmitting that are being exhibitionists in public. It is a mistaken notion that radio communication privacy can be achieved by declaring certain radio transmissions illegal to monitor and banning radio receivers capable of receiving "prohibited" transmissions. Such beliefs are rooted in common misconceptions about the physically public nature of radio transmissions. The courts have also held there is no privacy implied while transmitting on the public airwaves.

A useful loophole in ECPA '86 allows monitoring communications that are "readily accessible to the public" but leaves what is readily accessible to the public wide open to definition. Don't listen to anything I wouldn't listen to.




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n1das

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Technically Possible: Yes
Feasible for the average listener: No
Legal in the U.S. for the average listener: No
Good concise and accurate summary.

While today's digital cell phones are more secure and offer infinitely more capabilities compared to analog cell phones from 20+ years ago, they are still far from private.

I recommend adding to your list: Reasonable for a cell phone user to expect privacy: No.



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mikewazowski

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Gents, if you have no intention of answering the question, please refrain from posting.

Smart aleck comments and posts containing nothing but emoticons serve no useful purpose.

Thanks.
 

KK4JUG

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Good concise and accurate summary.

While today's digital cell phones are more secure and offer infinitely more capabilities compared to analog cell phones from 20+ years ago, they are still far from private.

I recommend adding to your list: Reasonable for a cell phone user to expect privacy: No.



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If there is no expectation of privacy in cell phones, why does it take a search warrant to legally check the contents of a phone or surreptitiously legally listen to a conversation?
 
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