OAKLAND: Criminals Using Smart-Phones To Monitor Police Activity

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scannerboy02

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OAKLAND: Criminals Using Smart-Phones To Monitor Police Activity

I think it's worth mentioning several stations reported live on air the day two LEO's were killed in West Memphis that a citizen using a iPhone app to monitor that incident spotted the suspect vehicle in the parking lot and directed units to the vehicle.

I am a little surprised that that story has not been widely reported nor was mentioned in the story above.

These apps can be used for good and bad but the mainstream media seems to focus a little more on the bad.
 
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cousinkix1953

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Somebody using one of those aps helped to capture a rapist in Concord just a few days ago. This story was buried in the back pages of KTVU.com; but I don't recall it being mentioned on the air. Naturally, the video piece about the crooks is still up there.

Of course the mass media is obsessed with the criminals. One in a hundred people might commit a crime with a gun. The 99 others who don't rob and kill somebody aren't news. Not good for ratings either. Don't look for objectivity as long as radio and TV stations owned by corporate entities, whose only purpose if to make big $$$$$...
 
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als365

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I saw this story on the news a few days ago and find it interesting that these apps have been around for a while and the police are just now discovering them. It may also be that they have known about them but haven't had the need to bring up the topic until now.
 

Window_Seat

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It's always been common knowledge among LEAs that scanners (even though these are iPhones) exist out there, and that the media, private citizens & criminal thugs listen and even the cops themselves use them to listen to surrounding agencies. It's important to remember also that since we pay for these agencies, we should be able to listen to what they are doing. It was actually a CHP officer who recommended to me that I go out and get the iPhone for the purpose of listening. The media knows this very well, I just can't understand why they suddenly decided that it's necessary to air this thing.

As far as the media focusing on the bad, that's how they keep their ratings, and the Legislature only knows how to target only the law abiding & responsible, because they don't know how to go after criminals, and this will be the case when (not if) they start trying to tweak 636.5pc to make it so the gangbanger thugs can have theirs but us peon sheeple can't. It'll be in the same category as gun control.

Erik.
 

DPD1

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Unfortunately, the perception by even much of the public, is that the public should not be able to monitor. Which is odd, considering how much distrust there is of the government. But go on youtube and look at videos people have made of their radios. You'll often find comments from people saying they don't think that should be legal.

I think the only thing that has stopped the media from turning monitoring into one of their famous 'exposés'... Is the fact that they use them, themselves. Otherwise, they would have been all over it a long time ago... and probably helping to kick off some sort of ban. I was waiting for it to happen with mil stuff after the attacks... "Tonight at 10... Our military can be monitored by anyone! Including the terrorists! What should be done???". And there goes the mil band in radios. But it never happen, thank god.

But I've said it before, I'll say it again... The best thing we could ever do for the hobby is just keep our mouths shut and lay as low as possible.
 

scannerboy02

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It has been my experience as a independent news photographer working closely with LEO's every day that most (the good ones) don't mind that people with scanners and the media can hear them as a scanner requires some knowledge to program and operate in a manner that one could know what they were doing (frequencies, radio codes, etc.).

What they seem to be unhappy about is that things like Internet streams, iPhone app's and iScanner's are taking the hardest part (the programing) out of the equation and that's making it a lot easier for people (the bad ones) to monitor.

I do not think it would be easy for a law to be passed stopping people from monitoring on a scanner but I would not be surprised to see a (perhaps unsuccessful) attempt made at passing a law stopping Internet streaming soon.

In the end I just see things like this causing more and more agencies to take steps to make communications unmonitorable.

As a side note the media will always be able to monitor because they would not stop fighting until they were given a radio that at least has the main channels in it. The government may be able to stop the public from monitoring but they would have a very hard time stopping the media (the ones tasked with informing the public) from monitoring.
 

cousinkix1953

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I do not think it would be easy for a law to be passed stopping people from monitoring on a scanner but I would not be surprised to see a (perhaps unsuccessful) attempt made at passing a law stopping Internet streaming soon.

In the end I just see things like this causing more and more agencies to take steps to make communications unmonitorable.
I guess you have forgotten the Electronic Communications Privact Act of 1986! The cellular phone industry bought your corrupt Congress and passed this special interest legislation. They didn't want to spend their $$$ on a digital 800 mhz system instead. Today, the analog cellular phones are obsolete and there isn't much to hear on the modified Pro 2006 scanner any more. We are still stuck with a worthless law too.

It wasn't hard for Orange county to encrypt most of their police calls; so why can't the cell phone companies do the same thing, without trying to sucker their customers with a phony sense of privacy?
 

rooivalk

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Question: these "apps" are, essentially, receiving a re-broadcast (through the cellphone's reception of the streaming scanner audio) of the original transmission. Isn't the rebroadcast of a transmission a crime of some sorts, or am I remembering it wrong?
 

Lynch_Christopher

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I wonder if a solution could be to build some sort of delay in like they do with the live radar feeds like Passur. Putting say a couple of minutes delay could be a win win for both scanner listeners and for the police. I also have a feeling that naturally their must be some delay built in since the transmission has to travel from the dispatcher to the persons scanner and then travel across the internet to the end destination. But then again I am sure that the natural delay is only a couple of seconds which probably doesn't make that much of a difference.
 

zerg901

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Can anybody provide further documentation on either of these items? Peter Sz

"I think it's worth mentioning several stations reported live on air the day two LEO's were killed in West Memphis that a citizen using a iPhone app to monitor that incident spotted the suspect vehicle in the parking lot and directed units to the vehicle."

"Somebody using one of those aps helped to capture a rapist in Concord just a few days ago. This story was buried in the back pages of KTVU.com; but I don't recall it being mentioned on the air. Naturally, the video piece about the crooks is still up there."

----------------------------------------------------

Re West Memphis, I read a report that 2 people called 911 when they saw people taking the plate off a white van at an apt bld. But I have not yet come across any info on the scanner app or iPhone angle - not that I have the time to read all the news media reports and watch all the videos.
 

cousinkix1953

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As a side note the media will always be able to monitor because they would not stop fighting until they were given a radio that at least has the main channels in it. The government may be able to stop the public from monitoring but they would have a very hard time stopping the media (the ones tasked with informing the public) from monitoring.
Isn't this what happened; when Cleveland Ohio became one of the first cities to adopt a digital trunking radio system? There were no P-25 scanners in the mid 90s. So the media got real radios from city hall, or they would have raised hell about living in a secret police state according to a Popular Communications article in those days.

I wonder if the media outlets in Orange county were given the same special treatment? Are those reporters the only civilians who can listen to the sheriff's office and several police departments there too...
 

cousinkix1953

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Question: these "apps" are, essentially, receiving a re-broadcast (through the cellphone's reception of the streaming scanner audio) of the original transmission. Isn't the rebroadcast of a transmission a crime of some sorts, or am I remembering it wrong?
It is, when somebody does it for profit or personal gain; but this applies to scanners too. A smart lawyer can point to the classified ads on this website and demand that his client's streams be turned off. They call it making a $$$ profit. Listening to a scanner; while committing a crime is called using the police calls for one's personal gain by avoiding capture.

So far, we haven't run into a jerk-off police chief; but one commercial SMR outfit threatened the owners of this website, for posting their TRS frequencies and talk groups. Later we heard that this same company had been cited by the FCC, for using illegal linear amplifiers, to increase transmitter power in the greater Los Angeles basin. Funny how these law fanatics are the ones who break them too...
 
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scannerboy02

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Isn't this what happened; when Cleveland Ohio became one of the first cities to adopt a digital trunking radio system? There were no P-25 scanners in the mid 90s. So the media got real radios from city hall, or they would have raised hell about living in a secret police state according to a Popular Communications article in those days.

This also happened when Sacramento went to trunking before we had trunk trackers. The TV stations still have and use the radios.
 

scannerboy02

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Can anybody provide further documentation on either of these items? Peter Sz

"I think it's worth mentioning several stations reported live on air the day two LEO's were killed in West Memphis that a citizen using a iPhone app to monitor that incident spotted the suspect vehicle in the parking lot and directed units to the vehicle."

----------------------------------------------------

Re West Memphis, I read a report that 2 people called 911 when they saw people taking the plate off a white van at an apt bld. But I have not yet come across any info on the scanner app or iPhone angle - not that I have the time to read all the news media reports and watch all the videos.
I was watching the live off-air feed from WMC-TV and that was when I heard it.

The reporter on scene at the Wal-Mart said he spoke (off camera) with a person who was monitoring on his iPhone and spotted the car driving down the freeway and turn off into the parking lot. He said the person told him he went up to a officer at a road block and told the officer what he saw.

I have not been able to find anything about it since.
 

RolnCode3

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I wonder if a solution could be to build some sort of delay in like they do with the live radar feeds like Passur. Putting say a couple of minutes delay could be a win win for both scanner listeners and for the police. I also have a feeling that naturally their must be some delay built in since the transmission has to travel from the dispatcher to the persons scanner and then travel across the internet to the end destination. But then again I am sure that the natural delay is only a couple of seconds which probably doesn't make that much of a difference.
There is a small delay in my feeds, but as you said, it's only a few seconds. The longest I've heard on mine is about 30 seconds, but it has varied depending on what equipment I was using at the time.

If there was an easy way to add a few minute delay to the feed I would have no problem doing that.
 

zerg901

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Archives: Story - little more info here about the West Memphis shootout - the Chief Deputy was unarmed - story does not mention how they ended up at Walmart - let me dig a little more

Archives: Story - this story says a truck driver spotted the getaway van and gave a description - further, it is stated that police swarmed the Walmart - unknown why

http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=12526835 - this story makes it sound as if a woman caller led the police directly to Walmart - of course there might have been the other party with the iPhone involved also, I just have not seen that documented yet - the longer video does mention that someone called the women to tell her to look for a vehicle with Ohio plates
 
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N4GKS

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Encryption is becoming cheap with the P25 systems being installed getting ready for the 2013 date. I feel that more departments will start using it.
 

jmm346

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Just as important, unlike the old days, there is no degradation in voice quality when using encryption on top of P25 or other digital encoding schemes.

Encryption is becoming cheap with the P25 systems being installed getting ready for the 2013 date. I feel that more departments will start using it.
 

subi1992

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Definitely-And this goes for ALL public agencies. There was a recent controversy at a local high school with students being harassed by staff because they had scanning equipment. The staff thought it was illegal to the point they called the police-only to be informed that..it wasn't... The public is not very informed when it comes to the subject, but AS someone that works in the public safety people, I feel more "good" people are listening to us than "bad", but it is still a nerve wracking thought that the criminal in the house we are surrounding could very possibly be listening to our transmissions. Including with the advent of the radio shack signal stalker type scanners. I love ham radio and the radio tech we use- It's just the norm that it is available for everyone-For good, or evil.
 
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