Scanning the Secret Service

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w2xq

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Interesting summary. Thanks. I guess it isn't so surprising. T'is a far cry from the 1968 election campaign in the Philadelphia area when I could hear the Secret Service agents in the clear on a tune-able Lafayette dual band Lo/Hi VHF receiver. I knew the timing of Nixon's stops to within 5 minutes, was one of the first to shake his hand at the Levittown (PA) Plaza. (Yea, I know, but I think the man did a lot to open China and keep the world peace...)
 

FFPM571

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Anything worth hearing is encrypted. the USSS is the heaviest user of encryption due to the nature of its work. You may hear more FBI,DEA and DHS that is in the clear by accident or choice.
 

kma371

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I never understand this debate. What can the police "hide" with their radio traffic?

Do you think they are saying "I'm going to beat the #&$@ out of this guy" on the radio? Most of the stuff they don't want you to hear is done over the phone or computer.

So what is it exactly you think they are hiding?
 

bigsky109

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I never understand this debate. What can the police "hide" with their radio traffic?

Do you think they are saying "I'm going to beat the #&$@ out of this guy" on the radio? Most of the stuff they don't want you to hear is done over the phone or computer.

So what is it exactly you think they are hiding?
I know what you are saying, but they are a tax paid service and their safety should be preserved but fully encrypted has disadvantages. It is another layer that could fail in a crisis and law abiding citizens should be aware of their area.

This could be debated till we are both blue in the face. It is the bottom line here and I am sure the agencies safety and "National Security" will rule out here.
 
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bigsky109

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It is just frustrating to not hear what is going on when most of the communications are not that sensitive and should be public knowledge. Especially Fire, EMS and PD. I guess we could go through the proper channels and ask for a release though the Freedom Of Information Act. :)
 

kma371

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My point is, Everyone says the cops are hiding behind encryption. But it comes down to "well we have a right to listen" which is BS
 

JoeyC

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Granted the article was written more than 10 years ago but I found it difficult to take seriously after misinformation at the beginning. Most digital conversions of local police in 2001 were to P25 were they not? The author says this converts to a hissing sound over a "normal" scanner. Funny how in my old analog scanners this sound could never be confused with hissing. And, the killer.

[FONT=verdana,arial]Digital scanners are expensive (while analog scanners run about $300, digital scanners cost more than 10 times that), and, from what I've heard, they're pretty much unavailable to reporters and scanner enthusiasts.[/FONT]
I'm pretty sure I had my first digital scanner (BC785D) before this article was written and I certainly didn't spend anywhere near what this reporter reports the cost was. :lol:
 

sigint1

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Two words for you PII and Hippa, thanks to those two issues many Leo's, Fire and EMS radios are running encryption due to agency policies.
I don't know what "Hippa" is but if you are talking about "HIPAA" with very few exceptions it does not apply for most radio communications for Fire, police, EMS etc, anss also keep in mind in an emergency sitiuation where emergency medical aid needs to be provided - which if you are in an ambulance and being transported that most always applies - any info can be conveyed - this is not to say local jurisdictions can not institute their own policies and regulations.
 

Big_Ears

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A good number of the USSS comms are performed "in the clear". This accounts for many of the CP to Field Locations "Radio Checks" prior to the arrival of the VIP... Then when it's "Wheels Down" the mode changes to encryped.
 

bigsky109

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I still have a problem agreeing in encrypting all broadcasts. A good example is on my way home one day, I pull up onto my street and their were a lot of cop cars around. Not sure what they were doing and since they were down the street from me I was just curious. I then pulled up into my front yard and walked into my house. I quickly turned my scanner on to see what is going on. I then noticed 4 cops in my front yard hiding behind one of my big trees in my yard. They had vests on that said "POLICE" on the backs. They also have rifles out and looking down my street. My scanner came alive indicating that there was a neighbor of mine hold up in his house standing off with the police. If they were encrypted I would have never known this and my wife was on her way home and was about getting in the line of fire like I was just earlier. I called her cell and let her know to use our alley. The man was ARMED! It took the police over a half an hour to vacate my neighbors and come to my door to let me know what was going on. Since I was already aware myself and family were not in danger being in the BACK of our house away from the possible live fire. We could hear it from 3 houses down. Pretty scary. Thanks to open communications at the time I was aware of the situation and it helped my safety. I am sure If I was the suspect, the radio would not have helped since he was barricaded. Encryption in that case could help SWAT though, but the initial call out really help me.
 
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WayneH

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The topic is not encryption, it's the USSS.

Please stay on topic or take it somewhere else please. Otherwise the thread gets closed before this turns in to yet another beat the dead horse encryption discussion.
 

ecps92

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100% On Target and for those in the larger cities, Agent sign-on in the am enroute to assignments, which can provide a BASE LINE for frequencies in your area

Knowing these in advance of the "advance team" is good INTEL

A good number of the USSS comms are performed "in the clear". This accounts for many of the CP to Field Locations "Radio Checks" prior to the arrival of the VIP... Then when it's "Wheels Down" the mode changes to encryped.
 
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