Secret Service/Presidential Visit

TheFlyingPilot

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May 18, 2017
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Frankfort, Michigan
BCD436HP - What can I pick up? I don't have any experience with monitoring SS activities, and I imagine most of it is encrypted in some way. Our area (Traverse City, Michigan) is using P25. Not sure where to begin programming, let alone what to program. Any help would be appreciated
 
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chrismol1

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Mar 15, 2008
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183
I think it'd be cool to scan the fed bands for activity just for anything at all and see what you get on a special occasion like this. Even tho you may not hear anything you can collect frequencies used. Probably an event channel or two used by your local first responders, crowd control and stuff like that
 

bb911

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Sep 30, 2006
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237
Location
Southern California
Encrypted now. Maybe still a little bit 'in the clear'. I monitored the SS during some POTUS visits to So Cal years ago, and most of it was arrival and departure info. When Air Force One had landed you would hear "wheels down...". Departed = "wheels up ...". Same for the motorcade ('arrival' and 'departure'). Best monitoring involved the CHP escorts. BTW, my experience was that the SS didn't care one bit about the fact that I was using my scanner in plain view. It drew a couple of glances at best. The same for local PD. (Contrary to what most scanner folks thought). Also, unlike the snipers that one can see on bldg tops during TV news coverage (not always easy to spot), I never saw one in person.
 

u2brent

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KRWDPAXKRS1
A recent report..
 

n1das

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Feb 17, 2003
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Nashua, NH
I enjoyed a nice US Secret Service monitoring treat at UNH in Durham NH back in 1988 before, during, and after a debate by the Democratic presidential candidates which was held at UNH. There was LOTS of Secret Service activity on their Tango and Charlie channels in the days before, during, and after the event. On the day of the event, because there were so many protectors needed for so many protectees, there was not enough "new" Motorola analog radios w/ENC to go around. The Secret Service had to break out their stash of ancient Motorola analog bricks having NO encryption. Having to dig out and use the old radios was specifically mentioned over the air. The end result was that more than 90% of comms by the Secret Service was in the clear and easily monitorable.

More recently (1990s) during a POTUS visit in Manchester NH, USSS comms were fully encrypted and the PD conveniently provided a way to listen. As status updates were given by an officer, a USSS portable was heard chattering in the background and the officer was heard repeating everything that was said almost verbatim.

A lot can be learned by exploiting the "holes" in the system. :)
 

12dbsinad

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Mar 15, 2010
Messages
1,222
I enjoyed a nice US Secret Service monitoring treat at UNH in Durham NH back in 1988 before, during, and after a debate by the Democratic presidential candidates which was held at UNH. There was LOTS of Secret Service activity on their Tango and Charlie channels in the days before, during, and after the event. On the day of the event, because there were so many protectors needed for so many protectees, there was not enough "new" Motorola analog radios w/ENC to go around. The Secret Service had to break out their stash of ancient Motorola analog bricks having NO encryption. Having to dig out and use the old radios was specifically mentioned over the air. The end result was that more than 90% of comms by the Secret Service was in the clear and easily monitorable.

More recently (1990s) during a POTUS visit in Manchester NH, USSS comms were fully encrypted and the PD conveniently provided a way to listen. As status updates were given by an officer, a USSS portable was heard chattering in the background and the officer was heard repeating everything that was said almost verbatim.

A lot can be learned by exploiting the "holes" in the system. :)
I know many events that ran in the clear. The biggest reason was the 50 percent reduction in range with analog encryption. Just ask the White House Communications guys (the older ones lol), I used to work with them during the Bush SR days. Set-up the temp equipment, test in analog, all good, test ENC, nope that's not happening! There was a lot of rush jobs and what was said was... screw it run it in the clear! Didn't have time to adjust on the fly.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,030
Once I was traveling to Miami on some business. I arrived at my hotel just south of the airport on Lejeune. I was wearing my business suit and carrying my personal Systems Saber. I noticed a lot of activity around a table as I entered the side entrance to the lobby. There were dozens of SS agents loading encryption keys in radios. I could not help but go by the table in the narrow hallway when one of the agents asked if I needed my radio 'loaded" ! I smiled and told him I was all set!
 
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