secured frequencies

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ducktape123

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i know its 100% illegal but is it possible to listen in on secured frequencies? with a normal scanner? or do u need a police scanner. or do u need a good computer to break the encryption. im not nor want to do it im just curious.
 

Ensnared

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Secured Transmissions

i know its 100% illegal but is it possible to listen in on secured frequencies? with a normal scanner? or do u need a police scanner. or do u need a good computer to break the encryption. im not nor want to do it im just curious.
What is 100% legal? If you are referring to listening to a police scanner, there are certain places in the U.S. where there are laws against such. I believe these mainly refer to mobile scanning.

It is illegal to intercept encrypted transmissions in this country, period! The type of "secure" mode you are referring to may be digital or analog. If you are talking about monitoring "voice inversion" scrambling, it is easy to do with the right equipment, but I believe it is still technically illegal. I am quite certain there will be many folks giving their opinion on this subject.
 

ducktape123

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What is 100% legal? If you are referring to listening to a police scanner, there are certain places in the U.S. where there are laws against such. I believe these mainly refer to mobile scanning.

It is illegal to intercept encrypted transmissions in this country, period! The type of "secure" mode you are referring to may be digital or analog. If you are talking about monitoring "voice inversion" scrambling, it is easy to do with the right equipment, but I believe it is still technically illegal. I am quite certain there will be many folks giving their opinion on this subject.
im talking about police secured frequencies like when they say going to be secured for so many hours for a detail ie drug raid, investigation ext
 

ducktape123

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What is 100% legal? If you are referring to listening to a police scanner, there are certain places in the U.S. where there are laws against such. I believe these mainly refer to mobile scanning.

It is illegal to intercept encrypted transmissions in this country, period! The type of "secure" mode you are referring to may be digital or analog. If you are talking about monitoring "voice inversion" scrambling, it is easy to do with the right equipment, but I believe it is still technically illegal. I am quite certain there will be many folks giving their opinion on this subject.
also when u say mobile scanning does that mean handheld also as in the BCD325p2 if im just listening to it as my mom is driving?
 

krokus

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im talking about police secured frequencies like when they say going to be secured for so many hours for a detail ie drug raid, investigation ext
That is not a standard term for the industry, so that could mean any number of things. They might only be available on their cellphone, they might be "secured" from patrol shift, or that they might be on an encrypted radio assignment.

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marksmith

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Yes. It is illegal to intercept and monitor encrypted transmissions.

You will not be able to do it with a 325 p2 or any other scanner. It would be illegal for them to manufacture a scanner that violates federal law.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

mmckenna

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i know its 100% illegal but is it possible to listen in on secured frequencies?
Encryption/scrambling? Possible? Yes.


with a normal scanner?
No. "Normal" scanner would not have the ability to decrypt or descramble traffic. It has no way of supporting the codes to decrypt the traffic.

or do u need a police scanner. or do u need a good computer to break the encryption. im not nor want to do it im just curious.
Not sure what you mean by "police scanner". If you had a properly set up transceiver with the encryption keys loaded into it, then sure. The trick is getting the encryption keys. Public safety agencies don't give them out. It's like keys to your house, you tend to protect them and not let strangers in to wander around.

A receiver with a computer set up to decrypt is a possibility, but:
-for some very basic encryption, it would take a while for the process of trying all the possible combinations.
-for the higher end AES/DES type encryption, it's been said it would take supercomputers years-decades to try all the combinations.

A public safety agency worth its salt and serious about encryption would change it's encryption codes periodically, and that would mean you'd have to start all over again from scratch.

So, yes, it is "possible", but not for average scanner listeners, and not unless you had the right equipment, and not unless you had a lot of free time.

Then there's the whole legality thing….
 

ducktape123

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Encryption/scrambling? Possible? Yes.




No. "Normal" scanner would not have the ability to decrypt or descramble traffic. It has no way of supporting the codes to decrypt the traffic.



Not sure what you mean by "police scanner". If you had a properly set up transceiver with the encryption keys loaded into it, then sure. The trick is getting the encryption keys. Public safety agencies don't give them out. It's like keys to your house, you tend to protect them and not let strangers in to wander around.

A receiver with a computer set up to decrypt is a possibility, but:
-for some very basic encryption, it would take a while for the process of trying all the possible combinations.
-for the higher end AES/DES type encryption, it's been said it would take supercomputers years-decades to try all the combinations.

A public safety agency worth its salt and serious about encryption would change it's encryption codes periodically, and that would mean you'd have to start all over again from scratch.

So, yes, it is "possible", but not for average scanner listeners, and not unless you had the right equipment, and not unless you had a lot of free time.

Then there's the whole legality thing….
police scanner as in the ones that are in cop cars and the ones that police have them self
 

KC4RAF

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A scanner IS a "police scanner". Do a google search for "police scanner" and you'll see all the Uniden, Gre, RS, etc., etc. Just because a cop has a scanner in his home, it's still a scanner or police scanner.
To add to MMCHENNA post about, "...-for the higher end AES/DES type encryption, it's been said it would take supercomputers years-decades to try all the combinations."; and if they change the key on a daily basis, it would possibly add even more decades to break. The computer would have already checked yesterday's key and didn't work, so it by-passes that key all together the next day. Hope this helps you understand it a little better.
(You just ain't gonna break those keys, ( you may get lucky for todays' key, but what about the next day when it's changes?))
 

ladn

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"Secured" is an ambiguous term. If you mean "encrypted" or "scrambled", it is illegal to monitor such radio traffic. I'm not an attorney, but I take that to mean it is illegal to decrypt encrypted radio traffic. You can listen all you want (and won't hear anything). I've seen various posts on RR about monitoring normally encrypted channels and hearing plain voice traffic (usually because somebody forgot to flip the "encrypt" switch).

Scanners do not have the additional circuitry required to decrypt encrypted radio traffic, and even if they did, the listener would need knowledge of the encryption key (a long string of numbers and letters) used.
 

ducktape123

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If u want to go threw all the trouble of decrypting them u deffenly arnt doing it just to listen in ur most likely to be using it for illegal intentions

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wtp

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i think he meant

police radio maybe.
or a radio that is like one the police use.
and the answer would be that even with the same model you need the programming "keys"
 

mmckenna

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police scanner as in the ones that are in cop cars and the ones that police have them self
That wouldn't be a scanner. That's a transceiver.
They are entirely different beasts than the consumer/hobby grade scanners that are mostly discussed on this site.
Not only do they transmit, they are loaded with features, things that consumer scanners won't have.
The ability to decrypt/descramble radio traffic is one of them.
Most of the encryption algorithms are pretty serious, and they are not something that can be hacked easily at all.
Not only that, but they can often hold a lot of different encryption keys. The radios can be set up to use different keys on different channels/talkgroups, and also allow the user to change keys on the fly. More modern radios can have their keys updated over the air.

So, the sort answer is, no, no consumer scanner is going to do this, not without a load of external equipment, and even then, the amount of computing power needed to find the encryption key and decrypt the audio would be huge and expensive.
Even commercial/public safety type gear won't do any good unless it has the keys loaded in.

If decryption was easy to break, and if consumer hardware would do it, it would sort of negate the entire meaning behind encryption.
 

ofd8001

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As mentioned above, "Secured channel" can mean a couple of things. One is "encrypted" and listening to an encrypted channel is technically impossible and even it it was, would be prohibited by law.

Around our parts "Secure the channel" means that there is a major incident occurring and only those units assigned to the incident should be on the channel. Other units not involved are diverted to alternate channels. In this case, it is perfectly fine to listen to the "secured" channel.
 

ducktape123

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Ok here's the question say tac east *my location* is normal talk ie cars pulled over normal 911 calls and then say a hostage situation happens in my town they say tac channel is now secured in till so and so time does that mean encrypted or something else or can't they just flip a switch and encrypted it

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KK4JUG

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Ok here's the question say tac east *my location* is normal talk ie cars pulled over normal 911 calls and then say a hostage situation happens in my town they say tac channel is now secured in till so and so time does that mean encrypted or something else or can't they just flip a switch and encrypted it

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I think, in your case, "secured" means they're holding routine traffic in favor of the new situation that has presented itself. Nothing but the content of the radio traffic has changed.
 

dmg1969

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I think you could answer your own question. If that happens (tac channel is "secured"), do you continue to hear radio traffic or is it garbled, digitized or otherwise unintelligible? I think some systems to have the ability to switch encryption on and off at will.

And police don't use "scanners"...they use two way radios otherwise known as transceivers. They may have a scanner in their vehicle, but they cannot talk on them. A scanner is strictly for listening.

The bottom line is trying to monitor encrypted communications is difficult, if not impossible...and certainly illegal.

Ok here's the question say tac east *my location* is normal talk ie cars pulled over normal 911 calls and then say a hostage situation happens in my town they say tac channel is now secured in till so and so time does that mean encrypted or something else or can't they just flip a switch and encrypted it

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KB7MIB

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Different agencies will use different terminology. The agency you listen to says the channel is secured, when the dispatcher only wants the units who are working a specific incident to transmit on that channel. Some agencies I listen to, say the channel is being held for so-and-so, or they'll use a specific 10-code to indicate that only emergency traffic should be transmitted by any unit other than those working a specific incident. The dispatcher may or may not transmit a tone every few seconds to alert other units that the channel is being held.
Whether or not your agency is capable of implementing encryption on a part time basis, can only be answered by you, from your own experience listening.

John
Peoria, AZ
 

krokus

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Different agencies will use different terminology. The agency you listen to says the channel is secured, when the dispatcher only wants the units who are working a specific incident to transmit on that channel. Some agencies I listen to, say the channel is being held for so-and-so, or they'll use a specific 10-code to indicate that only emergency traffic should be transmitted by any unit other than those working a specific incident. The dispatcher may or may not transmit a tone every few seconds to alert other units that the channel is being held.
Whether or not your agency is capable of implementing encryption on a part time basis, can only be answered by you, from your own experience listening.

John
Peoria, AZ
I have heard "Is your radio secure?" being asked, before some information is passed, that they do not want the subject to hear. (Such as they have warrants, etc.)

The OP needs to give us more and better information, before any real help can be given.

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