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Unauthorized decryption illegal...under what statute, precisely?

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ElroyJetson

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It's "common knowledge" that it's illegal to decrypt radio transmissions that you aren't authorized to listen to.

But I've been trying to find the exact US statutes that address this. It's so I can inform someone who is
asking about this issue.

I'm usally pretty good at finding specific things via google searches. But so far I have only found reference to the decryption of SATELLITE transmissions in the law. (18 USC 2511)

Where exactly is the reference I'm looking for? Where does it SAY in the US laws that it's illegal to decrypt a radio transmission that you're not authorized to decrypt?
 

MTS2000des

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47 U.S. Code § 605 - Unauthorized publication or use of communications | LII / Legal Information Institute

Title 47 USC 605

a) Practices prohibited
Except as authorized by chapter 119, title 18, no person receiving, assisting in receiving, transmitting, or assisting in transmitting, any interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning thereof, except through authorized channels of transmission or reception,
(1) to any person other than the addressee, his agent, or attorney,
(2) to a person employed or authorized to forward such communication to its destination,
(3) to proper accounting or distributing officers of the various communicating centers over which the communication may be passed,
(4) to the master of a ship under whom he is serving,
(5) in response to a subpena issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, or
(6) on demand of other lawful authority. No person not being authorized by the sender shall intercept any radio communication and divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such intercepted communication to any person. No person not being entitled thereto shall receive or assist in receiving any interstate or foreign communication by radio and use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. No person having received any intercepted radio communication or having become acquainted with the contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) knowing that such communication was intercepted, shall divulge or publish the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of such communication (or any part thereof) or use such communication (or any information therein contained) for his own benefit or for the benefit of another not entitled thereto. This section shall not apply to the receiving, divulging, publishing, or utilizing the contents of any radio communication which is transmitted by any station for the use of the general public, which relates to ships, aircraft, vehicles, or persons in distress, or which is transmitted by an amateur radio station operator or by a citizens band radio operator.
 

MTS2000des

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ElroyJetson

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Interesting. Neither of the listed statutes specifically states that it's illegal to decrypt a transmission. It does state that you can't divulge what you hear, or use it for any personal gain.

Maybe it's in another statute?

I'm still looking.
 

lep

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It's "common knowledge" that it's illegal to decrypt radio transmissions that you aren't authorized to listen to.

But I've been trying to find the exact US statutes that address this. It's so I can inform someone who is
asking about this issue.

/QUOTE]

Question: Are you a licensed attorney? If you are, you should have access to a current edition of USCA where you can find the cite. If not, why are these folks seeking to get their advice on a legal matter from you? Just curious...no, I don't play one on TV either.
 

N0GTG

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The usual reference I've heard is "ECPA 1986"; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. This also prohibited manufacturers from making scanners that were readily modifiable for cell reception.
 

ElroyJetson

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It's "common knowledge" that it's illegal to decrypt radio transmissions that you aren't authorized to listen to.

But I've been trying to find the exact US statutes that address this. It's so I can inform someone who is
asking about this issue.

/QUOTE]

Question: Are you a licensed attorney? If you are, you should have access to a current edition of USCA where you can find the cite. If not, why are these folks seeking to get their advice on a legal matter from you? Just curious...no, I don't play one on TV either.

The answer is, "To know what the law says. To be informed. This is the right, and even the duty, of every citizen. The law is not meant to be a mystery to all but those who practice law, but it is for the guidance of every man."

And, no, I am not a lawyer. But I once beat one up at a Holiday Inn Express! :D
 

mrkelso

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The answer is, "To know what the law says. To be informed. This is the right, and even the duty, of every citizen. The law is not meant to be a mystery to all but those who practice law, but it is for the guidance of every man."

And, no, I am not a lawyer. But I once beat one up at a Holiday Inn Express! :D


lol :)
 

hitechRadio

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Interesting. Neither of the listed statutes specifically states that it's illegal to decrypt a transmission. It does state that you can't divulge what you hear, or use it for any personal gain.

Maybe it's in another statute?

I'm still looking.
And you will probably not find where it specifically states,"that it's illegal to decrypt a transmission". Lawyers right this stuff to be as general as possible, that way they can get you on anything.

Technically, it could be used in court if you used communications that is in the CLEAR for anyone to hear. And you used that communication to benifit yourself or others. IE: Rob a bank to get butt loads of cash for you and your pals.


I must be reading it wrong, because I clearly understand it.

A person is NOT entitled to encrypted information, pretty much makes decrypting illegal, of course you would have to be caught first.

"No person not being entitled thereto shall receive or assist in receiving any interstate or foreign communication by radio and use such communication "

I think technically it is not illegal to decrypt, until your caught doing it, which would make it illegal to decrypt. LOL

I should of been a lawyer. But I dislike them so much, yet my best friend is a lawyer, go figure...LOL
 

pepsima1

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If anybody is such a genius and I mean a genius and that can decrypt radio communications then you will be respected by the community. Just keep it on the quiet tip and nobody will ever know.

But its probably going to take every second of your life to figure out on how to decrypt, but good luck. You will probably be grey and old and all wrinkled up by then. When you finally get the key to the kingdom then you will have a massive failure in your body and its all over with anyways.
 

RRR

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Curious, wouldn't the statute regarding divulging radio traffic make it risky to put a streamed radio re-broadcast over the internet for others to hear?
 

pepsima1

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As a broadcastify feed provider I do believe that re-transmitting any radio broadcast over the internet is against their policy.
 
D

DaveNF2G

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Interception, divulgence and decryption are three separate activities and are treated in completely different ways under law.

Interception is lawful, unless it includes obtaining information to which the interceptor does not have lawful access.

Divulgence is unlawful, except for those communications that are exempted under law.

Decryption is unlawful, except by the intended and authorized recipient of the content.

see Chapter 119 of the United States Code, Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code et seq, and Section 605 of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended - now located at Section 705 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
 
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