Cell phone scanners

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by Blue, May 18, 2005.

  1. Blue

    Blue Guest

    I have heard that scanners have the cell phone frequencies locked out by
    law. I have also heard that some folks have scanners that pick up cell
    phone conversations.

    Just wondering if law enforcement and maybe even firefighters have scanners
    that pick up phone conversations on cell phones?
    Blue, May 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. Blue

    djay Guest

    "Blue" <> wrote in message news:d6e7ms$vrv$...
    >I have heard that scanners have the cell phone frequencies locked out by
    >law. I have also heard that some folks have scanners that pick up cell
    >phone conversations.
    >
    > Just wondering if law enforcement and maybe even firefighters have
    > scanners that pick up phone conversations on cell phones?
    >


    FBI needs wire tap permission from the DOJ for both land lines and cell
    phones.

    DJay
    djay, May 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. Blue

    stretch Guest

    It will soon be academic. Cell phones are going digital. Each phone
    has a digital key to decode the stuff sent to it, A regular scanner
    would need a lot of keys to un-digitize (sp) the voices.

    This is not done to eliminate scanners but to increase effective
    bandwidth. However, the side effect is newer style cell phones can't
    be understood by scanners.

    Stretch
    stretch, May 18, 2005
    #3
  4. Blue

    JerryL Guest


    >> Even though it is a law which is rather impractical to enforce,
    >> it is illegal for anybody to listen in on cell phone conversations.
    >> This includes police and firefighters.
    >>
    >> =========

    >
    > I hear 1/2 of cell phone conversations all the time... even when I don't
    > want to. Where do I turn myself in?
    >
    > Steve
    > 41N



    Nearest mental institution.
    JerryL, May 18, 2005
    #4
  5. "stretch" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > It will soon be academic. Cell phones are going digital...


    Yea, ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO!

    Each phone has a digital key to decode the stuff sent to it. BULLSHIT!

    A regular scanner would need a lot of keys to un-digitize (sp) the voices.
    MORE BS!
    >
    > This is not done to eliminate scanners but to increase effective
    > bandwidth. However, the side effect is newer style cell phones can't
    > be understood by scanners.
    >
    > Stretch
    >
    Craven Morehead, May 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Blue

    Bob G. Guest

    On Wed, 18 May 2005 05:14:17 -0500, Steve IA <>
    wrote:

    >Gideon wrote:
    >>
    >> Even though it is a law which is rather impractical to enforce,
    >> it is illegal for anybody to listen in on cell phone conversations.
    >> This includes police and firefighters.
    >>
    >> =========

    >
    >I hear 1/2 of cell phone conversations all the time... even when I don't
    >want to. Where do I turn myself in?
    >
    >Steve
    >41N


    =================
    I have this problem also.....lol... Frustrating FOR me trying to
    listen to the National Weather Service to hear Sally tell Jane
    she really likes Johnny...

    Bob Griffiths
    Bob G., May 18, 2005
    #6
  7. Blue

    stretch Guest

    Craven Morehead,

    NO, NOT BS. I have a Nextel. When I talk, the speech is digitized,
    then broadcast as data to a Nextel repeater. It is then rebroadcast
    over the network as data with a header identifying the Nextel phone
    that it is going to. All the Nextel phones on the network receive the
    data. Only the intended recipient phone decodes the data back into
    speech, the other nextel phones discard that data. It works that way
    for direct connect (Walkie Talkie) and true phone traffic. A scanner
    can recieve the data, and play it over the speaker, but it sounds like
    FAX tones and static.

    If my call is going to a land line phone, it is decoded into speech at
    the repeater and broadcast over land lines as voice data. The scanner
    does not pick up the land line signal, therefore can not listen in.

    The older cell phones, like the one my wife has, are still analog. A
    scanner CAN recieve and play that as voice over the speaker. Her phone
    is not secure. Eventually, dur to lack of available radio frequencies,
    ALL cell phones will have to go digital. When she gets her next phone,
    it will be capable of working in both modes, analog AND digital. When
    the service provider changes their system to digital, she will never
    know. Only those with analog ONLY phones will have to get new phones.
    Many, but not all, providers have changed to digital in our area.

    By the way, you need to improve your vocabulary. If BULLSHIT is the
    only way you can express yourself, you need help. There is a section
    in the Reader's Digest called "It Pays To Increase Your Word Power". I
    suggest that you start using it.

    Stretch


    PS Of course the NSA can recieve Nextel and all other cell phone
    traffic, but regular people cannot.
    stretch, May 18, 2005
    #7
  8. Blue

    Mark Guest

    old scanners can pick up analog cell phones (but not legal)
    new scanners cannot tune to the cell frequencies

    there is no hobby type scanner that I know of old or new that can
    receive a digital cell phone, , yes the old ones can tune to the
    frequency and pick up the signal but all you will hear is static, the
    voice is encoded as digital data

    I'm sure the feds etc have the technology to listen to whatever they
    want to.

    Mark
    Mark, May 18, 2005
    #8
  9. Blue

    Pop Guest

    "Blue" <> wrote in message
    news:d6e7ms$vrv$...
    >I have heard that scanners have the cell phone
    >frequencies locked out by law. I have also heard that
    >some folks have scanners that pick up cell phone
    >conversations.
    >
    > Just wondering if law enforcement and maybe even
    > firefighters have scanners that pick up phone
    > conversations on cell phones?
    >


    Yes, they do, depending. I myself have an old Uniden
    that picks them up because it predates the regs.
    They're a nuisance though, more than anything else; I
    have the scanner skip the entire bands. There are many
    ways to also accidentally listen in on cell phone
    calls; it happens on evrything form walkie talkies to
    stereo systems of the cheapier variety.
    Also, the newer greqs being sold off and spread
    spectrum finally getting bigger, listening is going
    down a lot.

    Law Enforcement can only intentionally listen in on a
    phone call by court order and then there are regs on
    what they must hear in the firs xx seconds before they
    can listen longer. Lots of rules. But, that doesn't
    stop your next door neighbor, with the same phone, from
    accidentally picking yours up at times, even thougth it
    won't happen oftern.

    Never consider any kind of communication "private":
    They just aren't. Except for spread spectrum, it's
    real easy to get hold of cell phone signals with a
    simple PLL design at most any experimenter's bench.

    Pop
    Pop, May 18, 2005
    #9
  10. Blue

    stretch Guest

    Should work on older analog phones. May receive data from digital
    phones, but you won't be able to understand it.

    Stretch
    stretch, May 18, 2005
    #10
  11. Blue

    Mark Guest

    On 18 May 2005 07:00:04 -0700, "stretch" <> wrote:

    >All the Nextel phones on the network receive the
    >data.


    Not quite, but nice try.
    Mark, May 18, 2005
    #11
  12. Blue

    ameijers Guest

    "Gideon" <> wrote in message
    news:spyie.38773$...
    > Even though it is a law which is rather impractical to enforce,
    > it is illegal for anybody to listen in on cell phone conversations.
    > This includes police and firefighters.
    >
    > =========

    Try impossible to enforce. And if I remember ECPA correctly, it is illegal
    to SELL scanners that can pick up cell phones (although cracks for older
    models, at least, are all over the internet), and it is illegal to disclose
    or profit from intercepted cell communications, it is not illegal to LISTEN
    to them, since they are not encrypted, and you aren't stealing any services.
    (like when bootlegging encrypted sat signals.) There are still a whole lot
    of un-blocked pre-ECPA scanners out there, and it is kinda hard to outlaw
    use of a legal device after it is out in the world. Don't know if the
    'expectation of privacy' principle that governs needing a warrant applies-
    IIRC, there is case law that wiretap warrants were not needed if neighbors
    overheard baby monitors and the early cordless phones, and what the
    neighbors told the cops was sufficent probable cause for a physical search
    warrant. Don't think the cops were allowed to go around war-driving with
    baby monitors in their cars, though.

    But IANAL, and it has been a few years since I read the act, so I may be
    wrong....
    I'm sure the actual experts over in the rec.radio or alt.telecom groups
    would know for sure.

    aem sends...
    ameijers, May 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Blue

    Blue Guest

    "ameijers" <> wrote in message
    news:0HSie.227571$...
    >
    > "Gideon" <> wrote in message
    > news:spyie.38773$...
    >> Even though it is a law which is rather impractical to enforce,
    >> it is illegal for anybody to listen in on cell phone conversations.
    >> This includes police and firefighters.
    >>
    >> =========

    > Try impossible to enforce. And if I remember ECPA correctly, it is illegal
    > to SELL scanners that can pick up cell phones (although cracks for older
    > models, at least, are all over the internet), and it is illegal to
    > disclose
    > or profit from intercepted cell communications, it is not illegal to
    > LISTEN
    > to them, since they are not encrypted, and you aren't stealing any
    > services.
    > (like when bootlegging encrypted sat signals.) There are still a whole lot
    > of un-blocked pre-ECPA scanners out there, and it is kinda hard to outlaw
    > use of a legal device after it is out in the world. Don't know if the
    > 'expectation of privacy' principle that governs needing a warrant applies-
    > IIRC, there is case law that wiretap warrants were not needed if neighbors
    > overheard baby monitors and the early cordless phones, and what the
    > neighbors told the cops was sufficent probable cause for a physical search
    > warrant. Don't think the cops were allowed to go around war-driving with
    > baby monitors in their cars, though.
    >
    > But IANAL, and it has been a few years since I read the act, so I may be
    > wrong....
    > I'm sure the actual experts over in the rec.radio or alt.telecom groups
    > would know for sure.


    Do your comments apply to analogue only or to digital as well?
    Blue, May 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Blue

    Guest

    i been scannin or quite some time. you can pick them up if they use
    the 800 and 900 megahertz range.they used trunked system now witch means
    they change frequencies every few minutes so you cn her em till they
    change... older home portable phones use the 40-50 mgz range . newer
    ones 900mgz.
    , May 19, 2005
    #14
  15. Blue

    Pop Guest

    Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 68, covers
    both digital and analog, not a quote, paraphrased,

    It IS illegal to eavesdrop and/or record on ANY
    electronically transmitted voice communication and/or
    to disclose same.



    "ameijers" <> wrote in
    message
    news:0HSie.227571$...
    >
    > "Gideon" <> wrote in message
    > news:spyie.38773$...
    >> Even though it is a law which is rather impractical
    >> to enforce,
    >> it is illegal for anybody to listen in on cell phone
    >> conversations.
    >> This includes police and firefighters.
    >>
    >> =========

    > Try impossible to enforce. And if I remember ECPA
    > correctly, it is illegal
    > to SELL scanners that can pick up cell phones
    > (although cracks for older
    > models, at least, are all over the internet), and it
    > is illegal to disclose
    > or profit from intercepted cell communications, it is
    > not illegal to LISTEN
    > to them, since they are not encrypted, and you aren't
    > stealing any services.
    > (like when bootlegging encrypted sat signals.) There
    > are still a whole lot
    > of un-blocked pre-ECPA scanners out there, and it is
    > kinda hard to outlaw
    > use of a legal device after it is out in the world.
    > Don't know if the
    > 'expectation of privacy' principle that governs
    > needing a warrant applies-
    > IIRC, there is case law that wiretap warrants were
    > not needed if neighbors
    > overheard baby monitors and the early cordless
    > phones, and what the
    > neighbors told the cops was sufficent probable cause
    > for a physical search
    > warrant. Don't think the cops were allowed to go
    > around war-driving with
    > baby monitors in their cars, though.
    >
    > But IANAL, and it has been a few years since I read
    > the act, so I may be
    > wrong....
    > I'm sure the actual experts over in the rec.radio or
    > alt.telecom groups
    > would know for sure.
    >
    > aem sends...
    >
    Pop, May 20, 2005
    #15
  16. Blue

    Guest

    Wake up! Most cell phones have been digital for over a decade. Analog
    was the old AMPS system and it didn't work very well. CDMA, TDMA, GSM,
    are all digital have all been around and widely deployed for a long
    time by all the carriers.
    , May 20, 2005
    #16
  17. Blue

    Blue Guest

    "Pop" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Blue" <> wrote in message
    > news:d6e7ms$vrv$...
    >>I have heard that scanners have the cell phone frequencies locked out by
    >>law. I have also heard that some folks have scanners that pick up cell
    >>phone conversations.
    >>
    >> Just wondering if law enforcement and maybe even firefighters have
    >> scanners that pick up phone conversations on cell phones?
    >>

    >
    > Law Enforcement can only intentionally listen in on a phone call by court
    > order and then there are regs on what they must hear in the firs xx
    > seconds before they can listen longer. Lots of rules. But, that doesn't
    > stop your next door neighbor, with the same phone, from


    does that mean "law enforcement" as in regular squad cars? The ones that run
    around here have at least six antennas that are clearly in view. If the cop
    on the beat had the equipment I suspect that the equipment is relatively
    available.

    Again, we must distinguish between digital and analogue in the above
    discussion. Apparently Analogue scanners with the capability of receiving
    800 MHZ cell phone converswations are still being marketed as one poster
    gave a link for one.

    Doesn't seem to far fetched to intercept a digital conversation since all
    phones have the circuit to do the demodulation and only would need the
    phone number of the phone being intercepted to weed out other traffic.
    Sounds as simple as reprogramming a SIM card maybe.
    ..
    Any way to know if your cell phone is communicating D or A if both are
    available to you. Can a phone be locked into one or the other mode?

    >
    Blue, May 20, 2005
    #17
  18. Blue

    Pop Guest

    You're the one needs to wake up: Installed Base does
    not come anywhere near equating to current sales,
    which still includes both a, d, and duals. If you want
    privacy, do NOT use a phone of any kind. Oh, and just
    because YOU have a digital connect, does not mean your
    called party does.
    I'd explain further but you're obviously closed
    minded and not worth the typing.



    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Wake up! Most cell phones have been digital for over
    > a decade. Analog
    > was the old AMPS system and it didn't work very well.
    > CDMA, TDMA, GSM,
    > are all digital have all been around and widely
    > deployed for a long
    > time by all the carriers.
    >
    Pop, May 21, 2005
    #18
  19. Blue

    Pop Guest

    "Blue" <> wrote in message
    news:d6ld0k$am8$...
    >
    > "Pop" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >> "Blue" <> wrote in message
    >> news:d6e7ms$vrv$...
    >>>I have heard that scanners have the cell phone
    >>>frequencies locked out by law. I have also heard
    >>>that some folks have scanners that pick up cell
    >>>phone conversations.
    >>>
    >>> Just wondering if law enforcement and maybe even
    >>> firefighters have scanners that pick up phone
    >>> conversations on cell phones?
    >>>

    >>
    >> Law Enforcement can only intentionally listen in on
    >> a phone call by court order and then there are regs
    >> on what they must hear in the firs xx seconds before
    >> they can listen longer. Lots of rules. But, that
    >> doesn't stop your next door neighbor, with the same
    >> phone, from

    >
    > does that mean "law enforcement" as in regular squad
    > cars? The ones that run around here have at least six
    > antennas that are clearly in view. If the cop on the
    > beat had the equipment I suspect that the equipment
    > is relatively available.

    ===> Yes, it does. Some of those antenna's are for
    duplex operation vs. one way, and others are shared
    systems for other depts such as fire, rescue, air,
    rescue, and so on. Many of the latest systems on the
    market won't even had a visible antenna. There's a
    plethora of variables in what they can have, including
    fully computerized systems where channel availability
    is controlled by the "base" stations or the one in the
    area they're connected to.

    >
    > Again, we must distinguish between digital and
    > analogue in the above discussion. Apparently
    > Analogue scanners with the capability of receiving
    > 800 MHZ cell phone converswations are still being
    > marketed as one poster gave a link for one.

    ===> Yes, they are, and they're cheaper for the most
    part because of the age of the technology. Then there
    is quite an installed base out there already in place.
    >
    > Doesn't seem to far fetched to intercept a digital
    > conversation since all phones have the circuit to do
    > the demodulation and only would need the phone
    > number of the phone being intercepted to weed out
    > other traffic. Sounds as simple as reprogramming a
    > SIM card maybe.

    ===> Not sure what you mean by all phones have the
    circuit to do the demod, but no, that's not true as I
    intepret your comment. Digital opens up so many new
    possibilities and is not "demodulated" anything like an
    analog signal. But, at this point, ANY phone, digital
    or analog must, by federallaw, be capable of being
    intercepted, just as any encryption used must be known
    and allowed by federal requirements.
    Even with all that, EVERY phone, line or cell,
    analog or digital, must by its very nature pass through
    equipment that creates an interception point by the
    unscrupolous, any anyone with the right equipment can
    intercept any phone call if they know the technology
    used in making the call. Many people don't realize
    either that a digital call originated in say Chgo may
    go back and forth from digital to analog to digital
    etc., as it routes to its destination.
    I made a mistake in my earlier post, too: Feds et
    al when tapping, can "listen" to any or all of the
    calls they can find, but they can only "record"
    relevant phone calls. If the conversation goes off
    topic for too long, they must pause or cease recording
    if what they're getting isn't "on topic" for the court
    order.
    It doesn't matter what phone you use; just never
    consider it totally private because it isn't. Digital
    taps are definitely more complex equipment wise, and it
    keeps a lot of companies in business in North America
    and Europe.

    Pop

    > .
    > Any way to know if your cell phone is communicating
    > D or A if both are available to you. Can a phone be
    > locked into one or the other mode?
    >
    >>

    >
    >
    Pop, May 21, 2005
    #19
  20. Blue

    Blue Guest

    ..
    > It doesn't matter what phone you use; just never consider it totally
    > private because it isn't. Digital taps are definitely more complex
    > equipment wise, and it keeps a lot of companies in business in North
    > America and Europe.


    Do you mean to say that for example, my new Verizon digital cell phone can
    be easily monitored by my neighbor, especially if he is a firefighter?

    >
    > Pop
    >
    >> .
    >> Any way to know if your cell phone is communicating D or A if both are
    >> available to you. Can a phone be locked into one or the other mode?
    >>
    >>>

    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    Blue, May 22, 2005
    #20
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