Scanning Legally

Wiki

Your scanner covers frequencies used by many different groups, including police and
fire departments, ambulance services, government agencies, private companies, amateur
radio services, military operations, pager services, and wireline (telephone and telegraph)
service providers. It is legal to listen to almost every transmission your scanner can receive. However, there
are some transmissions that you should never intentionally listen to.

These include:
l Telephone conversations (cellular, cordless, or other private means of telephone
signal transmission)
l Pager transmissions
l Any scrambled or encrypted transmissions
According to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), you are subject to
fines and possible imprisonment for intentionally listening to, using, or divulging the
contents of such a conversation unless you have the consent of a party to the
conversation (unless such activity is otherwise illegal).
This scanner has been designed to prevent the reception of cellular telephone
transmissions and the decoding of scrambled transmissions. This is done to comply with
the legal requirement that scanners be manufactured so they are not easy to modify to
pick up these transmissions. Do not open your scanners case to make any modifications
that could allow it to pick up transmissions that are illegal to monitor. Modifying or
tampering with your scanners internal components or using it in a way other than as
described in the manual could invalidate your warranty and void your FCC authorization
to operate it.
In some areas, mobile and/or portable use of this scanner is unlawful or requires a
permit. Check the laws in your area. It is also illegal in many areas (and a bad idea
everywhere) to interfere with the duties of public safety officials by traveling to the
scene of an incident without authorization.