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Thread: How to eavesrop on cordless phone?

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    Default How to eavesrop on cordless phone?

    I was wondering, how easy/hard would it be for someone to eavesdrop on a cordless phone conversation. For example, I wanted to try this out to my own cordless phone, a panasonic one which uses GFSK and is not employing any kind of security (DSS for example). I have all the technical specs that may be required, but how would one go about on doing something like this?

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    Default very easy

    Very easy, pick up a radio scanner, it all depends on what frequency they operate on. Great thing with cordless phones is you can capture both sides of the conversation and not one side. If they are using spread spectrum which a lot do, then its gonna be much more difficult.

    Here's a site where you can buy some: http://www.radioworld.co.uk

    I would like to cite the legal aspects of this:

    The legality of radio scanners varies considerably from place to place. In the United States it is a federal crime to monitor cellular phone calls. Some US states prohibit the use of a scanner in an automobile. Although scanners capable of following trunked radio systems and demodulating some digital radio systems such as APCO Project 25 are available, decryption-capable scanners would be a violation of United States law and possibly laws of other countries.

    A law passed by the Congress of the United States, under the pressure from cellular telephone interests, prohibited scanners sold after a certain date from receiving frequencies allocated to the Cellular Radio Service. The law was later amended to make it illegal to modify radios to receive those frequencies, and also to sell radios that could be easily modified to do so.[1] This law remains in effect even though few cellular subscribers still use analog technology. There are Canadian and European unblocked versions available, however these are illegal to import into the U.S. Frequencies used by early cordless phones at 43.720--44.480, 46.610--46.930 MHz and 902.000 – 906.000 MHz can be picked up by many scanners. The proliferation of scanners led most cordless phone manufacturers to produce cordless handsets operating on a more secure 2.4 GHz system using spread-spectrum technology. Certain states in the U.S., such as New York and Florida, prohibit the use of scanners in a vehicle unless the operator has a radio license issued from the FCC (Amateur Radio, etc)[1] [2] or the operator's job requires the use of a scanner in a vehicle (ie, Police, Fire, Utilities)

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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    To add to what relik stated, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

    • It is considered a violation of most wiretap laws in many jurisdictions to listen in on cordless phone conversations.
    • It is also a separate Federal crime to take any action based on what you have heard via a public safety scanner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    To add to what relik stated, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

    • It is considered a violation of most wiretap laws in many jurisdictions to listen in on cordless phone conversations.
    • It is also a separate Federal crime to take any action based on what you have heard via a public safety scanner.
    Wasn't this just discussed? Something about some one chasing an ambulance with a scanner in hand.
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    Senior Member streaker69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archangel.amael View Post
    Wasn't this just discussed? Something about some one chasing an ambulance with a scanner in hand.
    No, that was a friend of mine that got to the scene of a shooting before the police arrived as well as before the shooting actually stopped.

    But in direct reference to this: A few years ago there was a guy in Philthydelphia listening to his 'modified' scanner that was able to pick up Cell phones (modified because at the time, they weren't readily available to do so). He heard a drug deal going down, called the Police and reported. They asked him how he knew it was happening and he proudly told them. They arrested the drug dealers and the guy calling it in.

    I'm sure the drug dealers got off since the evidence leading to their arrest was illegally obtained.
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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    No, that was a friend of mine that got to the scene of a shooting before the police arrived as well as before the shooting actually stopped.
    I was thinking that something to this was mentioned a few days ago around here. Most things only get mentioned on this site like once so I wasn't sure if it was here or somewhere else. (for those that don't know there is some sarcasm in there)
    But in direct reference to this: A few years ago there was a guy in Philthydelphia listening to his 'modified' scanner that was able to pick up Cell phones (modified because at the time, they weren't readily available to do so). He heard a drug deal going down, called the Police and reported. They asked him how he knew it was happening and he proudly told them. They arrested the drug dealers and the guy calling it in.

    I'm sure the drug dealers got off since the evidence leading to their arrest was illegally obtained.
    Nice. The U.S. Justice system at it's best.
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    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streaker69 View Post
    I'm sure the drug dealers got off since the evidence leading to their arrest was illegally obtained.
    The "illegal evidence exclusion" only applies to the police obtaining evidence illegally. In legal circles, the whole thing is called "the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree."

    If a third party uses illegal means to obtain evidence (without prompting by the police) and then gives that evidence to the police, it is completely legal for the police and prosecution to use it, and it can't be excluded, at least on that basis.
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    "It is considered a violation of most wiretap laws in many jurisdictions to listen in on cordless phone conversations."
    What thorn said.
    And you'all forgot 174 mhz range, but who am I? Nobody right. See yea. PS. Change scanner to include receiver as well. Genius.
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    Thanks for the warnings, I'm not into being arrested, and I'm well aware of the laws. I may not even try this (not too much time available right now), just out of curiosity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    The "illegal evidence exclusion" only applies to the police obtaining evidence illegally. In legal circles, the whole thing is called "the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree."
    Even then, there are "inevitable discovery" and "good faith" exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule.

    The Exclusionary Rule is an interesting subject by itself; as it was completely created by the courts and has no real basis in the 4th Amendment.
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