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Old 10 July 2009, 04:12   #11
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Scanners are readily available for virtually all radio channels, which include LW/MW/VHF/UHF and beyond. These cover both aviation and marine frequencies. It is not illegal to listen to the vast majority of these frequencies.
But if you purchase a radio that has the ability to transmit, then it is the responsibility of the person making the purchase to ensure that appropriate licence is obtained before using the transmit function.

In aviation, there are times when we have to be very careful of what and how we pass or request info to aircrew, as we know that there will always be numerous "spotters" listening in. Fortunately we now have the ability to "talk" to aircrews without the need of a radio in certain circumstances.
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Old 10 July 2009, 04:30   #12
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Scanners are readily available for virtually all radio channels, which include LW/MW/VHF/UHF and beyond. These cover both aviation and marine frequencies. It is not illegal to listen to the vast majority of these frequencies.
But if you purchase a radio that has the ability to transmit, then it is the responsibility of the person making the purchase to ensure that appropriate licence is obtained before using the transmit function.
This is technically incorrect. Section 48 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 covers the offences.

It is illegal to listen to any licensed set of frequencies, marine and aviation are examples, without the correct license/authority. Scanners can only be used to listen to broadcast radio stations, CB radio etc - unless of course you have a license for other frequencies.
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Old 10 July 2009, 05:01   #13
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I'm with 250 on this one - I think it is the recording of conversation that can be classed as illegal - simply lietening to a public boradcast channel is not.

I have radios to receive & transmit on Air & Marine band sat in the garage(which could cause serious mayhem if I didn't know what I was doing !) and no-one ever asks to see you licence when you buy them ! I think its big ask to make anyone think its illegal to listen !

Considering there is no actual legal requirement for me to have a radio in my boat , or aircraft for that matter its a bit of non-started to try & make it illegal to just listen to a frequency.


Any way I'm sure have all registered our main sets & a ourhand helds properly & hold all the correct personal licences ?
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Old 10 July 2009, 07:47   #14
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Section 48 is designed to procecute persons who use electronic equipment to access information which is not intended to be public. As both Marine & Aviation radios are broadcast messages or open, I cannot envisage any circumstance where this act could be used to bring a procecution. But then again, the anti-terror law could be used for anything ....

To Quote;-A person commits an offence if, otherwise than under the authority of a designated person—
(a)he uses wireless telegraphy apparatus with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message (whether sent by means of wireless telegraphy or not) of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient, or
(b)he discloses information as to the contents, sender or addressee of such a message

As all our messages start with the addressee & includes who we are and the general content, therefore we could all be locked up everytime just for listening ......

When I make that Mayday call, I want the world and his wife to listen, take notes and help, whether they are licenced or not
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Old 10 July 2009, 08:07   #15
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Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm sure when I took my first VHF test (It was after the morse days ) they told me it was technically illegal to eavesdrop.
My scanner is for listening to the normal VHF channels plus channel 0 and 31. Gives me a head start on the rest of the crew if I hear the CG saying we're launching Staithes Lifeboat.
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Old 10 July 2009, 14:24   #16
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Not sure if you have done your course Brainz but I have one running on the 26 th of July and as we are local to you .

Let me know if of interest .
Cheers Tim
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Old 11 July 2009, 05:38   #17
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I'm not sure what the legal situation in the UK is but when applying for my Short Range Certificate (VHF) certificate, I had to sign an official goverment "declaration that he/she will preserve the secrecy of correspondence". So basically, listen all you want, but keep yer beak shut about it later. Adherence to callsigns, not real names was another big issue in the training...

... so it always cracks me up when I file a TR under my callsign (ok, the rib's callsign) and the local CG responds, ending ...enjoy your trip/dive "willk"!
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Old 11 July 2009, 12:42   #18
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I'm not sure what the legal situation in the UK is but when applying for my Short Range Certificate (VHF) certificate, I had to sign an official goverment "declaration that he/she will preserve the secrecy of correspondence". So basically, listen all you want, but keep yer beak shut about it later. Adherence to callsigns, not real names was another big issue in the training...

... so it always cracks me up when I file a TR under my callsign (ok, the rib's callsign) and the local CG responds, ending ...enjoy your trip/dive "willk"!
I like it when the CG pass peoples mobile numbers over the radio for all to hear, granted its on zero but anyone can get a scanner and listen.

Today a mate found "something" on the beach, the CG wouldn't say what it was over the radio in case anyone was listening, good eh, they then went on to announce that the MOD's EOD section would take a look in the morning.... wonder what he could have found eh.
It had me in stitches when they were describing it as a foot long 4" wide and got slightly fatter in the middle. The MOD wanted pictures of it, told my mate I get sent emails with similar items in if they want me to forward em on?
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Old 12 July 2009, 04:46   #19
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Section 48 is designed to procecute persons who use electronic equipment to access information which is not intended to be public. As both Marine & Aviation radios are broadcast messages or open, I cannot envisage any circumstance where this act could be used to bring a prosecution.
"which is not intended to be public". And there lies the answer. Marine and aviation bands are not 'public' - they are licensed bands. Until you hold an SRC and have a ships/transportable license you are not licensed to listen or transmit - hence under Section 48 you would be using "electronic equipment to access information which is not intended to be public"

Its exactly the same with 'private' channels like Channel 0 - you have to be licensed or authorised to use a particular frequency.
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