I'm not unmindful of the fact that, being a scannist with a web page, I'm thus higher profile and many, many people tend to look to me for information regarding the hobby. As such, I want to make sure that everything that I do is in keeping with the law, and with morals. I have to be a model for the others who follow, whether I like it or not - especially if those who come here are new to the hobby.
There are laws, and unspoken rules we must adhere to. We must put up a good first impression for everyone else to see. Too many people already have a bad view of the scanning hobby and hobbyist and misunderstand what it really is. So, let me make some things perfectly clear right at the git-go.
1) Some things are illegal to monitor, being considered private and which are protected by federal law. This includes conversations on portable phones, cellular phones, and transmissions which are "encrypted or scrambled."
2) Modifications to scanners so that they may receive cellphone conversations is illegal, by federal law. I do not support scanner mods that allow reception and monitoring of cellular phone calls. I know nothing about that, for that matter. I am not that technically inclined. I am not interested in monitoring cellular phone conversations, personally. I do not support it. I've never had a local user ask me about this, but I seem to get some e-mails from out-of-state people (from weird, in-the-boonies places) about it, for some reason. Be advised that if I get one, your e-mail will promptly be turned over to the correct authorities. I also reserve the right to POST such requests here for all to see.
3) I do not support ambulance chasing. If you are a lawyer, doctor, chiropractor, accident photographer (who is not officially hired by a local law enforcement agency), insurance agent, medical institution, or similar, and you intend to send me an e-mail requesting that I advise you of any accidents that I hear of on my scanner - for pay or not - then be advised that YOUR E-MAIL WILL BE TURNED OVER TO LAW ENFORCEMENT - IMMEDIATELY, AND WITHOUT ANY NOTICE. Here's an example. Ambulance chasing is against the law. I have already turned over two such e-mails that I have received in the past to authorities. One actually wanted me to "clue him in" for free! Another was from some guy in Jacksonville, who offered me a portion of profits received from any cases that he won. I told him to go to hell. Not long afterwards, 48 Hours did a story about ambulance chasing, and it's actually what prompted me to write this.
This site is intended for law-abiding scannists who wish to monitor things like our public service agencies, whose comms should always be open to the public. It is not for people wishing to hand a business card to innocent accident victims who still have blood on their faces. No, this site not designed for you. Please leave. I reserve the right to POST any such request you make here for all to see, as well. You have been forewarned.
At the same time, be aware that if you run a scanning-related web page, you are open to these kinds of illegal requests and, if you don't know the law, you could end up in serious trouble if the authorities find out what you are doing. So, now that you've read this, if you're involved in that...then STOP! You're make the good and honest majority of us look bad.
The majority of us are law-abiding citizens, who have a scanner mostly to monitor the happenings of our own local areas, and to catch up on the news that the TV and newspapers don't because of time constraints, lack of space, and a ratings priority system. It is the one bad person in a hundred thousand that people hear about and which people most remember. Please try your best not to be that kind. It is because of those few jerks that the rest of us must endure ever-stricter anti-monitoring laws.