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Thread: Is the use of air scanner illegall in Germany ?

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    Default Is the use of air scanner illegall in Germany ?

    The qustion is the name of the thread. I have Uniden 30XLT, i found information that it is illegal to use it in Germany. I`m flying there tomorow and i`m wondering if I should get my Uniden with me.


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    Yes, it's illegal in Germany to listen to traffic that is not for you and this, sadly includes, ATC stuff and so forth. Please note that carrying a scanner per se is not forbidden. The few times I was at Frankfurt Airport spotting, I never saw anyone using a scanner either, so people either don't use them or keep them well hidden.

    That said, being in your shoes, I would just use my scanner and to hell with the police. They won't be checking for it anyway and it's very hard (near impossible) to detect radio receivers in general anyway. Remember to use an ear piece (like some people do when they're using a cellular phone) and nobody will notice you.

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    Senior Member Crunk415balla's Avatar
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    I don't get why scanners are illegal in Europe, yet they're legal here with our Jingo airport police.

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    I think Holland is one of the few countries were listening is seen as a normal thing and a must have for a spotter.

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    JPElite Member! wrxflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunk415balla View Post
    I don't get why scanners are illegal in Europe, yet they're legal here with our Jingo airport police.
    They are not illegal in Europe, only in a few countries.
    Here in Holland, and as far as I know in the UK and Switzerland (and maybe some more countries), they are legal to use.
    And, what Arnie already pointed out; to hell with the police.
    Even in countries where it's 100% illegal, I 'll always use my scanner, if I have one at hand. Just be sure nobody can see the scanner! It's almost impossible to detect one.

    Freek

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrxflyer View Post
    They are not illegal in Europe, only in a few countries.
    Here in Holland, and as far as I know in the UK and Switzerland (and maybe some more countries), they are legal to use.
    My understanding in the UK and a few other European countries is that they are legal to own and to listen in to in private. What you can't do is to communicate the contents of any transmission to any other person or party.

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    BCBYH! JordanD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunk415balla View Post
    I don't get why scanners are illegal in Europe, yet they're legal here with our Jingo airport police.
    I know a kid who had that dumbass redneck tell him that using the scanner was illegal.


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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    My understanding in the UK and a few other European countries is that they are legal to own and to listen in to in private. What you can't do is to communicate the contents of any transmission to any other person or party.
    Quite correct. A police officer friend of mine tells me that it is not illegal to own a scanner, nor is it illegal to use it.

    An offence is committed if you gain information from its use and profit from, or use the information gained to commit an illegal act. An example would be ....

    Ascertaining the arrival time of an aircraft to obtain a picture of it = legal.

    Ascertaining the arrival time of an aircraft to commit an illegal offence against it, i.e. cause danger to its operation = illegal.

    Many people, myself included used to listen to police radio activity. I used to do it as a part of my job to keep myself, and occassionally police officers safe in the course of our duties. That's not possible now with the advent of encrypted digital radio but listening in was not illegal. It only became so if the information was used for personal profit, such as a breakdown company using the information to "pirate" a vehicle recovery or to use the information to avoid arrest and/or detection of crime.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Using the information gained is also illegal in Germany. Having and carrying a scanner is legal in Germany as well. Listen to communications not meant for you is illegal only. Acting upon it is illegal.

    So, for a police officer to bust you, he has to prove that you have a scanner, you have turned it on AND you're listening to a some frequency you're not allowed to listen to.

    And he is not allowed to search you without probable cause. Just looking at airplanes is NOT enough for a search.

    So: To hell with it. Just listen, but don't do it in such a way that it is clear from looking at you that you're listening!

    Without some civil disobedience all our rights are slowly being eroded. So think of your children and be brave!

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    Senior Member Crunk415balla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JordanD View Post
    I know a kid who had that dumbass redneck tell him that using the scanner was illegal.
    The same dumbass redneck who stopped me at SDF literally the second I stepped out of your car with my camera?

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    BCBYH! JordanD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crunk415balla View Post
    The same dumbass redneck who stopped me at SDF literally the second I stepped out of your car with my camera?
    Judging by the description I got, that'd be the one.


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    Quote Originally Posted by arjenp View Post
    I think Holland is one of the few countries were listening is seen as a normal thing and a must have for a spotter.
    I listen almost every day when I´m behind my computer. I have a good scanner, the Uniden USC230. Even though I live appr. 50 km. from Schiphol, I can hear pretty much. You should watch people spotting at AMS/EHAM/Schiphol. Especially on nice days. There´s a whole load of people carrying their scanners. Not hidden or so, just so that everyone can see it. I think they´re just showing off
    Last edited by Hinkelbein; 02-04-2009 at 07:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinkelbein View Post
    I listen almost every day when I´m behind my computer. I have a good scanner, the Uniden USC230. Even though I live appr. 50 km. from Schiphol, I can hear pretty much. You should watch people spotting at AMS/EHAM/Schiphol. Especially on nice days. There´s a whole load of people carrying their scanners. Not hidden or so, just so that everyone can see it. I think they´re just showing off
    Do you hear Schiphol tower? I live about 30 km from Schiphol but I only hear pilots talking to the controllers. When I'm in my room I also have my UBC92XLT on, also listening to other things that I can listen to

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    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Arjanp,

    I hear the pilots, but I don´t think I can hear the tower.
    Sometimes I do hear others however, when it´s about maintenance or de-icing or something.

    Sometimes I hear some Dutch, allthough everything else is in English.
    The Dutch talk is about planes however. I think it´s maintenance, but sometimes I hear things like e.g. "we have 24 persons an board, we had no problems, we´re near Eindhoven airport" (in Dutch!). Don´t know what it is.

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    Member DAIRD's Avatar
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    A friend of mine was caught by police while he was helding the scanner right to his ear. Foolish thing... without earphones. He and his companion were picked up by a police patrol, they guided them to the police station and finally he had to deliver the scanner. A fine of 200 Euros and spotting without the scanner was the price for this action.
    For myself, when I use a scanner I hide it under my jacket and use small earphones from my mobile phone. As Arnie stated: they don't have the right to search you. As long they don't see the scanner in your hand (or at your ear).


    get FRA spotting informations here:
    www.Frankfurt-Aviation-Friends.eu

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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    but sometimes I hear things like e.g. "we have 24 persons an board, we had no problems, we´re near Eindhoven airport" (in Dutch!). Don´t know what it is.
    That's probably a company private channel. Conversations on these frequencies are often in native language as they are not part of ATC procedures. Company channels may be used for such things as reporting a maintenance need on arrival, requesting wheelchair assistance for a disabled passenger etc.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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