Friday, September 11, 2009

CNN Blabs Misunderstood Scanner Traffic, Causes A Small Flap In DC

People... you CAN'T put scanner intercepts on the air.

(1) It's illegal.

(2) You don't have the big picture.

(3) If it happens often enough, agencies will all encrypt their communications. This will solve the problem, but also make information gathering a lot harder for people who know the law and the responsibility not to go yakking everything they hear.

Apparently, what happened was that US Coast Guard had a radio drill today. Now, perhaps 9/11 was not the best day to do this. I'm sure this will cause some meetings somewhere.

Someone at CNN heard a couple of transmissions out of context on a scanner, and went right onto the air with the story that 10 rounds had been fired at a boat on the Potomac. Reuters picked it up and called it a "high security incident."

Soon enough, they found out that the "shots" had consisted of a radio operator saying bang, bang, bang. Really. Like kids playing war.

CNN did not apologize, but Fox totally ripped them for it. And CNN deserves it. Wouldn't it have been simpler to listen a little longer and hear what other agencies were saying, if anything?

USCG might want to start and end such exercise transmissions with "Drill" from now on. Some fire departments do that.

Now, back to HF.