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Posts tagged ‘audio’


Illinois Man Faces 75 Years in Prison for Recording Police

From BoingBoing: “42-year-old Michael Allison of Illinois could spend the rest of his life in prison for recording police in public. He faces five counts of eavesdropping, a class one felony”. That’s the equivalent of rape.

This is absolutely crazy. How law-abiding and tax-paying citizens (who pay for the police) can be harassed for wanting to make on-duty police officers accountable for their actions is beyond understanding. All one has to do is look at the sheer quantity of illegal police behaviour (and more), to see why the free recording of police officers is so absolutely necessary; both for the public’s protection and sometimes the police officers’.

The definition of eavesdropping is “to listen secretly to the private conversation of others”, in this case the police not only knew they were being recorded (edit: allegedly, if recent reports are true, officers were NOT aware they were being recorded, which is what landed Allison in hot water), but it was a conversation between them and Michael Allison. If police officers are allowed to record audio or video of the public with impunity, the public should be allowed to record the police going about their official duties. 75 years for recording on-duty police officers doesn’t even pass the guffaw test for me, a sensible jury will never convict him, if this ever even goes to court – END OF STORY.

[Updated 7/9/11] If recent reports are true, Michael Allison may also have been stupid as well as unlucky. Apparently he covertly recorded court proceedings (which is definitely illegal), and then lied about it to the judge (also illegal), which is how he ended up with all the additional counts of eavesdropping.

Watch the video below for the full story, it’s a great summary.

In a related story where a man was arrested for filming police in Massachusetts, a federal court ruled that videotaping police is an unambiguous and constitutionally protected right.


Creepy Russian UVB-76 Broadcast Changes After 20 Years

UVB-76 Satellite ImageThis may seem like a deviation from the normal topics I cover, but I’ve been quite intruigued by the recent news of an unusual broadcast from the Russian military UVB-76 numbers station. Numbers stations are radio broadcasts that transmit morse code, or computer-generated voices reading out a series of numbers or words. Their purpose is generally unknown but thought to be used to broadcast orders to military or spies. One rumor suggests it is involved in Russia’s Dead Hand (aka. Perimeter).

UVB-76, located in Povarovo, Russia (northwest of Moscow), is a shortwave radio transmission (4625 kHz – AM suppressed lower sideband) that has been transmitting short monotonous buzz tones since 1982. Voice messages from UVB-76 – also known as “The Buzzer” – have only occurred three confirmed times in the past 20 years, the last known instance being the 23rd of August 2010 (recording below). During this broadcast the buzz tones stopped, and were replaced by the Russian-language broadcast which translates to:

UVB-76, UVB-76 — 93 882 naimina 74 14 35 74 — 9 3 8 8 2 nikolai, anna, ivan, michail, ivan, nikolai, anna, 7, 4, 1, 4, 3, 5, 7, 4

Some believe the transmission referred to the coordinates 74.14N 35.74E, located in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway and Russia, where Russia is planning on testing anti-aircraft missile systems.

There is also belief that the installation is simply used for ionosphere research, as a Russian science journal indicated research being performed on the same frequency. Although this wouldn’t explain the cryptic messages.

Live streams of UVB-76 are available here (AM feed, USB feed). Photos of the purported installation here. Some more archived info here.

Anyone have any other ideas? Conspiracy theories? In all likelihood, it may be nothing propulsed into the mainstream. It wouldn’t be the first time.

[Update 1/09/2010] Dedicated UVB-76 forums are now open – join in the discussion there.

[Update 2/09/2010] Follow regular UVB-76 activity updates here, and find out what’s currently happening.

[Update 10/09/2010] You can also join in on the live chat.

4625 kHz (AM suppressed lower sidebands)