Quote Originally Posted by Eli Polonsky View Post
I used to listen to those channels on a scanner back then. Sometimes you could hear about incidents or conditions before they would make it to the air, or situations in secondary areas (that I happened to be driving in) that weren't considered priority enough to make it to the air.
I want to say when SmartRoutes came into town, the existing traffic service had a feeling the new kid on the block was listening in on 450.112, back in the days before trunked radios were affordable, so they set a trap to snare SmartRoutes. On 450.112 they mentioned there was a dog running around on the Central Artery at the entrance of the Dewey Sq/South Station tunnel. the report was not aired on any broadcast station, so the only way to get it was to listen to, and repeat what was heard on 450.112, in violation of the Communications Act of 1934.

So armed with recordings of broadcasts from radio stations containing the false information, they went into court and sued Smart Routes and won. I forget exactly what they got in damages.

June 1992:

June 4, 1992

Judge untangles traffic tie-up
The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
June 4, 1992 | John H. Kennedy, Globe Staff | Copyright

Eavesdropping is no-no.

That, essentially, was the ruling of a federal judge, who has barred SmartRoute Systems Inc., a traffic information firm, from listening in on the radio communications of a bigger competing firm, Metro Traffic Control Inc.

Metro, which provides traffic information to radio and television stations, sued SmartRoute last September after orchestrating a disinformation campaign by having employees talk over the two-way radio system about bogus traffic tie-ups.

US District Judge David S. Nelson issued a preliminary injunction last week barring SmartRoute, of Cambridge, from monitoring Metro employees' radio communications.

"While Metro does not have an exclusive right to report traffic information, their two-way radio communications are protected from unauthorized interception," Nelson said in his decision. …