Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "The number of telephone wiretaps from 2000 to 2004 authorized by state and federal judges increased by 44%, the Wall Street Journal reports, in part because of a rise in terrorism investigations after 9/11, and because the Patriot Act extended surveillance to Internet providers. All the surveillance activity can put a strain on carriers. 'Smaller telecom companies in particular have sought help from outsiders in order to comply with the court-ordered subpoenas, touching off a scramble among third parties to meet the demand for assistance', the WSJ reports, adding, 'Government surveillance has intensified even more heavily overseas, particularly in Europe. Some countries, such as Italy, as well as government and law-enforcement agencies, are able to remotely monitor communications traffic without having to go through the individual service providers. To make it easier for authorities to monitor traffic, some also require registering with identification before buying telephone calling cards or using cybercafes.'"
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