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US Wiretap Report Released 48

sTeF writes "According to the 2010 Wiretap Report (Pdf), released today by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) federal and state requests for court permission to intercept or wiretap electronic communications increased 34% in 2010 over 2009. California, New York, and New Jersey accounted for 68% of all wire taps approved by state judges."
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US Wiretap Report Released

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  • Keep in mind... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by an00bis ( 667089 ) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @09:42PM (#36649598)
    That 34% doesn't include the ones you're not supposed to know about.
  • Re:Keep in mind... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @09:49PM (#36649624) Journal
    TFS makes that distinction, implicitly. "Requests for court permission". This suggests that even your neighborhood doughnut-eater, and those barely above him on the food chain, are getting hip to this "wiretap" stuff that the kids are all talking about these days. All the cool law enforcement are virtually exempt from even having to bother with a judicial rubber stamp.
  • Re:mob (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Sunday July 03, 2011 @09:58PM (#36649656)

    Did you say something about terrorists? I must have missed where anyone was discussing terrorists*.

    Wiretaps have not and do not stop terrorists, and the number has increased EACH and EVERY year since 2002. These wiretaps have not led to a decrease in CRIME, a decrease in the existence of the mafia (RIAA+MPAA+BSA?) (other than The Sopranos being canceled), or any positive outcome.

    Judges have REGULARLY allowed law enforcement to "latitude" in excess (abuse) of the 4th amendment.

    I understand it's REALLY EASY to ignore the topic altogether and say "well it's higher in New York and New Jersey so it's ok." However, the Constitution's protections don't have a "some slashdot read thinks it's ok if it's only NY/NJ suffers so let's ignore it" clause. It's EQUAL protection under the LAW.

    I tried to use big letters, because the little letters in the Fourth Amendment seem to have escaped attention.

    *P.S. The "9/11" plane attackers had valid non-expired government issued photo IDs, no weapons, knives, liquids, or were caught on wiretaps. Some of them flew out of JFK (which is in NY). What's the mob connection there? Oh. None? You don't say. So this REALLY is an example of courts giving law enforcement privileges they shouldn't have WHICH IN NO WAY FIGHT TERRORISM, PAST, PRESENT, or FICTION? Got it.

  • Re:mob (Score:5, Insightful)

    by one-egg ( 67570 ) <> on Monday July 04, 2011 @01:09AM (#36650234) Homepage
    The reason terrorism is relevant is because it is regularly used as justification for loosening wiretap restrictions. If the wiretaps aren't actually being used for terrorism, the justification is bogus. Your claim about the rise in wiretaps being due to the rise in electronic communication is completely wrong; in case you haven't noticed the telephone is over 100 years old and has been the normal mode of communication for many decades. If mobiles were the cause of the increase, you'd expect a very high number of "roving" wiretaps, but the report lists only a tiny number. Likewise, online accounts are a poor explanation since wiretap orders can cover multiple technologies. But your worst "reasoning" is in your postscript, where you try to imply that two year-to-year decreases prove there is no upward trend. A glance at the graphe is sufficient to nuke that allegation; it's obvious that there is noise in the data but the trend is upward (and although it's too early to be sure, there seems to be an explosion going on since Obama took office).
  • by littlewink ( 996298 ) on Monday July 04, 2011 @01:37AM (#36650326)
    We all know that most wiretaps have no court permission (or have FISA court permission, which is a rubber-stamp operation), so why not provide those numbers too?

    Oh, the gubmint won't release the numbers?

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.