Wiretap Applications Drop 14% in 2008

Bump and Update: The AP has this article on the report.

The report on 2008 wiretaps has just been released. Of the 1,891 applications, none were denied. Applications dropped by 14% this year. 95% of those granted were for cell phones and portable devices. A whopping 84% were in drug cases. The full report is available here (pdf) and the tables here.

A total of 1,891 applications to federal and state judges for orders authorizing the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications were reported in 2008. No applications were denied. This is a 14 percent decrease in the total of applications reported, compared to 2007. Fewer states—22 states compared to 24 in 2007—reported wiretap activity and the number of applications approved by state judges, 1,505, was down 14 percent from 2007. Federal judges approved 386 applications, down 16 percent from 2007.

The most common form of interceptions sought: Telephones (as opposed to oral (bugs) or solely electronic devices.) They accounted for 97% of the orders. As for cost: [More...]

The average cost of intercept devices installed in 2008 was $47,624, down 2 percent from the average cost in 2007. For federal wiretaps for which expenses were reported in 2008, the average cost was $70,536, a 7 percent increase from the average cost in 2007. The average cost of a state wiretap declined 6 percent to $41,154 in 2008.

As for whether they are intercepting criminal conversations or are a privacy invasion, consider:
19 percent of intercepted communications were incriminating in 2008, compared to 30 percent in 2007.
< As Goes GM, So Goes The Nation? | U.S. Warns Against Travel to Mexico >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Can you really believe them though? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Mon Apr 27, 2009 at 04:15:19 PM EST
    They can give you many facts and figures on what they actually did but what we don't know are those they did not tell you about and were done illegally yet no one can trace them and prove their illegality.  

    Of course their down... (none / 0) (#2)
    by PJ70 on Mon Apr 27, 2009 at 04:34:59 PM EST
    We don't need no stinking application.  We're the USA.  We have the Protect America Act.  Filing an application would take filling out paperwork and we just don't have the time in trying to keep America safe.