2011 Wiretap Stats Released
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has released its annual report on the use of federal and state wiretaps and electronic surveillance. The summary is here, and the page with all the appendixes and charts is here. Some highlights:
- 85% of the federal wiretaps were in drug cases.
- The average cost for a federal wiretap was $71,748, a 13 percent increase from 2010.
- Telephone wiretaps accounted for 96 percent (2,092 cases) of the intercepts installed in 2011, the majority of them involving cellular telephones.
- During 2011, a total of 4,006 arrests, 2,700 convictions, and additional costs of $51,874,823 arose from and were reported for wiretaps completed in previous years.
These stats don't even include most forms of electronic spying for which the Government doesn't need a warrant based on probable cause -- like pen registers/trap and trace devices or obtaining toll records, subscriber information, e-mail and social media account information.
Nor do the stats include the rampant use of cell phone tracking. The Justice Department is fighting legislative proposals to require warrants for cell phone tracking. It says it would "cripple law enforcement."
Whatever happened to the expectation of privacy? As the Fourth of July is almost upon us, here's a reminder of one of the principles that inspired our nation's founders:
|< Splitsville | Saturday Morning Open Thread >|