Tag: electronic surveillance
In a nutshell:
- The number of federal and state wiretaps authorized in 2013 reached a ten year high -- there were 3,576.
- Only 1 wiretap application was rejected, and that was by a state court. (Number of requests: 3577)
- 87% of all wiretaps were for drug offenses.
- Average cost of a federal wiretap: $43,361.
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To the extent permitted by applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, Verizon’s transparency report will identify the total number of law enforcement agency requests received from government authorities in criminal cases.
In addition, the report will break out this data under categories such as subpoenas, court orders and warrants. Verizon will also provide other details about the legal demands it receives, as well as information about requests for information in emergencies.
Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo already publish transparency reports.
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The LA Times reports on a key legacy of the 9/11 attacks: the exponential increase in governmental spying on Americans.
Thanks to new laws and technologies, authorities track and eavesdrop on Americans as they never could before, hauling in billions of bank records, travel receipts and other information. In several cases, they have wiretapped conversations between lawyers and defendants, challenging the legal principle that attorney-client communication is inviolate.
As one law professor puts it:
"We are caught in the middle of a perfect storm in which every thought we communicate, every step we take, every transaction we enter into is captured in digital data and is subject to government collection."
One we give the Government new power, it rarely gives it back. It's important to note that this legacy was not caused by the terrorists, but by our own lawmakers in Washington who let fear drive their actions. We have not become safer, we are only less free.
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Chief Justice John Roberts has appointed two new federal judges to the secret FISA Court, replacing two judges whose 7 year terms are up.
They are U.S. District Judges Jennifer Coffman of Kentucky and F. Dennis Saylor of Massachusetts. Judge Coffman was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton and Judge Coffman was appointed by G.W. Bush. [More...]
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