Thursday, April 28, 2005

What IS going on?

Wiretaps in U.S. Jump 19 Percent in 2004
The number of court-authorized wiretaps jumped 19 percent last year as investigators pursued drug and other cases against increasingly tech-savvy suspects. Every surveillance request made by authorities was granted.

Federal and state judges approved 1,710 applications for wiretaps of wire, oral or electronic communications last year, and four states — New York, California, New Jersey and Florida — accounted for three of every four surveillance orders, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That agency is required to collect the figures and report them to Congress.

The numbers, released Thursday, do not include court orders for terror-related investigations under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, which reached a record 1,754 warrants last year, according to the Justice Department. [emphasis added]
So this increase has nothing to do with terror investigations. And what are these "other cases"?

If the 19% increase is primarily for drug investigations, why weren't we already doing them? Haven't we already had a full-scale "War on Drugs" since the 1980s?

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