RealNews

Wiretap applications dropped in 2002, report finds

Law enforcement officials sought fewer court orders last year for eavesdropping on private conversations, a report says, but that doesn’t include hundreds of wiretaps approved by a special court to track down suspected terrorists and spies. Federal and state judges authorized all but one of the 1,359 wiretap applications submitted in 2002. The requests represented a 9 percent decrease from the 1,491 applications logged the previous year, according to the annual report by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Federal wiretaps rose by 2 percent, to 497, while the number of applications filed by state officials dropped 14 percent to 861. Nearly all the nonfederal applications came from seven states: New York, with 404 applications; California, 143; New Jersey, 81; Pennsylvania, 79; Maryland, 54; Florida, 37; and Illinois, 25. Full Story

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