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Wiretaps in US increase by 19 percent in 2004

[JURIST] Wiretaps increased by 19 percent last year, with federal and state judges approving 1,710 applications while denying none, the Administrative Office of the US Courts [official website] reported Thursday. New York, California, New Jersey and Florida accounted for three of every four surveillance orders. The number of court-authorized wiretaps jumped last year as investigators pursued drug and other cases against increasingly tech-savvy suspects. The increased surveillance led to 4,506 arrests and 634 convictions based on wiretap evidence. The numbers do not include wiretaps for terror-related investigations under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [Wikipedia article; bill text]. According to the Justice Department, warrants brought under FISA reached a record of 1,754 last year. Read the Administrative Office press release [PDF] and the full report. AP has more.

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