Fewer Ears on the Wire


State and federal applications for wiretaps dropped 14 percent in 2011, compared to 2010, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts' 2011 Wiretap Report.

Wiretap applications were far more likely to go through state courts than federal courts in 2011, according to the report. The number of state wiretap applications dropped 2 percent in 2011, to 1,940. Federal wiretaps dropped 34 percent from 1,207 in 2010 to 792 in 2011. The report does not offer an explanation for the decrease.

Eight-five percent of wiretap applications in 2011 cited illegal drugs as the most serious offense under investigation and 98 percent were designated for mobile devices.

Read the report here.

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