Congress Left in Dark on DOJ Wiretaps (wired.com)
Between 2004 and 2008, the Department of Justice failed to provide Congress with mandatory annual reports detailing its use of surveillance tools called pen registers and trap-and-trace devices, which record the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that communicate with a targeted entity. During this time of congressional inattentiveness, the DOJ’s use of this technique nearly doubled, increasing from 10,885 to 21,152. Effective Congressional oversight of pen register/trap and trace activity is critical because the government may obtain court orders for this surveillance based on mere relevance to an investigation, rather than probable cause.
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