New Justice Department Documents Show Huge Increase in Warrantless Electronic Surveillance
Originally published: September 27, 2012
Last updated: September 27, 2012 - 6:27pm
Justice Department documents released by the ACLU reveal that federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.
The documents, handed over by the government only after months of litigation, are the attorney general’s 2010 and 2011 reports on the use of “pen register” and “trap and trace” surveillance powers. The reports show a dramatic increase in the use of these surveillance tools, which are used to gather information about telephone, e-mail, and other Internet communications. The revelations underscore the importance of regulating and overseeing the government’s surveillance power.