Privacy SOS

2010 Wiretap report obscures vast surveillance regime

The 2010 US government wiretap report has been released, showing an increase of 34% from 2009 with 84% of wiretap cases involving drugs. But as many security experts have observed, the numbers in the official wiretap report are necessarily vastly understated. That's because when the FBI uses "National Security Letters" or "NSLs," the government is expressly prohibited from reporting these numbers. The NSLs are extremely secretive and involve a gag order to the recipient of the demand for data. 

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