State wiretap usage up 40 percent in 2001

Friday, 24 May 2002, 11:50 AM EST

State courts authorized a dramatic increase in the use of electronic surveillance last year, mostly to listen in on cell phones, pagers and other wireless devices, according to a government report released today.

In its annual Wiretap Report, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said state courts approved 1,005 wiretap applications last year, up from 711 in the previous year.

Federal judges, by contrast, approved 486 wiretap requests, just six more than in 2000.

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