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1 Jurisdictions include Federal Government, States, and the District of Columbia.
2 Average per authorized installation.
3 Based on information received from intercepts installed in year shown; additional arrests/convictions will occur in subsequent years but are not shown here.
Source: Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Report on Applications for Orders Authorizing or Approving the Interception of Wire, Oral or Electronic Communications, (Wiretap Report), annual.
* Applications for Orders Authorizing or Approving the Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications
Reporting Requirements of the Statute
Each federal and state judge is required to file a written report with the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) on each application for an order authorizing the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication (18 U.S.C. 2519(1)). This report is to be furnished within 30 days of the denial of the application or the expiration of the court order (after all extensions have expired). The report must include the name of the official who applied for the order, the offense under investigation, the type of interception device, the general location of the device, and the duration of the authorized intercept.
Prosecuting officials who applied for interception orders are required to submit reports to the AO no later than January 31 on all orders that were terminated during the previous calendar year. These reports contain information related to the cost of the intercept, the number of days the intercept device was actually in operation, the total number of intercepts, and the number of incriminating intercepts recorded. Results such as arrests, trials, convictions, and the number of motions to suppress evidence related directly to the use of intercepts are also noted.
Neither the judges reports nor the prosecuting officials reports contain the names, addresses, or phone numbers of the parties investigated. The AO is not authorized to collect this information.
These data are tabulations of the number of applications for interceptions that were granted or denied, as reported by judges, as well as the number of authorizations for which interception devices were installed, as reported by prosecuting officials. No statistics are available on the number of devices installed for each authorization.
No report to the AO is required when an order is issued with the consent of one of the principal parties to the communication. Examples of such situations include the use of a wire interception to investigate obscene phone calls; the interception of a communication to which a police officer or police informant is a party; the use of a body microphone; or the use of only a pen register (a mechanical device attached to a telephone line to record on paper tape all numbers dialed from that line).
The Director of the AO is empowered to develop and revise the reporting regulations and reporting forms for collecting information on intercepts. Copies of the regulations, the reporting forms, and the federal wiretapping statute may be obtained by writing to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Statistics Division, Washington, D.C. 20544.
The Attorney General of the United States, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, any Assistant Attorney General, any acting Assistant Attorney General, or any specially designated Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice may authorize an application to a federal judge for an order authorizing the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications. On the state level, applications are made by a prosecuting attorney if such attorney is authorized by a statute of that State to make application to a State court judge of competent jurisdiction.
Many wiretap orders are related to large-scale criminal investigations that cross county and state boundaries. Consequently, arrests, trials, and convictions resulting from these interceptions often do not occur within the same year as the installation of the intercept device. Under 18 U.S.C. 2519(2), prosecuting officials must file supplementary reports on additional court or police activity that occurs as a result of intercepts reported in prior years.
These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.
Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.