Cell Phone Surveillance By Law Enforcement On The Rise

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In the last five years U.S. law enforcement agencies have roughly tripled the volume of information requests they’ve made to cell phone carriers for surveillance operations–as revealed in a first report of its kind, made available in response to a Congressional inquiry. U.S. carriers have shared details about the number and kinds of subscriber information requests they’ve answered, totalling about 1.3 million, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, AT&T fields an average of 700 requests a day, Cricket, a smaller provider, answers about 116, with Sprint ahead of them all with 1,500 requests daily. Agencies are also spending more on cell phone surveillance. AT&T reported the fees that it charged agencies for the additional processing rose from $2.8 million in 2007 to $8.3 million for last year.

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