What's Behind a Surge in Surveillance Requests to Cellphone Carriers?
Jenna Lee reports that the feds are trying to get their hands on more and more cellphone records, sometimes without warrants. There were a whopping 1.3 million requests in 2011 alone. AT&T says it’s seen law enforcement requests more than double since 2007.
Judge Andrew Napolitano said that before 9/11, the legal standard for law enforcement officers across the country was that if they wanted to listen to someone’s phone calls or wanted a record of someone’s calls, they had to go to a judge, present evidence that the person probably committed a crime, and that evidence of the crime was probably contained in the records requested.
Napolitano said that the Patriot Act changed that because it let FBI agents write their own search warrants. He said, “A lot of local and state law enforcement sort of got jealous of that federal authority, and so they began peppering judges to lower the standards a little bit to make it easier for them to listen to people’s phone calls.”