[telecom] Court-approved wiretaps defeating encryption, feds say

Court-approved wiretaps defeating encryption, feds say Authorities are likely to confront growing number of encrypted devices.

by David Kravets July 2 2014 Ars Technica

The use of court-approved wiretaps in domestic criminal cases in 2013 increased five percent from the year before, and authorities largely defeated encryption methods on the mobile, landline, and other devices they tapped, according to a report Wednesday from the US agency that oversees the country's court system.

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts, using the latest available figures, said there were 3,576 wiretaps reported. That represented a nine-percent bump in federal court orders and a three percent increase from state judges. The report said that only one wiretap application was denied for all of 2013.

When it comes to cracking encryption, the authorities said they encountered encryption 41 times, up from 15 the year before.


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