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FBI Plan Seeks Broader System of Wiretapping

November 02, 1995| From Reuters

NEW YORK — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has proposed a national wiretapping system that would give law enforcement officials the capacity to monitor as many as one out of every 100 phone lines in high crime areas, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The plan, as outlined in the Oct. 16 issue of the Federal Register, would exceed the current average number of wiretaps of fewer than 850 in a year, or one in every 174,000 phone lines, the New York Times said in today's editions.

The paper said law enforcement officials would still need court approval to conduct the taps and the plan would need congressional approval for the required funds.

Although the FBI would not comment on the proposal, the paper said the agency argues that more of modern life, business and crime is taking place as voice or computer conversations over digital phone lines. The proposal is the first comprehensive outline by the FBI of the surveillance requirements it will require under the controversial Digital Telephony Act signed into law in 1994.

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