ACLU: Obama Has Quadrupled Warrantless Wiretaps
The ACLU released a report this week that shows that under Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder, warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of American's electronic communications is "sharply on the rise."
After months of litigation and Freedom of Information Act requests, the ACLU obtained documents from the federal government proving that real-time monitoring of electronic communications inside the U.S. has climbed 60 percent since 2009 and far surpasses monitoring under President Bush.
The ACLU reports that the Dept. of Justice used "pen register" and "trap and trace" techniques 23,535 times in 2009 and 37,616 times in 2011.
A "pen register" captures outgoing data from a phone or email account while "trap and trace" captures incoming data.
During that same time period, the number of people whose telephones were the subject of pen register and trap and trace surveillance more than tripled. In fact, more people were subjected to pen register and trap and trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade.
(ACLU's bold above)
"The number of authorizations the Justice Department received to use these devices on individuals' email and network data increased 361% between 2009 and 2011," the ACLU said.
It should be noted that all of this is perpetrated by the Dept. of Justice without obtaining traditional warrants.
The ACLU complained that it has been repeatedly blocked by the Obama administration when seeking disclosure. The ACLU also noted that since Obama became president his administration has repeatedly neglected deadlines required by law to release reports on the DOJ's actions.
The civil rights group charges the federal government with "frustrating democratic oversight" and obviating a basic measure of accountability by neglecting its duties to fulfill these transparency measures.
Warrantless wiretapping, when initiated by the Bush administration, was one of the left's most dear causes, but since Obama came to office -- and been proven to have tremendously increased such wiretapping -- silence has prevailed over the practice.