By David Kravets
The number of criminal wiretaps authorized by federal and state judges in 2011 decreased 14 percent from the year prior to 2,732, according to the latest figures available.
The vast majority of the wiretaps covered in the government report are for drug investigations and nearly all of them target mobile phones.
Don’t go thinking, however, that the government’s love for electronic snooping has faded.
The data, which the government is required to publish annually, covers just a small part of the nation’s ever-growing surveillance society. The government has at its disposal a variety of methods to capture Americans’ communications and data without warrants or with super-secret national security wiretap warrants that aren’t covered in this report.