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Court-authorized wiretaps Up Dramatically

(AP) — A government report on court-authorized wiretaps acknowledges that encryption is thwarting authorities from obtaining the text of some communications.Court-gavel

The annual report issued Friday by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts says federal and state judges approved 24 percent more wiretaps in 2012 than the previous year.

A total of 3,395 wiretaps were authorized. Courts in Kansas issued 11, while Missouri courts approved 102.

The report noted that encryption was found on 15 wiretaps last year, and officials were unable to decipher the encrypted messages in four of those. The report said that’s the first time it has happened since the courts began collecting encryption data in 2001.

It does not include data on interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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