EPIC Urges Greater Accountability for Network Surveillance

Today, EPIC asked Senator Patrick Leahy to investigate the Department of Justice's failure to make public statistics detailing federal use of "pen registers" and "trap and trace" devices, which record "non-content" information about telephone calls, email and web traffic. In a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, EPIC observed that the Attorney General is required to provide to Congress detailed statistics concerning the use of these techniques. Yet, "the DOJ does not publicly disclose pen register reports as a matter of course." EPIC also raised questions regarding the agency's compliance with reporting requirements for the period 2004-2008. The lack of public accountability for these network monitoring techniques contrasts with the U.S. Courts' routine public reporting of federal wiretaps, EPIC said. The Courts released the most recent wiretap report on April 27, 2009. For more information, see EPIC's Wiretapping page.


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