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Justice Dept.'s warrantless eavesdropping rejected

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Justice Dept.’s warrantless eavesdropping rejected:

The U.S. Department of Justice asserts it doesn’t need to obtain a wiretap court order to listen to which touch tones are pressed when people are on the phone. . . . At issue in this case is not whether the FBI can legally eavesdrop on a telephone conversation between two Americans. It can—if it obtains a wiretap order from a judge. . . . In last week’s opinion, Azrack said both federal law and the Fourth Amendment require her to reject prosecutors’ request: “Despite the investigative benefit which would come from access to all PCTDD, the government cannot bootstrap the content of communications, protected by the Fourth Amendment, into the grasp of a device authorized only to collect call-identifying information. Until the government can separate PCTDD that do not contain content from those that do, pen register authorization is insufficient for the government to obtain any PCTDD.”

Translation: Get a proper wiretap order.