Wiretaps Of Encrypted Messages Reached New High In 2019

Law360 (June 30, 2020, 9:35 PM EDT) -- State investigators conducting wiretaps encountered encryption at an uncharted rate in 2019, and nearly always could not decipher messages, while total arrests and convictions based on electronic surveillance increased, according to a U.S. courts report released Tuesday.

The number of court-approved state wiretaps that encountered encryption rose to 343 in 2019, compared with 146 such reports in 2018 and 102 in 2017, according to statistics submitted annually to Congress by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

State investigators were unable to decipher the plain text of messages in all but nine of the 343 state wiretaps that dealt with encryption, Tuesday's report...

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