Electronic Surveillance Statistics for 2005
For FISA surveillance orders, 2072 applications were made to the FISA court; none were denied. Over the past few years, the number of orders has been steadily increasing:
2005 — 2072 applications approved
2004 — 1758 applications approved
2003 — 1724 applications approved
2002 — 1228 applications approved
2001 — 934 applications approved
2000 — 1012 applications approved
1999 — 880 applications approved
In all, only 4 applications have ever been denied. More statistics are on EPIC’s FISA statistics page.
One wonders what the statisics would have been had the Bush Administration properly gone to the FISA court instead of engaging in secret wiretapping by the NSA.
During calendar year 2005, the Government made requests for certain information concerning 3,501 different United States persons pursuant to National Security Letters (NSLs). During this time frame, the total number of NSL requests (excluding NSLs for subscriber information) for information concerning U.S. persons totaled 9,254. In other words, there were 3,501 different U.S. persons involved in the total of 9,254 NSLs that related to U.S. persons.
According to the Washington Post:
The report, released late Friday, represents the first official count of NSL use. It was required under legislation that extended the USA Patriot Act anti-terrorism law.
The count does not include other such letters that are issued by the FBI to obtain more limited subscriber information from companies, such as a person’s name, address or other identifying data, according to the report. Sources have said that would include thousands of additional letters and may be the largest category of NSLs issued. The Washington Post reported in November that the FBI now issues more than 30,000 NSLs each year, including subscriber requests.
1. Solove, National Security Letters (Nov. 2005)
2. Solove, More on National Security Letters (Nov. 2005)