The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reports today that the US Justice Department made 1,745 requests last year to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) for permission to wiretap electronic communications or search for physical evidence in counter-terrorism cases.
That's up from 1,579 requests in 2010. Every single one of the requests submitted in 2011 were accepted, though 30 were modified by the court.
All of this is noted in a new annual report to Congress. More context from the FAS blog post today by Steven Aftergood:
The new report says that the government filed 205 applications for business records (including “tangible things”) for foreign intelligence purposes last year, compared to 96 in the previous year.
But the number of “national security letters” (a type of administrative subpoena) declined last year. In 2011, the FBI requested 16,511 national security letters pertaining to 7,201 U.S. persons, the new report said, compared to the 2010 total of 24,287 letter requests concerning 14,212 U.S. persons.
(via Associated Press)