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Judge Describes Secret Surveillance Docket

SURVEILLANCE—U.S.

July 24, 2012

The New York Times reports on comments made by a federal judge who describes a secret docket of court orders allowing surveillance of cellphone and e-mail records. Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith said, “Courts do things in public…That’s the way we maintain our legitimacy. As citizens, we need to know how law enforcement is using this power,” adding, “The problem is that these surveillance orders remain secret long after the criminal investigations come to an end.” Last year, cellphone carriers received approximately 1.3 million requests for subscriber data. Smith’s description of the growing docket will be published in The Harvard Law and Policy Review. (Registration may be required to access story.)
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