US Cops Are Asking Facebook to Wiretap More Chats Than Ever Before

"As we keep moving our lives online, criminals do the same, so we can expect that police will follow and investigate crimes online. But the latest government requests report from Facebook revealed an unexpected and dramatic rise in real-time interceptions, or wiretaps. In the first six months of 2015, US law enforcement agencies sent Facebook 201 wiretap requests (referred to as “Title III” in the report) for 279 users or accounts. In all of 2014, on the other hand, Facebook only received 9 requests for 16 users or accounts.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a 2,133 percent spike. Privacy experts called it a “massive,” “huge,” and “crazy” increase.

“It’s definitely a surprise,” Jonathan Mayer, a computer scientist and lawyer at Stanford who has extensively studied surveillance law, told Motherboard in an email."