The State of Surveillance
Christopher Soghoian
Center for Cybersecurity Research
Indiana University
The state of surveillance
(law enforcement)
Wiretaps in the US
• Real-time interception of communications
content.
• Includes
– Voice communications
– Text messages /...
The use of real-time, content
intercepts (“wiretaps”) in the US
continues to grow each year
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500 '87
'88
'89
'90
'91
'92
'93
'94
'95
'96
'97
'98
'99
'00
'01
'02
'03
'04
'05
'06
'07
'08
'09
Inte...
Drugs are bad
(If you value your privacy)
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
'99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
Major offense specified in intercept order:
Narcotic...
If you are going to break the law, and
don’t want to be wiretapped, stick
with something safer…
Like murder, bribery, or extortion
Major offense specified in intercept
orders (2009)
Arson, explosives, and weapons 18
Bribery 2
Extortion (includes usury a...
Phone surveillance increases each
year, while other forms all decline
(due to more intercepts by states,
not the federal g...
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
'97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
Types of intercept orders
(1997 - 2009)
Tota...
In 2009, 95% of all intercept orders
were for a portable device
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
'00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
Location of authorized intercept orders
(2000 - 2009)
Pe...
Electronic intercept orders used to be
significant in number…..
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
'97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
Electronic and Combined Intercept Or...
But have plunged over the past few
years….
To less than 5 per year.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
'04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09
Electronic Intercept Orders
(2004 - 2009)
Total Electronic Intercept Orde...
What happened?
Network Wiretaps?
• Law enforcement agencies are simply not
performing real-time data network intercepts of
communications...
Analysis of wiretap stats
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Analysis of wiretap stats

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Analysis of wiretap stats

  1. 1. The State of Surveillance Christopher Soghoian Center for Cybersecurity Research Indiana University
  2. 2. The state of surveillance (law enforcement)
  3. 3. Wiretaps in the US • Real-time interception of communications content. • Includes – Voice communications – Text messages / IM – Network traffic (think: tcpdump) • To get one, law enforcement must get a “super warrant”: probable cause +
  4. 4. The use of real-time, content intercepts (“wiretaps”) in the US continues to grow each year
  5. 5. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Intercept orders granted between 1987 and 2009 Total intercepts authorized Federal intercepts authorized
  6. 6. Drugs are bad (If you value your privacy)
  7. 7. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Major offense specified in intercept order: Narcotics vs all other crimes Narcotics All other crimes
  8. 8. If you are going to break the law, and don’t want to be wiretapped, stick with something safer…
  9. 9. Like murder, bribery, or extortion
  10. 10. Major offense specified in intercept orders (2009) Arson, explosives, and weapons 18 Bribery 2 Extortion (includes usury and loan-sharking) 3 Gambling 35 Homicide and assault 82 Larceny and theft 35 Narcotics 2,046 Robbery and burglary 9 Racketeering 61 Other or unspecified 85 Total 2376
  11. 11. Phone surveillance increases each year, while other forms all decline (due to more intercepts by states, not the federal government)
  12. 12. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Types of intercept orders (1997 - 2009) Total Phone Intercept Orders Federal Phone Intercept Orders Total Electronic Intercept Orders Federal Electronic Intercept Orders Total Combined Intercept Orders Federal Combined Intercept Orders
  13. 13. In 2009, 95% of all intercept orders were for a portable device
  14. 14. 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Location of authorized intercept orders (2000 - 2009) Personal residence Business Portable device
  15. 15. Electronic intercept orders used to be significant in number…..
  16. 16. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Electronic and Combined Intercept Orders (1997 - 2009) Total Electronic Intercept Orders Federal Electronic Intercept Orders Total Combined Intercept Orders Federal Combined Intercept Orders
  17. 17. But have plunged over the past few years….
  18. 18. To less than 5 per year.
  19. 19. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Electronic Intercept Orders (2004 - 2009) Total Electronic Intercept Orders Federal Electronic Intercept Orders
  20. 20. What happened?
  21. 21. Network Wiretaps? • Law enforcement agencies are simply not performing real-time data network intercepts of communications content. • These stats do not cover FISA / intel agencies, who almost certainly are. • Law enforcement are instead relying on access to stored communications (cheaper, easier, etc). • Why tap your ISP in real-time when your email provider will readily give up the files later?
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