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uscourts.gov - Average Cost Per 'Official' Wiretap In The US: $50,452

[The reason for NSA mass data mining has just been answered.]

Last week, in a very, very quiet release, the US Federal Court system published its annual Wiretap report to Congress.

This is something that is required by law; the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) must annually report the number of federal and state applications for court orders to “intercept wire, oral, or electronic communications.”

Note – this report only covers wiretapping orders by US courts; it does not include anything related to the NSA’s electronic surveillance, FBI ‘administrative subpoenas’ to Google / Facebook, the US Postal Service snooping people’s physical mail, or any of this top secret FISA nonsense.

In other words, these numbers add yet another dimension to how vast the US spy state has become.

The report gives a lot of eye-popping details about these official, court-ordered wiretaps, including:

Riverside County, California is the most spied-on county in the United States

Followed by Clark County, Nevada

3,395 wiretaps were ordered, averaging 29.03 days each

The average cost of a wiretap order last year was $50,452

The highest cost was $872,841 for a Federal wiretap in the Eastern district of Washington

87.39% of these wiretap orders were connected to drug-related charges

Only 18.19% of these wiretaps actually led to a conviction
Wiretap Report 2012 - Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
"The expenditures reported reflect the cost of installing intercept devices and monitoring communications for the 2,247 authorizations for which reports included cost data. The average cost of intercept devices in 2012 was $50,452, up 2 percent from the average cost in 2011. For federal wiretaps for which expenses were reported in 2012, the average cost was $57,540, a 20 percent decrease from 2011. The average cost of federal wiretaps varied widely from a low of $5,260 in the Southern District of Iowa to a high of $872,841 in the Eastern District of Washington. The average cost of a state wiretap ranged from a low of $176 in Burlington County, New Jersey, to a high of $575,231 in Gwinnett County, Georgia."

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Wow that is like how much is

Wow that is like how much is cost Air Force One to get taxied 20 ft before taking off for one of Obama's vacations or a litle less than one drone missile shot at some poor soul in Afganistan. Its funny how our gov. throws money around on things that uphold their agenda but makes a big deal when they want to warp people's perception.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

SteveMT's picture

Yup. The $5,000 toilet seats are consistent also.

"Why are we broke?" is a rhetorical question.