The number of court-approved wiretaps rose 34 percent last year, though an unspecified amount of the increase was the result of changed reporting procedures.
According to a report by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, federal wiretaps rose 82 percent in 2010 from the previous year while state applications rose 16 percent. Combined, 3,194 wiretaps were authorized _ 1,207 by federal judges, 1,987 by state judges.
The report says the increases resulted, at least in part, from enhanced efforts to ensure that federal and state authorities were aware of their reporting responsibilities. The report says a new procedure with independent reporting by judges and prosecutors resulted in more accurate numbers.