Brad Heath reports:
The Drug Enforcement Administration has ordered its agents to seek input from federal prosecutors before tapping Americans’ phone calls or text messages, months after it came under fire for a vast and legally questionable eavesdropping program in the Los Angeles suburbs.
The rules are a significant change for the drug agency, which had dramatically increased its use of wiretaps over the past decade by seeking authorization from state judges and prosecutors who were willing to approve the surveillance more quickly and with less scrutiny. By 2014, the DEA sent more than 60% of its wiretap applications to state courts, largely bypassing Justice Department lawyers.
Read more on USA Today.
It may be a start at reversing the insidious way DEA expanded its use of surveillance, but it’s not quite where it needs to be in terms of actually requiring a federal judge or magistrate to provide the authorization.