Internet wiretapping is here.

As you may know, purchase to get a telephone wiretap, skincare law enforcement must not only submit an affidavit showing probable cause (as for a normal search warrant) but must also show that there aren’t other ways of getting the same information, that the information is in an investigation for a particular type of crime (predicate offense) and must minimize the communications intercepted to limit the collection of non-relevant information.

The reason why we minimize is because the surveillance is so intrusive, not just of the suspect, but of everyone they communicate with on any topic. Here’s how they do minimization for these Internet taps:

There were two groups of agents. “The first scrutinized his computer use and culled out everything not related to the investigation. The rest was turned over to the second team.” … “There were almost 1,700 people intercepted.”

Wow. Is this a different level of privacy incursion that deserves a different level of safeguards that interceptions of one-to-one telephone communications? The future will have Internet wiretaps. The only question is how we’re going to make sure that they are only deployed in appropriate circumstances.