U.S. judge will release records of surveillance device usage

A federal district judge for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday that the court would begin publishing information about to federal prosecutors’ use of pen registers and trap and trace devices.
A federal district judge for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday that the court would begin publishing information about to federal prosecutors’ use of pen registers and trap and trace devices.

A federal district judge for the District of Columbia ruled on Friday that the court would begin publishing information about to federal prosecutors' use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, according to a VICE News report.

The decision is the result of a petition that was filed in July 2013 by Jason Leopold, a senior investigative reporter for VICE News and former lead investigative reporter at Truthout.org.

Trap and trace devices and pen registers track phone numbers that have dialed out or received by a targeted phone line; trap and trace devices track outgoing phone numbers that have been dialed from a phone line, while pen registers track the phone numbers of incoming calls to the device. The devices do not require search warrants.

According to the report, Chief Judge Beryl Howell said the Washington, DC federal district court will begin to release on its website this week the case numbers of all occasions in which Washington, DC federal prosecutors sought court orders to place pen registers or a trap and trace devices, barring an objection by government attorneys.
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