…”There’s a significant exception to both sets of laws: large quantities of metadata can be intercepted in real time through a so-called pen register and trap and trace order with minimal judicial review or oversight. That metadata includes IP addresses, e-mail addresses, identities of Facebook correspondents, Web sites visited, and possibly Internet search terms as well. “The statute hasn’t caught up with the realties of electronic communication,” says Colleen Boothby , a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby who represents technology companies and industry associations. Judges are not always in a position, Boothby said, to understand how technology has outpaced the law. Judges have concluded in the past that they have virtually no ability to deny pen register and trap and trace requests. “The court under the Act seemingly provides nothing more than a rubber stamp,” wrote , a federal magistrate judge in Florida, referring to the pen register law. A federal appeals court has ruled that the “judicial role in approving use of trap and trace devices is ministerial in nature.” A little-noticed section of the Patriot Act that added one word — “process” — to existing law authorized the FBI to implant its own surveillance technology on carriers’ networks. It was in part an effort to put the bureau’s Carnivore device, which also had a pen register mode, on a firmer legal footing.”….
August 6, 2013 · 4:32 pm