Mass. Lawmakers Seek Expansion of Wiretap Efforts

From The Boston Globe: Massachusetts legislators and law enforcement officials are calling for an expansion of state wiretap law to allow police to secretly record more suspects who are targeted in murder investigations and other violent crimes.

Under terms of a bill pending at the State House, authorities would still need a warrant to wiretap suspects, but the targets would not have to be members of a bona fide organized crime outfit, such as the Mafia, according to a summary of the legislation released on Sunday by the office of state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“Our current wiretap law has not been updated since 1968; it’s like asking our police to continue on horses and buggies after criminals began driving around in cars,” Coakley said in a statement. “This bill is a common-sense step forward to keep our communities safe from gun and street violence, human trafficking, and other violent crimes.”

Coakley, along with police officials and lawmakers, is scheduled to brief reporters on the legislation on Monday.

The bill would also extend the length of a wiretap from 15 days to 30 days, which is consistent with federal law, the summary states.