In 2007 phone record inspection went up 38 percent in South Korea and wiretapping (what we call legal intercept in the U.S.) went up 11 percent.
South Korean lawmakers in the opposition party say that police, prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service inspected almost 142,000 telephone records in 2007, and the three government groups wiretapped 1,147 calls. The numbers were compiled by the Korea Communications Commission, the nation's top body on communications and broadcasting policies.
Under Korean law every investigator has to win court approval before carrying out intercept activities and telephone record inspection, but - as in the U.S. - it is easier to get court approval to review and capture call data records.
The Korean government is seeking to review communications law to widen opportunities for the NIS to intercept phone calls, with a bill pending in the National Assembly.
- Korea Times article on the country's wiretapping surge
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