Martha Coakley looking to update wiretap law

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — In an effort to combat gun violence, gang violence and human trafficking, Attorney General Martha Coakley is asking for legislative support on a bill that would modernize the wiretap law in Massachusetts.

Coakley says the law has not been updated since 1968 and doesn't take into account major advances in technology like cell phones.

The bill also redefines organized crime so police can seek permission from courts to wiretap dangerous street gangs and human trafficking networks.

Coakley says the law is a necessary tool to protect public safety, “We've seen an increase of gun violence in our cities and towns frankly, and many of the ways that we would get at that kind of criminal enterprise isn't currently permitted under the old statute.”

Critics question the proposed law's impact on privacy and the possibility that police could abuse expanded wiretapping authority.

Coakley says the bill strikes a balance between protecting privacy and giving police the tools necessary to remove crime off the streets.

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Governor: Deval Patrick
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