Coakley Looks To Expand Mass. Wiretapping Laws

BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Martha Coakley and other law enforcement officials have launched a renewed push to expand and update state wiretapping laws that predate cellphones and other modern forms of communication.

The measure would also change the definition of organized crime to go beyond organizations such as La Cosa Nostra and allow police to seek permission from the courts to wiretap dangerous youth gangs or human trafficking networks.

Coakley called the bill a “common-sense” approach to modernizing a law that dates back to 1968 and would give police another tool to get illegal guns off the street.

Critics have raised questions about privacy and the possibility that police could abuse wiretapping authority.

A similar measure was passed last year by the Senate, but was not taken up in the House.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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