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FBI agents and police officers testified at a congressional hearing Thursday regarding increasing difficulties that law enforcement is experiencing in attempting to gather evidence against people they suspect of committing offenses. Law enforcement claims that new forms of communication inhibit their ability to conduct wiretaps.

California criminal defense attorneys know that evidence cannot be used to convict an individual if law enforcement gathers evidence in an unconstitutional manner. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Members of law enforcement, however, told congressional leaders yesterday that many new forms of communication provide law enforcement with increased difficulty in placing wiretaps even where the wiretap is authorized under a warrant.

Speaking before a House Judiciary subcommittee, FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said it is "exponentially more difficult" to place a court-authorized wiretap on some forms of new technology. She says people can communicate via anonymous avatars and through wireless technology that evades wiretaps.

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