There were 8,440 interceptions of telephones and e-mail by the NIS in 2006, up 4.4 percent from 8,082 in 2005, the Ministry of Information and Communications reported.
Choi Young-hae of the information ministry suggested that the reason for the large number of NIS wiretaps was the investigation of two North Korean spy rings, the Korea Times reported.
There were sharp drops in the much smaller amount of wiretapping done by other law enforcement agencies. The prosecution service carried out 43 wiretaps, down from 100 in 2005, while police wiretaps dropped 46 percent to 131 and those by military investigators dropped 54 percent to 51.
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