After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the head of the NYPD’s Intelligence Unit, David Cohen, a former C.I.A. official, sought an expansion of those rules from a federal judge. In a letter to the court, Cohen was clear in the need to get rid of the requirement for “specific information.”

"The determination of whether or not there is specific information suggesting criminal activity may be a difficult one," he wrote. He added, "This criminal activity requirement as a threshold for investigative authority may effectively shield from discovery the lawful predatory activities which invariably precede terrorist attacks. In the case of terrorism, to wait for an indication of crime before investigating is to wait far too long."