I have to agree with Markey, this is a cause of great concern. Carriers getting into the habit of fulfilling "casual requests" can lead to massive abuse. If a court issues a warrant great. Yes, I can understand emergencies. But, in my opinion, their should be judicial review after each "emergency" request granted.
And one possible reason requests are up so much is the "casual requests" are getting honored more and more, so police agencies are asking for them more and more.