Our wiretap-happy government didn't pay its wiretap bill.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.
A Justice Department audit released Thursday blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations. Poor supervision of the program also allowed one agent to steal $25,000, the audit said.
In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation “was halted due to untimely payment,” the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies.
Lots more where that came from.
I don’t know if I should howl with laughter or cry.
My god…the Bushies are soooo inept that they can’t even BREAK the law correctly!
We are being ruled by the Keystone Kops.
The full unclassified OIG report (not that there’s much full to it) is at http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/reports/FBI/a0803/index.htm
These are real costs for the telcos, not profit. In most cases the telco will outsource the actual processing of the warrant and the necessary technical steps necessary to implement it to a third party. So if the FBI orders a tap and fails to pay $60K to Verizon, Verizon is out the $55K or whatever they paid for the lawful intercept processing.