The President Barack Obama administration accused Sprint today of overcharging the government more than $21 million in wiretapping expenses.
Sprint, like all the nation’s carriers, must comply with the Communications Assistance in Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which requires telcos to be capable of providing government-ordered wiretapping services. The act also allows carriers to recoup “reasonable expenses” associated with those services.
Sprint, of Overland Park, Kansas, inflated charges approximately 58 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to a lawsuit (.pdf) the administration brought against the carrier today.
“As alleged, Sprint over billed law enforcement agencies for carrying out court-ordered intercepts, causing a significant loss to the government’s limited resources,” said San Francisco U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
The authorities said the suit, filed in San Francisco federal court, was a result of an investigation by the Justice Department’s Inspector General.
“Under the law, the government is required to reimburse Sprint for its reasonable costs incurred when assisting law enforcement agencies with electronic surveillance,” Sprint spokesman John Taylor said. “The invoices Sprint has submitted to the government fully comply with the law. We have fully cooperated with this investigation and intend to defend this matter vigorously.”
My emphasis.There is more at the link and a PDF copy of the complaint is here.
It just boggles the mind, the chutzpah these government cretins possess.
H/t to FARK for linking to the PDF and the Wired piece.