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How much does a wiretap cost for law enforcement?

The ACLU finds out just how much telecom companies charge for wiretaps. Turns out it varies widely.
By Trace Hagan from Apr 4, 2012 @ 14:33 CDT

The ACLU found some very disturbing statistics regarding wiretapping in the United States by police departments across the country. But, how much do the telecom companies charge the police for these taps? Well, it turns out the price varies from carrier to carrier. Data gathered from the Tuscon, Arizona police department shows the variety.


AT&T charges a flat activation fee of $325 in addition to a daily rate of $5 for data and $10 for audio transmissions. T-mobile, on the other hand, charges a flat rate of $500 per target. Verizon demands $700 a month plus a $50 administrative fee. Specific requests net an even higher charge. AT&T requires $150 for voicemail access while Verzion charges $50 per target for text message access.

Sprint is rather organized and has an entire breakdown of their charges. It runs $120 for pictures or video, $60 for e-mail messages, $60 for voice mail and $30 for text message access. Most of the companies won't charge in an emergency situation. More information can be found in the ACLU's findings here.


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