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FBI cut off for unpaid wiretap bills

Are you a member of an international law enforcement organisation? For those clandestine surveillance operations, remember to pay your telephone and email providers promptly, or you may have your wiretaps cut off like the FBI.
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Written by Tom Espiner on

Are you a member of an international law enforcement organisation? For those clandestine surveillance operations, remember to pay your telephone and email providers promptly, or you may have your wiretaps cut off like the FBI.

The BBC reports that a US government audit conducted by the justice department's inspector general, Glenn Fine, has concluded that phone lines which were established by the FBI to eavesdrop on suspected criminals were disconnected because of late payments.

From the article:

"The audit also revealed an FBI employee had admitted stealing $25,000 (£12,745) intended for undercover phone services.

In some cases [disconnection] caused evidence to be lost. In one office the unpaid costs for wire taps from one phone company came to $66,000 (£33,640).

The audit blamed the lost connections on the FBI's lax oversight of money used in undercover investigations."

Who'd have thought it? Organisations throwing money at dodgy IT schemes without proper oversight or auditing procedures? Unheard of!

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