These are the prices AT&T, Veizon and Sprint charge for cellphone wiretaps

“If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped.,” Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes.

“Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country,” Greenberg reports. “They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.”

Greenberg reports,”To wiretap a customer’s phone, T-Mobile charges law enforcement a flat fee of $500 per target. Sprint’s wireless carrier Sprint Nextel requires police pay $400 per ‘market area’ and per ‘technology’ as well as a $10 per day fee, capped at $2,000. AT&T charges a $325 activation fee, plus $5 per day for data and $10 for audio. Verizon charges a $50 administrative fee plus $700 per month, per target.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]


        1. The thing about a warrant is that you need probable cause that a crime has been committed and the warrant has to specify the place to be searched and what they are looking for.

          Police agencies do not do that when spying on citizens.

      1. The pretense of probable cause was thrown out the window over the last 20-30 years. The ‘War on Drugs’ and now the GWOT have been used to transition the US into what is essentially a police state. Add the ever growing surveillance capabilities with the cavalier attitude and it’s kinda ugly.

        The fear driven law and order crowd want guns, cameras and snoops everywhere. The US has more firearms per person than any developed nation and also has more people locked up than anyone else. Despite all this the US is still a violent and unsafe country.

  1. And ATT probably charges an early termination fee to the fuzz if the mark gets busted, his phone is unused while he’s in the slammer and they want to cancel their contract.

  2. Obviously it is NOT being “Done right” a lot of the time. It’s seems they have found a way around the probable cause need for a warrant, pay the cell carrier. It they had court issue a valid warrant, the court could also order the service provider to provide the information. It seems as much as I hate RIM they’re the only ones to get it right with this stuff most of the time.

  3. So, the New York Times wants to give those that are being watched a heads up. Reminds me of when the news papers gave the terrorists overseas a heads up the we were tracking their phones even when they were turned off.

  4. What we’re seeing in this behavior is the erosion of citizen’s right to privacy and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure. Just look at the Patriot Act to see how much of our civil liberties have been infringed upon by “well meaning” laws. The problem with these types of laws, even if they are passed and even implemented with good intentions, is that they can always be used abusively.

    What’s the point of a law purporting to protect our freedoms or ourselves when our freedoms are stripped away one by one?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.