from the does-this-sound-famliar dept.
"The Obama administration has accused Sprint of overcharging the government to the tune of more than $21 million in wiretapping expenses.
Another lawsuit has been dismissed recently by telco's arguing that New York Deputy Attorney General John Prather technically couldn't file a whistle blower lawsuit under the False Claim Act and claim he himself was the "original source of the information" -- because he filed the original complaint while working for the government.
The Prather case claimed the telco's overcharge for taps in general, but have historically dodged culpability by simply hitting the government with large bills that don't itemize or explain why a wiretap should magically cost $50,000 to $100,000. Now it seems that Sprint is being specifically targeted for this lawsuit. "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." Though according to the suit, Sprint overinflated charges by approximately 58 percent between 2007 and 2010.
Not only do we get to be spied on, we likely paid for these wiretaps both on the taxpayer side and on the telco side as the companies passed on both real and imaginary wiretap costs to you."