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Government Accuses Sprint of Overcharging For Wiretapping Expenses

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the funding-unfunded-mandates dept.

Government 114

realized writes with news that the Federal government thinks Sprint overcharged them $21 million when billing for wiretaps. From the article: "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 inflated charges approximately 58 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to a lawsuit the administration brought against the carrier today. ... The suit said that the wireless carrier breached Federal Communications Commission guidelines of 2006 that prohibited carriers from using intercept charges to recover costs of modifying 'equipment, facilities or services' to comply with the Communications Assistance in Law Enforcement Act."

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Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#46392239)

Sounds like sound government policy.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 10 months ago | (#46392307)

Yeah, they overheard the idea when Mrs. Smith called Mrs. Brown last week and were discussing some "additional charges" on their phone bill.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (5, Interesting)

penix1 (722987) | about 10 months ago | (#46392377)

What I don't get is why there is an FCC ruling forbidding telcos from being able to bill the government for modifications to their equipment to comply with the law?!?!? So it basically comes down to an unfunded mandate probably passed down to the very customers the government is spying on.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392475)

Now you are starting to understand.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

teknosapien (1012209) | about 10 months ago | (#46392495)

maybe this is why my comcast bill and cell bills were so high

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46396061)

No, that's just pure greed caused by having a local monopoly. NSA doesn't need Comcast's compliance to intercept your communications.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0, Redundant)

sabri (584428) | about 10 months ago | (#46392543)

So it basically comes down to an unfunded mandate probably passed down to the very customers the government is spying on.

No, this is basically the government outsourcing the cost of law enforcement to the private sector. Effectively, another form of taxing your local business. But since the TEA party doesn't like that, they called it something else.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#46392601)

Tea is not an acronym. Why are you spelling it in all caps?

Also, WTF are you trying to say? That they don't like "taxing your local business," or they don't like "outsourcing the cost of law enforcement to the private sector," or both?

It sure seems like your hatred of whatever you think the tea party is, is getting in the way of any rational argument.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (-1, Flamebait)

Calydor (739835) | about 10 months ago | (#46392675)

Total Elitist Assholes Party.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392775)

Actually it's Taxed Enough Already, but I'm sure you knew that.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393425)

Lick my balls and use your spit as lube, luberal!
 
-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46393585)

That's the Democrats and Republicans. One party really....the Money party.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (2, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#46392687)

Tea is not an acronym.

As used, incorrect.

It stands for "Taxed Enough Already".

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#46392889)

"Tea Party" (in current terms) is an informal name for a political movement based on the belief that there is over-taxation. It's named after the historical Boston Tea Party. Any claim that it's an acronym comes after the fact, and is incorrect.

(And that's all it is, despite all the attempts of other people/groups to jump on the bandwagon in an attempt to usurp the message.)

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 10 months ago | (#46393243)

Any claim that it's an acronym comes after the fact, and is incorrect.

The notion that there is One True Meaning is the fallacy, sir.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#46393255)

F.U.

That doesn't mean Fuck You, of course.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 9 months ago | (#46394335)

Interesting that there's no office or central representative that we could ask, "what does the [Tea, TEA] Party mean anyway? Can't even ask the people who are funding it. Some Party.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1, Offtopic)

anagama (611277) | about 9 months ago | (#46394557)

The modern incarnation of tea party groups is basically a lesson in major party co-option and poisoning of a movement to neutralize it. The Democrats certainly don't want to focus on its origins, because those are rooted in an anti-war / anti-coroporate welfare philosophy and Democrats still like to pretend they aren't neo-cons. The GOP certainly didn't want it to spread and disturb its social issue message which it uses to cover its financially wanton behavior.

As for recent history, which has been effectively erased by both parties, there were Ron Paul Tea Party events in 2007 with a major focus on ending the wars in the middle east and protecting civil liberties: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] Check out the tags on the boxes being thrown in the the water for example around 1 minute in: "iraq war" "corporate welfare" "homeland security" etc. Or this video from Nov. 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com] which is 80% anti-war (warning, pictures of burned and blown up kids from Iraq or Afghanistan).

Then shortly after Obama's election, Karl Denninger popularized an idea of sending tea bags to Congress. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-... [market-ticker.org] His focus was on the fraud and abuse the Feds winked at during the financial meltdown, and he was livid when the GOP coopted the Tea Party, and turned it into some "Guns, Gays, God" focused BS: http://market-ticker.org/akcs-... [market-ticker.org] Indeed, it took almost no time for the GOP to co-opt the Tea Party: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

And in case you think Denninger is just another Koch brother wannabe, he voted for Obama in 2007: http://voxday.blogspot.com/201... [blogspot.com]

He also supported the Occupy Movement's focus on banking fraud and interestingly, thought it's lack of centralization good, seeing centralization as the fatal exploitable flaw for tea party groups: http://rt.com/usa/tea-occupy-d... [rt.com]

Anyway, today's Tea Party is a caricature the DNC and GOP created for their own purposes by poisoning the original ideas.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1, Offtopic)

budgenator (254554) | about 9 months ago | (#46395883)

Interesting that there's no office or central representative that we could ask, "what does the [Tea, TEA] Party mean anyway? Can't even ask the people who are funding it. Some Party.

I thought it stands for "Move out of Your Mother's Basement and Buy your Own damned Hot-Pockets", it takes a bit of artistic license to get there, but it is what it is. It's also Kind of like Anonymous, but with jobs and mortgages to pay.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46394683)

It's not a phallusy - apparently tea bagging uses something else.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#46393283)

Any claim that it's an acronym comes after the fact, and is incorrect.

Would you like to tell me my favorite pizza toppings, next?

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (-1, Troll)

msauve (701917) | about 10 months ago | (#46393395)

Sure. Crow.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393489)

Taxed Enough Already.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (2, Funny)

mjwx (966435) | about 9 months ago | (#46394405)

Tea is not an acronym.

As used, incorrect.

It stands for "Taxed Enough Already".

That's a backronym, not an acronym.

I could just as easily claim it stood for Tossers, Eejits and Arseholes... which would still be entirely accurate.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392735)

That "they" don't like "taxing your local business" therefore "they" called it "outsourcing the cost of law enforcement to the private sector".

It's hard to say whether it's fair to claim "they" are the tea party, but it'd be easier to deny if they would just disown the Republicans rather than putting up "Miss Me Yet?" Bush #2 billboards to protest Bush #3.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393427)

Yes it is. It started as Taxed Enough Already.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46398287)

It's not a party either, but you don't seem to mind that part.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#46392875)

But since the TEA party doesn't like that, they called it something else.

So do you also dislike having the government tax your local business in order to pay for illegal government spying activities? Or is this just a TEA party thing?

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

ruir (2709173) | about 9 months ago | (#46394401)

It is not taxing the local business, it is yet another hidden tax that trickles down on you...

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#46393669)

Effectively, another form of taxing your local business. But since the TEA party doesn't like that, they called it something else.

So you're implying it would be better if the Tea Party didn't oppose NSA wiretapping and encouraged the government to raise additional taxes for the explicit purpose of violating our privacy? Or what?

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#46392903)

Crashing the Wiretapper's Ball ( 06.01.06)
http://www.wired.com/science/d... [wired.com] shows some of the thinking at the time.
EU & FBI launch global telecommunications surveillance system (Statewatch bulletin, January-February 1997, vol 7 no 1)
http://www.statewatch.org/eufb... [statewatch.org] The idea was for the US gov to make sure all new emerging digital devices from a phone (POTS) replacement to ISP card at an exchange to consumer level/quality text encryption was US wiretap friendly i.e. as e.g. an old POTS was to tracking all calls logs and voice recordable.
US telco industry and multinationals at the time faced the costly US only privilege for having to retool (expensive tested software, encryption and new hardware) just for the US market and would be at a disadvantage if costs grew.
The stigma of a US brand been US wiretap friendly may not have sold well if other countries could claim that a lower price competing product was more secure.
Over time the US gov fixed the issue with international law enforcement treaties, gov letters setting global telco products to be of a standard that US law enforcement liked (cost and encryption).
Most telco products where going to be compliant to US standards - and be US wiretap friendly with costs passed on - no US firms or bands where going to be left with huge costs.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 10 months ago | (#46393351)

We the tax payers will pay for the costs no matter what, through service fees,tax hikes ...whatever. We the taxpayers pay all costs for ALL government service. The Government pays nothing that's why we are so very far in dept. We have to live by a Budget, the Government doesn't, they play with our money. Its time for a clean sweep my friends. Hope everyones memory doesn't falter before the next elections.

And you pay all the costs for private too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46395907)

It appears that you insist you pay for any work done by private individuals too. Board Bonus Pay? You pay for it. Criminal case against the company? You pay the fine from their products.

And so on and so forth.

And you insist this is the case for government, too.

So given that the work will get done and you will all have to pay for it (and will have force applied on you to ensure you pay: just try walking out of a store with a bag of their money. Even if they have private security (you pay for that!), you will have force applied to ensure you don't get free stuff off them), why the CONSTANT BITCHING about paying taxes?

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46393581)

We pay the taxes to pay these people to spy on us. You have to love it, you just can't make this shit up.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 10 months ago | (#46393751)

an unfunded mandate

There are a lot of unfunded mandates. They're an efficient way to run a market economy. Here are a few examples: Automobile manufacturers are subject to an unfunded mandate to include seat belts, odometers, and speedometers in the cars they sell in the US. Electronics manufacturers are subject to unfunded mandates regarding EMF emmissions. Food manufacturers are subject to unfunded mandates for food safety and product labeling. In most cases it is far more market efficient for the cost of those things to be built into the price of the product, putting the price on the direct consumer of the regulated good, rather than on non-users of the product. It would be incredibly unjust to require taxpayers who do not use a given product to bear the cost of making that product in compliance with the law.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (2)

DeSigna (522207) | about 9 months ago | (#46394951)

The same is true of comms here in Australia, where in order to obtain a carriers license, equipment must have certain features available for law enforcement purposes according to a set spec defined by the ACMA. There are also various data retention policies.

However, when the government makes drastic and expensive changes to infrastructure requirements for their own desires, there's an expectation that they foot the bill for changes to existing gear. After all, they ARE the customers for these features. Funding it out of government/law enforcement budgets accurately reflects the costs of the enforcement.

Retrofitting configuration on to existing infrastructure can be very expensive compared to rolling out new kit, requiring changes from the management systems all the way to the network gear itself, testing/QA and so on. You're not just fiddling with ACLs or enabling netflows.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#46396391)

Except that this case isn't really like any of those examples. In this case the government is mandating they provide a new service, to them; a service which doesn't benefit, and in fact, actually directly harms the privacy which the public/customer (an overlapping set) pay for.

Then they mandate that the company may only pass on the costs of this new service to the very customers who are being harmed by it.

It's a HILARIOUS joke and it is on YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46394039)

Obviously the idea behind that law is that they are not to charge the government for

a.) BUYING
b.) INSTALLING
c.) CONFIGURING
d.) MAINTAINING

hardware that does NOTHING AT ALL but SPY ON YOU.

but that YOU ARE TO PAY FOR IT ... The idea is for SPRINT / ATT / VERIZON / WHOEVER to tack on another USD 10-20 a month to _Y O U R_ BILL so YOU PAY for all that shit.

But that's not the real joke or at least not the punchline ...

The punchline and were it really gets funny is the US government can not give a shit about how much money it pays to whom if it's existence depended on it. Well for as long as it is not to you of course...

You see every dollar that is in circulation is a loan from the FED at interest and every single tax dollar they take from you goes against that accumulated interest, (but never against the principal, because for that they would have to tax your ass into non-existance). So... what's a billion or two more to them? THEY can just take out another LOAN and ANOTHER ONE AFTER THAT and they just pile on the taxes as the FED piles on the interest, hell what do they care? They don't give a shit about you and (another joke) they're laughing their asses off about people who used to pay USD 250 per month health insurance premiums that are now to pay $700 per month for even less services. THAT TOO is FUNNY as HELL.

They CAN't CARE AND THEY DOn't CARE and they're holding on to both knees braying with laughter while YOU GO OUT AND BUY

YET ANOTHER IPHONE chock full with surveillance and other data gather bs AND YOU PAY THE TAXES on THAT AND YOU PAY EXTRA HIDDEN TAXES (such as when they increase your wireless bill for all the surveillance they're doing)...

AND YOU'RE DUMB AS SHIT and go along with it. That's the joke and it is HILARIOUS.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS??

Yeah you can start with being LESS STUPID.

If you WERE LESS STUPID... you wouldn't get an IPHONE just because Apple now has one maybe soon with a fingerprint reader. If you were LESS STUPID you would not run out and BUY EVERY DUMB GADGET under the sun and sign up for every FACEBOOK bullshit that comes along. IF YOU WERE LESS STUPID you wouldn't watch TV 5 HOURS A DAY but started reading books that BENEFIT YOU. IF YOU WERE LESS STUPID ...

they would turn around and your wireless bill would be $50 .. your cable bill would be $10 and everything else THEY WANT YOU TO HAVE would cost far less too....

BECAUSE IF YOU WERE LESS stupid THEY would be worried far more about what YOUR ASS IS UP TO.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46394707)

Just another reason why CALEA is one of the worst laws in US history, eclipsed perhaps only by the so-called Patriot Act.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#46395257)

hmmm, so you have to PAY to provide evidence against yourself. The lawyers oughta have fun with that, right out of the chute.
When this is all over, I expect I will see this entire administration on trial as domestic terrorists, sitting there in court like Nazis at Nuremberg.
Even if it doesnt, it SHOULD happen.

Re:Refund on overhearing my pizza order (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 9 months ago | (#46396081)

hmmm, so you have to PAY to provide evidence against yourself. The lawyers oughta have fun with that, right out of the chute.

Carefull with that, it probably wouldn't take it where you want to go, pretty much every criminal can make that arguement.

Well, at least... (5, Insightful)

Bin_jammin (684517) | about 10 months ago | (#46392261)

the government now gets to experience the same bill-creep the rest of us poor suckers have been subject to all this time.

Re:Well, at least... (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 10 months ago | (#46392593)

Government: [wags finger] Have you no shame? Have you no respect for the law?
Sprint: [rubs nipples] I'm sorry sir, perhaps you should switch to another provider to snoop on our customers. Ooohh! That's not possible is it? - we're the only game in town.

Re:Well, at least... (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#46392743)

You misunderstand... This has nothing to do with the special unconstitutional "buy the board new gold-plated helicopters and we'll looks the other way for 15 minutes while your techs play in our server room" spying on American citizens.

This involves the run-of-the-mill unconstitutional "We spy on you plebes, suck it" police spying that the telecoms have to support per some random BS rights-stripping law from a decade or so back.

Easy to mix them up, but do try to keep up with which TLA has fucked you today, it matters which organization has to throw your complaint away!


/ Well, at least someone in the government listens - If not necessarily quite how we want...

Re:Well, at least... (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 9 months ago | (#46397995)

Basically the government is complaining that when they told Sprint to bend over and prepare for right violations, they didn't lube up sufficiently before the NSA went to town...

Re:Well, at least... (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 months ago | (#46392739)

Obviously they should just cancel their account and sign up again as a new customer.

Re:Well, at least... (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | about 9 months ago | (#46395237)

But you gotta admit, the ideal outcome is the court deciding they undercharged, slapping the government with another $21mill for Sprint plus legal expenses.

Which is quite possible when the government branch that brought the action finds just how many wiretaps they were actually doing (all of it's 54+ million customers)

Re:Well, at least... (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 9 months ago | (#46396185)

If AT&T and Verizon decided they were under-charging, things might get interesting.

Not sure. (2)

fragfoo (2018548) | about 10 months ago | (#46392277)

Not sure if this is laugh or crying material.

Re:Not sure. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46392361)

Not sure if this is laugh or crying material.

Sounds like a good side-plot to a spy spoof. Too bad Leslie Nielsen isn't around to take advantage of it.

Re:Not sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46396137)

Too bad Leslie Nielsen isn't around to take advantage of it.

And now it's crying material.

Re:Not sure. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#46392511)

Sounds like it's crying time all around, actually.

First, the government tells the telcos that they can't charge the government for the actual equipment costs of government spying. Then when they try to recoup the costs via fees, the government says they can't do that, either.

It's good to be the King, eh?

Re:Not sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392723)

No. The first part was the government denying that they were spying on us. The reason they can file the lawsuit is that they got caught.

Re:Not sure. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 10 months ago | (#46393251)

I'll take sobbing guffaw for $500, Alex.
Governments will do every nefarious thing the voters permit, in the name of the Common Good. See: TSA.

Strange (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392283)

They waste money left and right - Whenever they blow several million or billion here and there they just dip the bucket back into the river of tax income which is always flowing like spring time. Why do they even care?

Re: Not So Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392745)

Because it's not just the money. The money is just a means to an end, as are those laws and programs. It's about being above other people. Atop them. Looking down, with a sick grin and a boot just ready to drop down if and when you feel like it.

When someone not in your elite circle of friends starts doing what you do that makes you feel special, they're dragging you down to their inferiority. There's a perverse thrill to being blatantly above the law, and if everyone else can do it, they're ruining the moment.

When anyone can be with people of their own gender, those Priests/Congressman/Senators/Megachurch-Leaders are no longer reaping unique benefits of their position, they're just gay.

When some phone company that's supposed to be serving you on its knees is taking more of your integers than they should be - those same numerical values that YOU get to choose to give out or withhold like a power over economic life and death, to be taken from the little prole and handed happily to your best friends - they are stepping on your toes, on your benefits, on your unique privilege of power.

It basically all comes down to one slightly less lethal Highlander Complex.

Can't make this stuff up (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about 10 months ago | (#46392293)

Would be funny if it weren't so insidious.

clearly breached (4, Insightful)

zlives (2009072) | about 10 months ago | (#46392305)

well at least they didn't do anything illegal like wiretap the whole nation without cause or warrant.

Re:clearly breached (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 10 months ago | (#46393097)

I hate it too, but there's a fact I think we need to come to grips with. The Constitution permits the Supreme Court be its final interpreter, even when their interpretations are clearly ridiculous to the common citizen. This is perhaps a major flaw in our Constitution, but regardless, it's there.

Re:clearly breached (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46393599)

Ultimately the control of the government has gotten away from the people. They've been divided and conquered by a political machine that shows two faces. One conservative and one liberal. Neither side truly believes in any ideology except money but they use the fact that people have vested interests in these issues to get them fighting each other while they steadily drain the country's wealth. It's a great scam and it's working very well for them.

Re:clearly breached (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393709)

The Constitution permits the Supreme Court be its final interpreter, even when their interpretations are clearly ridiculous to the common citizen.

It does no such thing. The Court stated that it does in Marbury v. Madison and no one has ever bothered to call them on it. But nowhere does the Constitution explicitly permit this.

Re:clearly breached (1)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#46393915)

Citation needed.

Article and Section numbers please.

Nothing worse than a cheat (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46392309)

Especially someone who would cheat a spy.

Overages (5, Funny)

Oysterville (2944937) | about 10 months ago | (#46392381)

They should have kept better track of their usage. They could have upgraded to a plan with more included wiretaps, or even considered one of the "Shared Family Wiretap" plans.

Re:Overages (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 10 months ago | (#46392663)

for the first 6 months, the government had a great deal from comcast. ...

Re:Overages (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 10 months ago | (#46393611)

They missed the part where the rates returned to normal after the initial time period.

Re:Overages (2)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 9 months ago | (#46394511)

They probably bought the unlimited plan, but didn't read the fine print, where unlimited is defined as 1000 wiretaps.

wiretapping the wiretap (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 10 months ago | (#46392401)

looks like they forgot to wiretap the folks at sprint

Re:wiretapping the wiretap (1)

Oysterville (2944937) | about 10 months ago | (#46392515)

I seriously doubt that.

I love it! (3, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | about 10 months ago | (#46392403)

I just love it when one crook accuses another crook of being crooked.

As George Carlin would say, "Now THAT'S entertainment!"

Re:I love it! (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 9 months ago | (#46394491)

Yeah but in this case the crooks are not footing the bill, it's us taxpayers. :( Can't believe we pay to let those creeps spy on us.

and that's why they use stingray (1)

slew (2918) | about 10 months ago | (#46392427)

The hell if they are going to gonna keep paying Sprint when they can just do it themselves... Oh wait...

CALEA (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#46392445)

Gee, this never would have happened if Bush won the election.

Re:CALEA (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#46392463)

Oops, sorry, I meant Dole

Re:CALEA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392683)

I think you meant Ross Perot

Re: CALEA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392465)

Which election are you talking about?

Re: CALEA (1)

nobuddy (952985) | about 10 months ago | (#46392541)

Pretty much any election Bush ran it would apply.

Re: CALEA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392673)

Also any election he didn't run in. Still Bush's fault.

Re: CALEA (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#46392893)

Ask one of your parents. They might remember...

Re:CALEA (2)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 10 months ago | (#46393465)

I hope you're not implying that having a (D) in charge instead of an (R) would make a difference. Both parties are full of filth.

I'm not surprised (3, Informative)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 10 months ago | (#46392513)

As I currently battle my own Sprint bill, none of this surprises me. I'll bet the government didn't notice the enormous surcharges on their bill. I know someone who worked in their billing\customer service department. They said the level of billing abnormalities they saw was astonishing. This person had to give money to most people calling in about their bill while correcting things and promising it wouldn't happen again. When this person considered the millions who never looked at their bills and who were probably being sometimes overcharged, this person quit out of moral dilemma.

The way they do billing is understandably complicated for many. If the government had just called in for a $21 million credit, they might have received it after an escalation or two.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about 9 months ago | (#46394347)

But that's the point of this article. The Gov. did notice the surcharges on its bill and wants them removed. I wonder how long they were on hold before they got to talk with someone who would listen to their story, review the bill, and make a plan to remove the charges or not.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#46396497)

I could have been more clear. It's usually a situation where a person or entity does not immediately notice the excessive charges, then a bill comes along with obvious problems, prompting them to more closely look over past bills and say, "OMG!" Also, I was using surcharges in an analogous manner, I can't even begin to imagine what bills from Sprint to the government look like. In my comment, the person in question relayed stories where someone in that precise situation would call in after realizing they had been over billed sometimes for a year or more.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 9 months ago | (#46397177)

They once added an extra 19% discount to my bill. Remarkably, after about four bills, they fixed the error without me having to call them.

Ah well, it was nice while it lasted... and at least they never asked for the money back. That "billing errors in your favor" are honored was enough to keep me as a customer...

Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392561)

Sounds like Sprint didn't donate enough to the DNC last election cycle.

Retaliatory litigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392629)

Sprint doesn't often come up in discussions about the complicitness of the telecoms' participation in PRISM. How much do you want to bet that this is a Lavabit-style retaliation against a telco that may have used economics to resist the government's order to carry out the wiretaps? Was Sprint basically saying "oh you want us to do this ridiculously burdensome task for you? Then you can pay us this exorbitant amount of money for the privilege."

Illegal Illegals (3, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 10 months ago | (#46392631)

So the government is telling us that it is illegal to over charge for an illegal service provided. Hmm...

No honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392637)

among feebs.

How DARE They! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392647)

Performing corrupt profitmongering on the back of our illegal corrupt privacy invasions?
The nerve of those monsters!

Department of Information Retrieval (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392759)

That is why we always insist on the principle of Information Retrieval Charges. These terrorists are not pulling their weight, and it's absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and the Information Retrieval Procedures used in their interrogation.

Over charged? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46392843)

Yeah, when I was underaged and I bought some beer at a liquor store, they over charged me. When I asked for a receipt they asked for an ID. So, sprint said the NSA, where's your search warrant? Oh, don't have one.. well.. the price goes up,

Why sure... oh my. (2)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 10 months ago | (#46392845)

Take the telco to court and in open court
divulge ALL the demands made on the telco.

The telco can open with an itemized list of all N
secret wattents. Something like:
    FISA #1 wiretap on 50,000 unnamed individuals $1.00
                            knowing where to tap 50,000 unnamed individuals $5000000
    FISA #2 ......
    FISA #N .....
    Summary:
                            Total (N*$1)+Sum(KnowingWhereValues from 1..N)

Next time . . (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 10 months ago | (#46392913)

Maybe next time, the feds will wise up and get a month-to-month pay in advance eavesdropping plan and avoid bill shock.

I find the entire premise to be ludicrous (3, Insightful)

Otis B. Dilroy III (2110816) | about 10 months ago | (#46393175)

Are they somehow expecting honor among thieves?

Exactly how many wiretaps does 37 million buy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393613)

If the government doesn't reimburse for the equipment then what does a wiretap really "cost". A few bucks for storage, a few hundred bucks for labor. Exactly how many wiretaps did 37 million buy?

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46393725)

fuck the government in the ass

Wow. Tough choice here. (1)

Chas (5144) | about 9 months ago | (#46394377)

While I'm one to bitch about ever inflating costs for services, in this I find myself almost wholly on Sprint's side.
If the government wants to push the costs of spying on people back onto the people they're spying upon FUCK THEM.
I think Sprint should quadruple their charges for any and all government intelligence SIGINT services.

Re:Wow. Tough choice here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46396257)

You realize that this ends badly for us, the taxpayers, right? It doesn't matter who wins, we still lose.

Sprint wins and the government pays: our tax dollars go to Sprint and the government keeps spying on us.

The government wins and Sprint can't overcharge them anymore: our tax dollars still go to Sprint, the government keeps spying on us, and Sprint likely passes on this cost to consumers in the guise of some bullshit fee.

This is one big Catch 22.

wow ! Pot calling the kettle black. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46396007)

EOM

Shock and Awe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46398671)

There is an allegory in here somewhere, but trauma induced by realizing the implications has me in a state where I do not know whether to cry or laugh. A crackhead stole my crap and sold it. With the proceeds he bought drugs. Apparently the dealer stiffed crackhead on part of the drugs, and kept the extra cash. The epilogue will be something like, maybe crack head hits my pile of crap again and steals twice as much or dealer invites me over to listen to tunes on the hardware the crackhead stole from me and sold to him. :-P

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