According to a report out of Now This News, Verizon, AT&T, and other mobile carriers in the US make a pretty penny every time the government invades your privacy. The report says that each carrier can set its own price for access to calls. Verizon reportedly charges $775 initially per call with a $500 monthly fee to keep the line open. AT&T on the other hand, charges $325 with a $10 daily fee. These carriers, however, do not charge the government in emergency cases. For instance, if a child is abducted, the kidnapper’s line can be tapped for free.
Mobile phone carriers aren’t the only ones charging the government to wiretap. Email providers like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft will hand your email records over to the government for $25.
Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU said the following on the government paying for phone records:
What we don’t want is surveillance to become a profit center. It’s always better to charge $1. It creates friction, and it creates transparency
Even though I believe that the government shouldn’t be able to wiretap its citizens, I do think that mobile carriers charging them to do so is a step in the right direction. Hopefully it will discourage the government from randomly tapping mass amounts of citizens at the same time due to the loss of revenue. However, it is also a bit infuriating knowing that I’m paying for the government to wiretap my calls with my tax dollars.
Also. W. T. Actual. F.