U.S. government thinks that Sprint is overcharging them for spying privileges

Sprint and the U.S. government said on Monday they will face off in court over how much money law enforcement agencies owe the wireless provider for help the company was required to give investigators who wanted to tap phone calls. The Obama administration filed a suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday, alleging that Sprint overcharged the government $21 million for expenses it incurred while complying with court-ordered wiretaps and other surveillance help. 

Sprint has been sued in a federal court for allegedly overcharging federal law enforcement agencies for surveillance related services by over 50 percent. In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco division, the U.S. government has charged that Sprint included in its claims to law enforcement agencies unauthorized costs for assistance in carrying out court-ordered wiretaps and other electronic intercepts. Sprint inflated its charges by approximately 58 percent, according to the complaint. As a result, the U.S. paid over US$21 million in “unallowable costs” from Jan. 1, 2007 to July 31, 2010, it said. The affected agencies included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and others.

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