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FBI Just Needs A Little More Time To Pay The Phone Bill, Okay?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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  • "Telephone companies have cut off FBI wiretaps used to eavesdrop on suspected criminals because of the bureau's repeated failures to pay phone bills on time.... In at least one case, a wiretap used in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation 'was halted due to untimely payment...' the audit found. FISA wiretaps are used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal and intelligence investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies." The Justice Department noted that the FBI was late in paying nearly 500 of its phone bills in surveillance cases, and one intrepid field agent took advantage of lax oversight to help herself to $25,000. AP

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