Back in December, a U.S. Appeals court gave the thumbs-up to telecommunications companies working with the National Security Agency to monitor phones and email. Phone companies are also apparently totally cool with selling access to your phone activities to other law enforcement agencies willing to fork over pre-set prices.
Forbes, drawing from documents requested by the American Civil Liberties Union, reports wiretaps cost this much at each provider:
* T-Mobile: $500 per target.
* Sprint: $400 per “market area” and “technology,” plus $10 per day, with a $2,000 cap.
* AT&T: $325 activation fee, $10 for audio, $5 per day for data.
* Verizon: $700 per month, per target, $50 administrative fee.
There are additional fee schedules for voicemail and texts, and providers also charge cops to let them peek at numbers of all people using a specific cell tower over a period of time.
AT&T told Forbes it doesn’t sell personal info to anyone for any purpose, while Verizon and Sprint say they provide info to law enforcement for free in case of emergencies. T-Mobile declined to comment.
Keep this info in mind whenever you use your phone to relay any info you mistakenly assume would be private.