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Taxpayers picking up the tab for the government to wiretap.
According to the Associated Press the federal government is giving millions to Telecom companies in order to listen in on taxpayers private conversations -- to -- -- Tim Carney.
The senior political columnist for the Washington examiner Tim welcome back to the show.
So who's getting tapped here.
And and is it right -- reason taxpayer money to do it.
So this is about wiretaps so it's not just about the government collecting the sort of meta data of who you're calling and all that that they can do without warrants or anything like that.
This is about people who they're suspecting of being criminals or terrorists or some like that -- that you have probable cause -- But it's -- that if eighteen -- is going to -- if wire tap your phone and listen in on your phone calls that cost some money.
So there's no good answer here AF courted it would be wrong -- eighteen tee with a bill so the only other candidate is sticking you with the bill very.
He hired the taxpayer getting I don't let -- camp it's always -- nation.
Let's just some numbers here about how much this costs at the averages 50000 for the taxpayers to pay the cost of the government wiretap in federal cases it's two point nine million so we're not talking about not -- -- It's a pretty significant chunk of change out there.
You know we talked a lot about what you described as metadata and this is what you know Google Yahoo! all these people collecting all -- information which is three hello.
They don't pay you know they don't charge -- federal government turn that over is there any instance in which.
You know cricket AT&T Verizon.
Are not charging the government this -- Well I needed to do agree that it cost the company's money.
They're what their explanation is that they are covering their costs in providing it.
But also we know that they -- the different phone companies are charging different amounts.
And so it's not like there's a market out there where prices are being set in in by now it forces.
The companies are just saying all right we're gonna try to -- so if somebody making a profit off of this here's why am upset I love profit I don't mind profit.
But if -- phone company is profiting off of the wiretaps of its own customers.
Then you're creating a lobbying force for more wiretapping.
-- that's where can why can't I get -- Once somebody's getting rich off of government growth then the government grows more that.
Well here's what makes me -- agrees that what makes you mad so.
Should -- be disclosed.
I think you have to look -- while you're doing the investigation in your finding you know that drug dealers or that or whoever your after.
But afterwards I'd like to know how much money you're spending -- my money on that.
A lot of the spending when it comes to intelligence operations.
Is never disclose win because we don't want them going out and saying well this is how much we're paying for the secret listening device in the caves of northern Pakistan.
But so -- that little protection that they get for being intelligence agencies for conducting sort of secret operations is often expanded to the point where all of -- sudden.
And because we don't have good transparency on this there's not really the democratic accountability.
We did have congress go ahead and get this information but.
They didn't even though is there for years and so we don't have the ability of to democracy to work if these intelligence agencies are keeping this information and the spending secret.
Apparently we know nothing to and that's that's all I've been able to surmise over the past eight weeks or so as we find apps all the information that's being kept -- on that others by the federal government it's astonishing.
Tim thanks for coming on tonight appreciate that thank you.
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