FBI wiretap cut off over unpaid bill
The FBI have had an international wiretap cut off after the American agency failed to pay its bill, a U.S. government audit has revealed.
The wiretap had been enacted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, for electronic spying in terrorism and intelligence cases but was disrupted when payment was not received in time.
"Late payments have resulted in telecommunications carriers actually disconnecting phone lines established to deliver surveillance results to the FBI, resulting in lost evidence, including an instance where delivery of intercept information required by a ... FISA order was halted due to untimely payment," the audit said.
No more information was provided on the case as much of the report is thought to contain sensitive law-enforcement information.
The audit was prompted after a FBI employee pleaded guilty to stealing over $25,000 of case funds assigned to undercover telecommunications services in 2006.
A spokesperson for the FBI said: "The FBI will not tolerate financial mismanagement."