Comcast Charges $1K for a FISA Wiretap

By Kristopher A. Nelson
in October 2007

200 words / 1 min.
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Secrecy News - Implementing Domestic Intelligence Surveillance: Upon lawful request and for a thousand dollars, Comcast, one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies, will intercept its customers’ communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The cost for performing any FISA surveillance “requiring deployment of an intercept device” is $1,000.00 for the “initial start-up fee (including […]


Note: this post is from 2007. Evaluate with care and in light of later events.

Secrecy News – Implementing Domestic Intelligence Surveillance:

Upon lawful request and for a thousand dollars, Comcast, one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies, will intercept its customers’ communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The cost for performing any FISA surveillance “requiring deployment of an intercept device” is $1,000.00 for the “initial start-up fee (including the first month of intercept service),” according to a newly disclosed Comcast Handbook for Law Enforcement (pdf).

Thereafter, the surveillance fee goes down to “$750.00 per month for each subsequent month in which the original [FISA] order or any extensions of the original order are active.”

I wonder how much that corresponds to Comcast’s actual costs? It doesn’t seem to out of line to me in terms of cost, but it is interesting to see politically-charged policy matters reduced to specific dollar amounts!