AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 “activation fee” for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that.
Facebook says it doesn’t charge the government for access. And while Microsoft, Yahoo and Google won’t say how much they charge, the American Civil Liberties Union found that email records can be turned over for as little as $25.