Buried in a 160-page report by the U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine was a little nugget that the Federal Bureau of Investigation apparently has been receiving calls from telemarketers on telephone lines set up for wiretaps.
When the FBI gets a court order to tap a phone line, they set up telephone lines that deliver those calls to the authorities. However, it turns out that those phone lines are assigned actual numbers by the phone company.
“It is not uncommon for these lines to ‘receive’ calls from telemarketers and others who use auto-dialers and other automated call technology to place calls,” FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said in a letter to the inspector general.
The issue came up when the inspector general expressed concern that an FBI field office had gone beyond the period in which a court ordered wiretap was authorized, known as an ‘overrun’, or had possibly collected material after a judge had ordered the FBI to stop.