According to documents leaked from the recent Hacking Team hack, it appears the FBI spent $775K on Hacking Team’s spy tools (emphasis added):
Hacking Team has generated a total of 697,710 Euros ($773,226.64) from the FBI since 2011, according to the hacked spreadsheets. In 2015, the FBI spent 59,855 Euros on “maintenance,” and in 2014 the agency spent the same amount on “license/upgrades.” No expenditure was recorded for the whole of 2013.
In 2012, however, the FBI allegedly spent 310,000 Euros for Hacking Team’s services, all on licenses or upgrades, and the year before it spent 268,000 Euros.
Despite this expenditure on controversial surveillance technology, it appears that the FBI is only using Hacking Team’s software as a “back up” to other tools, according to internal emails.
As highlighted by Forbes, Eric Rabe, Hacking Team’s communications chief, wrote in a leaked email that “The FBI unit that is using our system seems like a pretty small operation and they have purchased RCS as a sort of back up to some other system they user.”
Is anyone really surprised?