Sounds like the DEA fleeced American taxpayers out of almost $1M on a Hacking Team contract it rarely ever engaged (emphasis added):
Three months later, and after initially staying mum on its relationship with Hacking Team, the DEA finally revealed how it used the technology, which allows its operators to monitor a target’s computer or cellphone data, intercepting emails, messages, or Skype calls.
In a in a letter to US Senator Chuck Grassley, who had asked the DEA to give some explanations on how it used Hacking Team’s spyware after Motherboard’s investigation, the anti-drug agency revealed that it “recently” chose to cancel its contract with the Italian company after spending $927,000 for the spyware and related training.
Despite the hefty sum, the DEA also admitted that it barely used Hacking Team’s marquee product Remote Control System (RCS), also known as Galileo.
In fact, since 2012, the DEA deployed RCS on the devices of a total of 17 “foreign-based drug traffickers and money launderers” with only “one successful instance of remote deployment,” due to “technical difficulties with the software.” In the other 16 cases, they infected the targets through “physical access.”
The DEA said that it only used it in “one foreign country” with that country’s government’s permission—but didn’t name the country. Thanks to the emails leaked after the massive breach of Hacking Team, however, we know that country is Colombia.
According to a leaked email, the DEA also bought another interception tool to “receive all the traffic for Colombian’s” internet service providers.
What a monumental waste of time, effort, and money. Welcome to business as usual at the US government.