Summary Box: Gov’t sues AT&T over Internet calls

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THE LAWSUIT: The Justice Department is accusing AT&T of improperly billing the government for services that are designed for use by the deaf and hard-of-hearing who place calls by typing messages over the Internet.

ABOUT THE SYSTEM: The federal government has required telecom companies to register their users because of abuse by callers overseas.

ALLEGATIONS: The government says AT&T failed to adopt procedures to detect or prevent fraudulent users from registering. The government says AT&T has allowed thousands of calls by fraudulent users who registered with fake names or addresses and then billed the government for making the calls.