HOUSTON (FOX 26) - They've been hacked.
Securus, the company that provides Harris County's inmates the ability to call the outside world for a price has suffered a data breach.
What some claim the hijacked information reveals is that over two plus years Securus recorded more than 14,000 privileged calls between attorneys and their clients, involving 37 different states.
"We have lawyers here in Harris County that we know their phone calls have been monitored over the Securus system," said Chris Tritico, Fox 26 legal analyst and former President of the Harris County Defense Lawyers Association.
He says over the past 4 years he's been assured by the Sheriff's Department attorney calls with inmate clients are not recorded.
"When a breach like this occurs, my attorney client privilege is blown," said Tritico.
Defense attorney James Stafford believes the allegations are true because his client calls to the jail have been tapped in the past.
How does he know? Because prosecutors told him.
"The state calls me and says hey I've got hours and hours of phone calls that they recorded of your client. I will never, never, never again, regardless of what they say, ever trust them because they are recording our phone calls even though they say they are not," said Stafford.
In a statement Securus insists "we have found absolutely no evidence of attorney client calls that were recorded without the knowledge and consent of those parties. Our calling system includes multiple safeguards to prevent this from occurring".
Stafford remains skeptical.
"Some of the prosecutors believe when they are doing God's work and there are no rules. That's the bottom line," said Stafford who praised Harris Count District Attorney Devon Anderson as a prosecutor who would not condone violations of the attorney client privilege.
A spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Office says attorneys who register all of their phone numbers with the agency have very little chance of having their jail client calls recorded.
Defense attorneys in Austin are suing Travis County for allegedly recording phone conversations between jail inmates and their lawyers.