DEA Phone Monitoring Eclipses NSA Surveillance

From, September 2, 2013

Embedded drug agents involved in counternarcotics operations routinely access the AT&T database containing decades of records of phone calls made by Americans. The phone surveillance parallels the NSA phone log monitoring but covers a greater time period, according to a New York Times report.

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The report says the federal and local drug monitoring program is called The Hemisphere Project and has not been previously reported.

Under the program, the federal government pays AT&T to allow DEA agents and local detectives to sit alongside company employees and monitor phone data as far back as 1987, the Times reports. The program was created in 2007, according to the report.

The American Civil Liberties Union told the Times that a PowerPoint presentation used to train AT&T employees working with the government “raises profound privacy concerns.”

The man who tipped the Times off about the program, peace activist Drew Hendricks, said he obtained the PowerPoint after making public information requests to police agencies.


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