Drug Enforcement Administration obtains massive about of telephone information on people, AT&T employees are embedded in DEA
Federal and local drug officials reportedly have subpoena access to an AT&T database of phone calls whose size dwarfs any collection of data done by the National Security Agency.
The New York Times reports Monday that a counternarcotics program known as The Hemisphere Project involves the government paying AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units made up of both Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and local detectives. The AT&T employees then supply law enforcement officials with all the phone data going back to 1987.
By contrast, the NSA stores data for nearly all calls in the United States, including the phone numbers involved, the time the call was made, and the duration of the call, for a period of five years. . . .
A Justice Department spokesman told The Times "subpoenaing drug dealers’ phone records is a bread-and-butter tactic in the course of criminal investigations," . . .
However, Jameel Jaffer, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the Hemisphere Project raised "profound privacy concerns," adding "I’d speculate that one reason for the secrecy of the program is that it would be very hard to justify it to the public or the courts." . . .