In a startling revelation, it has come to light that AT&T’s Data Analytical Services (DAS) program, previously known as Hemisphere, has been quietly accumulating and analyzing over a trillion domestic phone records annually. This surveillance initiative, operating in conjunction with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, has been utilizing chain analysis to trace not just the calls of criminal suspects but also those in contact with them.
DAS, funded by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, has been in operation for more than a decade. The program enables law enforcement to access a wealth of information, including phone numbers, dates, times, durations, locations, and subscriber details. Critics argue that the lack of judicial oversight raises concerns about potential violations of the Fourth Amendment, which safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Additionally, skeptics claim that DAS runs counter to the spirit of the USA Freedom Act, designed to reform surveillance practices by mandating court orders for specific requests rather than broad data collection.
Despite a brief suspension of funding by former President Barack Obama in 2013, individual law enforcement agencies continued direct contracts with AT&T. Funding was later resumed by former President Donald Trump in 2017, halted again in 2021, and reinstated by President Biden in the same year. Legal challenges and public records requests attempting to unveil and halt the program have faced resistance from AT&T, asserting ownership of the data and citing trade secrets and law enforcement privileges.
Senator Ron Wyden, known for his criticism of mass surveillance, has urged U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the program. The legal and political challenges surrounding DAS underscore its controversial nature, operating discreetly and prompting questions about its constitutional implications. Individuals concerned about surveillance may consider various measures, such as encryption tools or alternative communication methods, as no method is deemed foolproof. The call for a comprehensive investigation into the DAS program remains a key focus in addressing these pressing concerns.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) November 26, 2023
FOX NEWS: A secret phone surveillance program is spying on millions of Americans
How the government is able to track your every call and invade your privacy
Imagine that every time you make a phone call, someone is listening in and recording your conversation.
They also track…
— Tracy Jarman (@TracyJarman7) November 26, 2023