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The DEA’s Access To AT&T Phone Records Raises More Questions About Government Surveillance

This week, yet another example of government surveillance being used for issues other than national security came to light – when it was revealed that federal and local drug officials have had routine access to an enormous AT&T database containing decades of Americans’ phone records.  This partnership between drug officials and AT&T – which had not previously been reported and is said to have been carried out in great secrecy – is known as the Hemisphere Project … and covers every call that passes through an AT&T switch (not just those made by AT&T customers).  It’s been reported that calls date back 26 years .. with four billion call records added to the database every day.

The Hemisphere Project and the partnership between AT&T and law enforcement/drug officials in sharing these phone records is said to go beyond the scope of the NSA’s phone record surveillance.  In a time when many people are questioning government surveillance tactics for issues other than national security, this latest example of the erosion of personal privacy is certainly making news .. and we wait to hear further details of the Hemisphere Project and any similar programs employing these types of major government surveillance tactics in the fight against crime.

To read about this latest example of government surveillance and its potential impact on personal privacy, click here or here.  As always, the attorneys at Collins, McDonald & Gann are committed to protecting the Constitutional rights, and privacy, of all Americans and are available 24/7 at 516-294-0300.

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