AT&T and DEA team up to listen to ALL your phone calls
A new report published
by the Justice Department inspector general just reconfirmed that a program named “Project C” that allows drug agents to obtain billions of call records from AT&T, is alive and active. The program provides access to billions of domestic and international call records to DEA and allows agents to pull information about the callers - when and where a call was made from and the telecoms provider operating the program, without requiring a court order.
But how does this affect me? Now I know what you’re thinking “Yo, I have Boost Mobile service and I use a Nextel phone to make all my calls, that means I’m good right?” Well not exactly. According to the report, the program although run by AT&T, it also “collects information on every call that passed through one of its systems, including by other cell carriers and network providers,” with call records dating back three decade, including the location and the identity of callers.
Is this legal? The Justice Department has expressed concerns that the program may pose legal problems as DEA agents may need a higher authority to access the data which currently doesn’t require any judicial oversight. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have been accused of using the database for “parallel construction,” which is a way of allowing police to discover potentially criminal acts but reverse-engineer their findings to prevent public disclosure of the database. Sounds like a TV series right?