turns out the NSA have been slacking. If you really want to see some go-getters in the “spy on our own people” game, you have to turn to the “illustrious” Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA.) The DEA, it seems, has been particularly naughty, allying with AT&T to spy on everything that comes through that network — whether you are an AT&T subscriber or no — using embedded AT&T employees in “High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas” that provide federal and local drug agents with phone information going back to 1987. The program’s codename: Hemisphere.
…the phone data is stored by AT&T, and not by the government as in the N.S.A. program. It is queried for phone numbers of interest mainly using what are called “administrative subpoenas,” those issued not by a grand jury or a judge but by a federal agency, in this case the D.E.A.
So there’s no probable cause, no due process, no privacy, and no expectation that the data will not be misused.
If you are an AT&T subscriber, you should quickly, and seriously, reconsider your continued patronage of this company.