Surveillance Program Exposes Massive Phone Record Tracking

A little-known surveillance program known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) tracks over a trillion domestic phone records annually within the United States, challenging its legality, according to a letter obtained by WIRED from US Senator Ron Wyden to the Department of Justice. The program, formerly known as Hemisphere, operates in collaboration with AT&T, allowing law enforcement agencies to analyze the phone records of individuals, even those not suspected of any crime, using chain analysis.

The DAS program, funded by the White House, raises serious concerns about privacy and legality. The records indicate that the White House has provided over $6 million to the program, which targets call records using AT&T's infrastructure. The program, managed under the HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) program, has been in operation for over a decade and has undergone various name changes.

US Senator Ron Wyden expressed concerns about the legality of the DAS program in a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, citing troubling information received confidentially. The program, exempt from congressional oversight, allows law enforcement agencies to request searches of trillions of domestic phone records without warrants, sparking debates about privacy and the need for reform.

For more information, you can read the full article on WIRED.