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Adam Schwartz, a senior lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). explains how the government spies on people using a powerful phone surveillance tool built by AT&T called Hemisphere.
Every day AT&T stores billions of call records and sells the information to Sheriff’s and police departments around the country who each pay upward of $1 million a year for the communications metadata.
In his article AT&T Requires Police to Hide Hemisphere Phone Spying Schwartz says law enforcement officials kept Hemisphere “under the radar” for many years—hidden from courts, legislators, and the general public—until the New York Times exposed the program in 2013.
Democracy Now interviews Adam Schwartz:
New details are emerging about how AT&T has been spying on Americans for profit with a secret plan called Project Hemisphere.
The Daily Beast reports AT&T is keeping private call records and selling the information to authorities investigating everything from the war on drugs to Medicaid fraud.
AT&T reportedly has been retaining every call, text message, Skype chat or other communication that has passed through its infrastructure. Some of the records date back to 1987.