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Millions of Americans are being spied on by secret phone surveillance program

Mia Williams

Published 
| Last updated 

Millions of Americans are being spied on by secret phone surveillance program

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock

More than a trillion phone calls are being analysed every year and they are working in connection with federal and state enforcement agencies, it has been reported.

According to a report from Wired, an American phone network company is allegedly keeping a detailed log of every phone call you make.

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The outlet claims that not only are they keeping track of who it is you're talking to, how long for and when but they are also noting the calls of the people that you talk too.

A surveillance programme called DAS (Data Analytical Services) has been allegedly collecting information from trillions of phone calls in the US each year, Wired reports.

The program, who were previously named Hemisphere, are also reportedly working in connection with federal, state and local law enforcement.

But how exactly does it work?

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The program allegedly surveys people's phones and calls. Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
The program allegedly surveys people's phones and calls. Credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

According to Fox News, DAS works via chain analysis, which apparently targets anyone who you may have a phone call with but also anyone they may have a phone call with in the look out for contact with criminal suspects.

However, it is not physical evidence of conversations that are allegedly stored but rather phone numbers, dates, times, durations and locations of the calls, as well as names and addresses for six months or more at a time.

It is also at odds against the USA Freedom Act which was put in place in 2015 to reform how the National Security Agency collected this type of data.

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In a letter seen by Wired to US attorney general Merrick Garland, US senator Ron Wyden reportedly said that he had 'serious concerns about the legality' of the program.

According to the outlet, he also added that he had 'troubling information' that would would 'justifiably outrage many Americans and other members of Congress'.

However, the supposed information was not disclosed in the letter.

The program has reportedly received more than $6 million from the White House. Credit: Photo by RoonZ nl on Unsplash
The program has reportedly received more than $6 million from the White House. Credit: Photo by RoonZ nl on Unsplash
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Wired also said that, according to a two-page memo created by White House Officials, the program had allegedly received more than $6 million from the White House since 2013.

It was, however, reported that when The New York Times first exposed the program in 2013, former President Barack Obama reportedly suspended its funding.

An AT&T spokesperson told UNILAD: “We defer to the Justice Department, to whom Sen. Wyden’s letter is addressed, for comment. Like all companies, we are required by law to comply with subpoenas, warrants and court orders from government and law enforcement agencies.

"To be clear, any information referred to in Sen. Wyden’s letter would be compelled by subpoena, warrant or court order.”

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There is also no law that requires AT&T to store decades of call records for the purpose of law enforcement.

UNILAD has contacted the Department of Justice and The White House Press Secretary for comment.

Topics: News, Technology, US News

Mia Williams
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