DEA program linked to vast AT&T database, documents show
September 2nd, 2013
03:56 PM ET

DEA program linked to vast AT&T database, documents show

By Evan Perez
CNN Justice Reporter

AT&T operates a vast database that collects billions of electronic details on telephone calls made by Americans that federal and local investigators can subpoena for use in investigations, according to government documents.

The AT&T database operates with a Drug Enforcement Administration program called the Hemisphere Project and is used by investigators for, among other things, tracking so-called burner phones, phones that some people switch out frequently to try to avoid surveillance.

According to the documents, the database can be useful for helping law enforcement to defeat such evasive measures. AT&T's database contains records that go back to 1987, the documents say.


The Hemisphere Project, which dates to at least 2007, is detailed in a PowerPoint slide presentation prepared for law enforcement agencies. The PowerPoint documents were turned over in response to a public records request made to West Coast police agencies by Andrew Hendricks, who calls himself a "public documents geek and copwatcher [and] historian and radical political activist journalist muckraker" in Washington state. The New York Times reported on the documents Sunday night.


January 10th, 2013
11:51 PM ET

Report: DEA agent made prostitute arrangement for Secret Service agent

By Terry Frieden

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent stationed in Cartagena, Colombia, arranged for a prostitute to have an encounter with a U.S. Secret Service Agent only days before a visit there by President Barack Obama, the Justice Department's inspector general has found.

In a December 20 letter to the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the inspector general said the agent admitted his role in hiring the woman, while a second DEA agent said he was intoxicated that night and was unable to "recall specifically his involvement."

A third DEA special agent was present for a dinner with the Secret Service agent but was not present at a residence where the sexual encounter took place and played no role in facilitating it, the report said.