AT&T sold access to customer data to law enforcement – report
New documents show telecommunications giant AT&T sold customer data to local law enforcement departments for a record-making $100k to $1 million last year. The company is currently seeking a $85 billion acquisition deal for Time Warner.
Documents show the telecommunications giant was not only working with US Drug Enforcement Agency but routinely sold customer data to local police departments who were investigating a range of crimes from murder to Medicaid fraud. The documents were first reported by The Daily Beast.
AT&T provides the leads, then investigators just happen to find the exact same evidence through police work: https://t.co/d01Uc4iWYm
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 25, 2016
Under its secretive program called Hemisphere, AT&T could search trillions of call records and analyze cellular data to determine where a target is located, with whom they speak and potentially why.
The documents also show the company only required an administrative subpoena, a lower-level legal document which – unlike a search warrant – does not require authorization from a judge. Police departments paid anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million a year for access to the Hemisphere program. Under the agreement, police were prohibited from disclosing use of the program to the public or even in court.