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AT&T provides DEA with 26 years worth of phone call data

AT&T DEA Phone Records Program

If Walter White is an AT&T subscriber then he’d better start sweating. The New York Times reports that AT&T has been working very closely with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to hand over 26 years worth of its customers’ call records. The Times says that while the DEA requests and acquires call records through standard subpoenas, the agency’s close relationship with AT&T may be unnerving to some privacy advocates.

Among other things, the Times says that “the government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country,” and who then “sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.” What’s more, the Times says that the “scale and longevity” of AT&T’s cooperation with the DEA “appears to be unmatched by other government programs, including the NSA’s gathering of phone call logs under the Patriot Act.” The program has been going on in secret since 2007, the Times reports.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.