Oct. 25, 2016 – Today, it was revealed that AT&T has been running a massive secret spying program—funded by tens of millions in taxpayer money—for state and local law enforcement agencies to conduct warrantless searches of trillions of call records and other extremely sensitive customer data such as precise physical location. Fight for the Future, a digital rights group known for its high profile campaigns for free speech and online security, released the following statement, from their campaign director, Evan Greer:
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The for-profit spying program that these documents detail is more terrifying than the illegal NSA surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed. Far beyond the NSA and FBI, these tools are accessible to a wide range of law enforcement officers including local police, without a warrant, as long as they pay up. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it. Customers trusted AT&T with some of their most private information, and the company turned around and literally built a product to sell that information to as many government agencies and police departments as they could. Not only did they fail to have any safeguards to prevent unauthorized use of the data, they actually required law enforcement to keep the program secret and dig up or fabricate other evidence, to hide the fact that they’d received information from AT&T. If companies are allowed to operate in this manner without repercussions, our democracy has no future. We call on AT&T to immediately shut down this illegal and unethical spying program, and we demand that the U.S. department of Justice launch an investigation into the use of the Hemisphere spying program, and reveal all court cases where Hemisphere was used so that they can be reviewed.
Fight for the Future is best known for organizing some of the largest online protests in history including the massive SOPA Blackout, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and Reset the Net opposing mass government surveillance. Learn more at FightForTheFuture.org