The Data Analytical Services (DAS) Program, formerly known as the Hemisphere Project, is the largest telephone record collection program reported to date. DAS has largely been funded through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). DAS allows law enforcement personnel at the local, state, and federal levels to access more than a trillion phone records of AT&T customers, as well as anyone else whose communication is routed through an AT&T switch. Unlike the controversial NSA phone records collection program, DAS also collects location information. A government subpoena to AT&T will retrieve Call Detail Records (CDRs) on calls made as recently as one hour before the request was approved, and as far back as 1987.
No Judicial Oversight: Through DAS law enforcement agencies request vast amounts of phone records merely with administrative or grand jury subpoenas, neither of which require a judge to review before issuing.
Trillions of Phone Records Collected: According to previous records obtained by EPIC and EFF about Hemisphere, four billion Call Data Records were added to the Hemisphere each day and currently DAS contains more than a trillion records.
Location Data Tracked: Sensitive location data is accessible through DAS. Previous records obtained about Hemisphere, indicated that the DEA used GeoTime, a 3D mapping and analysis tool, to analyze these call records.
Sweeping Use by Law Enforcement: Multiple law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal level use the DAS program and have searched the database for non-drug-related investigations. The government has worked in the past to keep the names of agencies that use Hemisphere a secret.
No Privacy Impact Assessment: Hemisphere/DAS’s obscure funding mechanism enables the program to evade a privacy impact assessment, which is generally legally required for surveillance programs. Consequently, there is no public record of the DEA or any other entity ever conducting a privacy impact assessment for the Hemisphere Project despite EPIC FOIA requests seeking such a document.
Purposely Kept Secret: The government actively sought to keep the Hemisphere program from public scrutiny by instructing users of Hemisphere to never reference it in any official document and using parallel construction to hide the program.
Two-hop Searches: DAS searches can provide not only the phone records of the target of the search but also the phone records of each person who communicated with the target.