An extensive new report from the Daily Beast details how AT&T is making millions spying on Americans for the government.
The telecommunications giant has a massive database that the government has access to, Kenneth Lipp wrote, and according to the ACLU, it goes “much further” than legally required to “make the enterprise profitable.”
Its “NSA-style” data-mining program, called Hemisphere, “isn’t a ‘partnership’ but rather a product AT&T developed, marketed, and sold at a cost of millions of dollars per year to taxpayers,” Lipp wrote. “No warrant is required to make use of the company’s massive trove of data, according to AT&T documents, only a promise from law enforcement to not disclose Hemisphere if an investigation using it becomes public.”
Concerns about privacy and civil liberties don’t only trouble liberals who have opposed the Patriot Act for years or libertarians who dislike such expansions of power.
The revelation that AT&T has a program that “searches trillions of call records and analyzes cellular data to determine where a target is located, with whom he speaks, and potentially why,” means that pro-life and pro-family citizens could eventually be targeted for their politically incorrect views. It shows that massive corporations are very willing to be part of a statist machine that is increasingly hostile to socially conservative views.
Should there be a clampdown on “hate speech” in the U.S., as some have already called for, one wonders how far the government would go in snooping through its citizens’ already-monitored conversations.
AT&T has contributed to a number of groups that support progressive causes like same-sex “marriage,” abortion, and transgender bathrooms. It contributes to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, GLAAD, and the Center for American Progress. The company has also sponsored Human Rights Campaign galas. The Human Rights Campaign is one of America’s largest and most well-known LGBT lobby groups.
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