First we have the NSA collecting personal telephone call data. Now we find out about this shadowy program, which was uncovered only because DEA had to give up its existence pursuant to a criminal case involving a man accused of planning the export of technology to Iran:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has formally acknowledged that it maintained a sweeping database of phone calls made from the United States to multiple foreign countries.


…the program relied on administrative subpoenas to collect records of calls….

Not even a secret, but at least Article III, judge granting (or, rarely, refusing) warrants to search. Now we have, also, the same sort of warrant issued administratively (but just as sub rosa if not outright secretly).

What other secret databases is the Federal government keeping on its employers, us citizens?

These two programs, shrouded as they’ve been, are illustrations of why government cannot be trusted with such collections absent open, publicly sought and issued or refused 4th Amendment warrants. These two programs demonstrate instead that, without such public requests and issuances/denials, the Constitution will be ignored at convenience.

An aside: DoJ says this DEA collection program has been discontinued. There’s no evidence, though, that the database has been destroyed. DoJ is only willing to claim that the contents have been deleted. We know, of course, from IRS deletions that deleting doesn’t necessarily mean deletion.

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