The Hemisphere Project

Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald were right back in 2013.

On Nov. 20 Senator Ron Wyden released a letter to the Department of Justice, addressed to Merrick Garland, the Attorney General. The letter asks for records relating to the Hemisphere Project, a monstrous spying operation on public phone records.

According to the letter, “This is a long-running dragnet surveillance program in which the White House pays AT&T to provide all federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies the ability to request often-warrantless searches of trillions of domestic phone records.”

Trillions of domestic phone records? The White House?

This program was begun in 2009 under Obama and then shut down, then started again in 2017 under Trump, and was again restarted under Biden.  It exists under the auspices of the  White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). ONDCP “pays AT&T to mine its customers’ records for the benefit of federal, state, local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies. According to an ONDCP slide deck, AT&T has kept and queries as part of the Hemisphere Project call records going back to 1987, with 4 billion new records being added every day.”

We already know where the drugs are coming from: our own southern border. The migrant crisis is an excuse for drug running and human trafficking. The federal government has essentially shut down the Border Patrol and ICE. The Border Patrol issues free apps to each migrant who comes in illegally (after they have paid thousands to the drug cartels) and government-paid NGOs transfer migrants anywhere in the country for free.

Senator Wyden’s letter states that

  • The scale of the data available to and routinely searched for the benefit of law enforcement under the Hemisphere Project is stunning in its scope.


  • Is  “AT&T's Super Search Engine” and ... "Google on Steroids.”
  • “Can be used to identify alternate numbers used by a target, obtain location data and “two levels of call detail records for one target number” (meaning the phone records of everyone who communicated with the target).”
  • Paid for by Federal (taxpayer) funds. `“Although the Hemisphere Project is paid for with federal funds, they are delivered to AT&T through an obscure grant program, enabling the program to skip an otherwise mandatory federal privacy review.”
  • Is coordinated under the Houston  HIDTA. “ONDCP provides funding for the program through the Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), one of 33 regional funding organizations as a part of a grant program created by Congress and administered by ONDCP. The HIDTAs distribute federal anti-drug law enforcement grants to state and local agencies, and are governed by a board made up entirely of federal, state and local law enforcement officials.”
  • This information has been designated “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” which is meant to restrict its public release. In other words, the public does not get to see these records.

And most important,

  • “Hemisphere searches are not required to be in support of drug-related investigations.”

In other words, anyone can be targeted. Are AT&T and the ONDCP sharing their spying results with other companies in the government-corporate complex, or with other telecom companies?

Read the document here:

So there you have it. More proof that the War on Drugs is just more government spying on U.S. citizens, just as the War on Terror is an excuse to create endless war.

Greenwald and Snowden pointed this out in 2013.

After 9/11/01 and the Patriot Act, the electronic surveillance system that was originally created to monitor threats from abroad was shifted to track threats inside our country. The Hemisphere Project is part of that effort.