The DAS Program - living in Dystopia

According to WIRED magazine in an article published yesterday Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records | WIRED, a gigantic secret surveillance program named DAS (for Data Analytical Services) has been unveiled.
More than a trillion domestic (US) phone calls analysed per year and this has been going on for a decade!
Quoting a paragraph from the WIRED article:

According to the letter, a surveillance program now known as Data Analytical Services (DAS) has for more than a decade allowed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to mine the details of Americans’ calls, analyzing the phone records of countless people who are not suspected of any crime, including victims. Using a technique known as chain analysis, the program targets not only those in direct phone contact with a criminal suspect but anyone with whom those individuals have been in contact as well.

All of this, courtesy of cooperating telecom giant AT&T (but do they have a choice anyway…)
I would bet that many of the people in this forum and living on US soil, have all their calls listened to and analysed.
When I hear about such abuses, I am outraged - and also so sorry for the people living in Dystopia. Then I calm down and get a warm feeling that I am so lucky to live in good old Europe, where such horror would never happen neither be accepted.


Hi. I’m writing to you from the magical land of Dystopia that you were describing, so feel free to take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

But, although I did not read the article you linked yet, I am inclined to think that in Europe they would listen to the calls also, because the people at the top want the power.

Don’t the top-level people usually do the thing where one country spies on another, so that it’s never a self-spying situation that could get the country’s own government in trouble? So, for example, when they want to spy on all of Europe’s phone calls if it’s against European law then they would just have someone from another country like Dystopia be technically in charge of the systems that capture all Europe calls. That way, if Europe discovers it, there’s always an alibi.

Then, the powerful people in Europe can just ask the powerful people in Dystopia what the contents of the calls are.


Is that supported by any quote from the article?

It is one thing to data mine call records (metadata for what number called what number at what time for how long from what device to what device etc.). That is bad enough.

It is another thing to listen in to calls (although that leaves open the question as to whether all voice calls are recorded and the content is accessed later on if “someone” requires it or the only calls that get listened to are listened to in real time i.e. at the time the call is made).

Indeed. It is widely believed that among the Five Eyes countries, it is Australia that passes the dodgy laws that allow just about anything, due to the very weak constitutional protection for human rights, and then provides the service to the other Four Eyes.


I call “bullshit”. Can you say “5 Eyes”? Brexit is not a technical haven, as 5 Eyes predates Brexit.

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Reminds me of Romania after the fall of the Warsaw Pact. Every phone line had a tape recorder attached in a government building.

Then everyone realized why - before the fall - it was so hard to get a phone. They only had so many tape recorders to go around, and the personnel to listen to all the conversations.

Now with AI, and the analog voice recorded onto heretofore unheard of small devices on a chip. A government no longer needs tape recorders or the personnel to listen to them.

One comforting thought, the AI probably has about the same accuracy as Google Translator. The same as auto-captioning on live streaming (you’ve all seen the mistranslated words, sometmes they’re funny).


@irvinewade is correct: The program is about metadata.

whom was called by whom was called by whom was called by…

That doesn’t mean there aren’t other secret programs that collect content of certain “targets’” calls,and possibly their contacts.

Let’s not forget about this, either: Room 641A - Wikipedia


Cyber Threat Intelligence League… Trust NO ONE.


There are currently no 5Ys in Europe. We do not really consider UK to be part of Europe: the fact is that it is an island in the Atlantic. We, as European, sometimes jokingly refer to great Great Britain as the “fifty-first state”.
One needs to be part of the 5Y sharing pool to do metadata collection and analysis on such a very large scale, for other participating parties to profit.
Germany would much like to join the 5Y agreement…but they were turned down because they don’t speak the language and don’t have the proper “Anglo-Saxon mindset”.

No, that’s what Australia is called. GB must be 52nd. :rofl:

That would be a good thing, right? If the “proper” mindset is doing mass surveillance on a mind-boggling scale, doing mass surveillance that is barely legal (if that), then not having the “proper” mindset is a good thing!

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Well if you wanted the US and GB to unite this is an affront they can rally behind.

They’d be the ts12 state, being on the upside down part of the planet and all.


I was being ironic, of course! It is so risible that Germany - one of the most privacy-strong country in Europe - would want to join this gargantuan data feast…what were they thinking?
They are already part of the 14Ys, so they do share sigint with the inner circle - and therefore get fed back in return, but in limited quantities only. They just sort of wanted a step up, I guess.

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