According to the IRS document obtained which explains the program:

While the documents stipulates that such procedures should only be used for “drug trafficking” investigations, DEA agents told Reuters that the practice has now been used for “organized crime and drug trafficking.”

And that’s the problem, say critics, who note that surveillance operations like those developed by the NSA and the DEA are first said to only be used for counterterrorism, but then the public finds out they’re also being used for narcotics investigations. Next, new disclosures surface that criminal gangs are being targeted. Next, financial criminals. It appears a classic slippery slope.

Responding to the Reuters reporting from earlier in the week on the SOD program, former litigator and now journalist Glenn Greenwald told Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!:

Goodman also interview the Reuters reporter John Shiffman, who led the investigation. That entire conversation can be seen here:

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