Aug 112014
 August 11, 2014  Featured News, Surveillance, U.S.

Pete Yost of AP reports:

The Drug Enforcement Administration paid an Amtrak secretary $854,460 over nearly 20 years to obtain confidential information about train passengers, which the DEA could have lawfully obtained for free through a law enforcement network, The Associated Press has learned.

The employee was not publicly identified except as a “secretary to a train and engine crew” in a report on the incident by Amtrak’s inspector general.


Amtrak is officially known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp. and is not a government agency, although it has received tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies and is subject to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Amtrak’s inspector general said the secretary provided the passenger information without seeking approval from Amtrak management or police, but Amtrak’s own corporate privacy policy expressly allows it to sell or share personal information about its customers and passengers with contractors or a category of others it describes as “certain trustworthy business partners.”

Read more on AP The Big Story.

Now where are all those folks who kept insisting it’s soooo much better to ride Amtrak than to drive places? 

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