Phones for Drugs: ‘Obama Phone’ Program Susceptible to Corruption

Undercover investigation finds federal free-phone program has minimal protections against abuse

EXCLUSIVE: Hidden Camera Catches Wireless Company Employees Passing Out 'Obama Phones' to People Who Say They'll SELL them for Drugs, Shoes, Handbags and Spending Cash (Daily Mail)


Undercover video shot in May by a conservative activist shows two corporate distributors of free cell phones handing out the mobile devices to people who have promised to sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, to pay off their bills, or just for extra spending cash.

The 'Obama phone,' which made its ignominious YouTube debut outside a Cleveland, Ohio presidential campaign event last September, is a project of the Federal Communications Commission's 'Lifeline' program, which makes land line and mobile phones available to Americans who meet low-income requirements.

Lifeline was a $2.19 billion program in 2012.

Recipients most commonly demonstrate their need by flashing an Electronic Benefits Transfer card to verify their eligibility for welfare payments, or by bringing tax statements to a phone provider.

The phones' legitimate purposes include poverty-level job applicants' use as contact numbers for job interviews and emergency contacts for children of single parents.

But when James O'Keefe, whose Project Veritas is a perennial thorn in the side of progressive policymakers, sent an undercover actor into a Stand Up Wireless location in Philadelphia, the man's stated purpose was to buy drugs.

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