The Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) logged nearly every phone call made from the U.S. to as many as 116 countries as part of a now defunct operation that began in 1992 and lasted for longer than 20 years, USA Today reported on Wednesday, citing more than a dozen current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials.

The records – gathered without court approval – had a variety of uses, such as tracking drug cartel distribution networks, the report stated.

Now, a lawsuit challenging the operation has been filed in Los Angeles by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of Human Rights Watch.

In a Wednesday post, Nate Cardozo, staff attorney at the EFF, wrote that bulk collection of Americans' records is unconstitutional and that the DEA program – as well as bulk surveillance – needs to end.