NSA and AT&T colluded to spy on people

Lost in the news shuffle has been another revelation from the Edward Snowden archive about the close collusion between AT&T and the NSA, where the telecommunications company has been having a decade-long partnership with the spy agency and handing over metadata on billions of emails. Kim Zetter explains the arrangement

According to the Times piece, the siphoning of internet data from AT&T began in 2003 and continued for a decade in a relationship that the NSA called “highly collaborative.” The telecom giant, according to one Snowden document, was extremely willing to help out the spy agency, and its engineers “were the first to try out new surveillance technologies invented by the eavesdropping agency.”

Funny or Die has managed to get a recording of an exchange between an NSA operative and an AT&T employee that reveals the extent of the collusion to spy on us.


  1. lorn says

    I do like that that FoD points out the basic facts. It isn’t really so much the NSA monitoring as it is the corporations most Americans deal with every day that collect, store, and sell people’s information. The NSA, and other agencies, can get that information the same way any other organization gains it, they approach the corporation holding it, and cut a deal to buy it from them. There are discounts for larger purchases.

    Remember that all the information is being collected. Every e-mail is stored simply because it is cheap enough to do so. Cloud storage is just the next logical step. In essence allowing you to do what they were doing all along.

    Every cell phone call has your, number, the number you are calling, the time and duration of the call documented, at a very minimum, simply because that is the minimum required to run a system for billing.

    Of course there is also the law. As a publicly traded company no asset can ever be destroyed without compensation. That would violate the shareholder’s interests. Which means that once AT&T has your information, they can’t ever delete it. They can sell copies, or lock up the information, but it never, ever goes away. Always a target for hackers, always there to be sold if enough money is offered.

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