AT&T is paid $10 million per year to help CIA, according to report

ATAndT

There is yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of big tech companies providing user information to government agencies. Quoting “government officials”, New York Times says AT&T is cooperating with the C.I.A., and not only that, but they’re getting paid $10 million a year to do so.

The way their relationship works, which is voluntary, is that the C.I.A. gives numbers of those they suspect to be involved in terrorist activities, those that are out of country, and AT&T looks into these numbers to see if any of them have been used by their network.

Dean Boyd, a member of the C.I.A. and also spokesman, believes that whatever data gathering they do is well within lawful grounds. He also would not comment directly on ties with AT&T.

“The C.I.A. protects the nation and upholds privacy rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in accordance with U.S. laws,” he said. “The C.I.A. is expressly forbidden from undertaking intelligence collection activities inside the United States ‘for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of U.S. persons,’ and the C.I.A. does not do so.”

AT&T also declined to comment directly on this program. “We value our customers’ privacy and work hard to protect it by ensuring compliance with the law in all respects,” Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesman, said. “We do not comment on questions concerning national security.”

And here you thought it was just the NSA.

[via The New York Times]

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

6 comments

  1. Coyote

    I’m embarrassed to even think this is how they view security.

    This line of reasoning in particular;
    “The C.I.A. protects the nation and upholds privacy rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in accordance with U.S. laws,”

    How is invading the privacy of those outside the US considered protecting or “upholding” our own rights? How is that even comparable? It’d be like saying we steal food from our neighbors but by doing so we are protecting our own citizens because that means the NSA/CIA don’t have to steal our own supplies. It’s not protecting us, it’s making us a target and we will see other countries lose even more faith in our government with these overreaching and ludicrous acts they seem to have no control over.

  2. Seamus McSeamus

    [@etim] Kind of like a business paying a gang to protect them from the gangs, right?

    “We don’t want nuthin’ bad should happen, like your store gettin’ burnt down or somethin’, so maybe youse should pay us a piece of your till so’s we can watch out for things”.

  3. Darcy

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds like the people themselves are out of the country but AT&T is providing information on if their home numbers inside the country are being used? Aside from what seems like useless information, that’s still a violation of the CIA mandate IMO.