AT&T was a key reason that the National Security Agency was able to cull such large amounts of telecom data, according to a new report released by the New York Times and ProPublica.
New documents acquired by the news organizations point to a relationship between the AT&T and the NSA that allowed for widespread collection of information, sometimes without the specified warrant involved. In fact, the NSA partnership was so large that the agency’s 2015 budget for surveillance work with AT&T more than doubled the next-down telecom surveillance program, reported NYT.
Although neither AT&T nor any other cooperative telecom company is specifically named in the documents, analysis and interviews with former intelligence officials have assured NY Times and ProPublica that Fairview — the major ally spoken about in documents — is indeed AT&T. The telecom giant declined to comment on the documents but Brad Burns, a spokesman for AT&T, said that they release data only when it is dangerously pertinent.
“We do not voluntarily provide information to any investigating authorities other than if a person’s life is in danger and time is of the essence.”
After the news about the close ties between AT&T and the NSA broke, social media exploded with commentary — some light, some stinging — about what the revelations meant for privacy.
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) August 15, 2015
AT&T helped the NSA wiretap all internet communications at the United Nations in New York. WHO DOESN’T LOVE AUTHORITARIANISM — one in ten haters (@onekade) August 15, 2015
So NSA used AT&T to spy on people, huh? http://t.co/eFgMNMWVUO No big. If AT&T’s spying is anything like its phone service, they got nothing
— Steve Sebelius (@SteveSebelius) August 15, 2015
if u have at&t the nsa is probably spying on u rn — fat rico (@kaylon) August 15, 2015
— Miko La’Mar Brown (@LaMikoLeMiko) August 15, 2015
What do you think about the new documents showing AT&T and the NSA’s close collaboration?
[Image via Mike Mozart/Flickr]