AT&T ‘helped NSA to spy on internet traffic’: Telecommunications powerhouse reportedly helped intelligence agency tap phone lines of clients

Sunday, August 16, 2015
By Paul Martin

16 August 2015

Documents suggest company helped tap the UN, an AT&T customer
Was part of a court order allowing wiretapping of online communications
Report describes a working relationship between the firm and the agency
AT&T have installed surveillance equipment in 17 hubs across the U.S.

Telecommunications powerhouse AT&T Inc has provided extensive assistance to the U.S. National Security Agency, it has been claimed.

According to newly disclosed documents, the company has helped the spy agency, which conducts surveillance on huge volumes of Internet traffic passing through the United States, the New York Times reported.

They are believed to have given technical assistance to the NSA in carrying out a secret court order allowing wiretapping of all Internet communications at the headquarters of the United Nations, an AT&T customer.

The documents date from 2003 to 2013 and were provided by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the Times reported.

The company helped the spy agency in a broad range of classified activities, the newspaper reported.

The documents describe how the NSA’s working relationship with AT&T has been particularly important, enabling the agency to conduct surveillance, under various legal rules, of international and foreign-to-foreign internet communications that passed through network hubs in the United States.

AT&T installed surveillance equipment in at least 17 of its U.S. internet hubs, far more than competitor Verizon Communications Inc, the Times reported.

AT&T engineers also were the first to use new surveillance technologies invented by the NSA, the Times reported.

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