New Snowden revelations detail AT&T’s much deeper relationship with the NSA

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By Paul Martin
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New revelations that the National Security Agency and telecom giant AT&T had a much deeper spy relationship than previously known has rankled Americans and further eroded trust in the federal government’s relationships with companies that provide private electronic communications services.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that, according to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reviewed by the Times and ProPublica, the relationship between the government’s premier spy agency and one of the country’s biggest telecoms was characterized as unique and very productive, with one document describing it as “highly collaborative,” as another praised AT&T’s “extreme willingness to help.”

The Times reported that, according to the documents, AT&T’s cooperation extended to a broad range of classified activities dating from 2003 to 2013. The paper noted that AT&T had given the spy agency access to billions of emails as they streamed through domestic networks. The access relied upon “several methods covered under different legal rules,” the Times noted.

Expensive process

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