Documents released by Edward Snowden reveal how between 2003 to 2013 AT&T partnered with the NSA to provide them with surveillance data on U.S. citizens.
AT&T (codename Fairview in the documents) reportedly installed snooping programs on its various servers across the U.S. to allow the NSA to spy on 1.1 billion domestic phone calls per day.
The agency spent $188.9 million on the Fairview program — almost double what it spent on the Stormbrew operation.
“This is a partnership, not a contractual relationship, as corporate relationships provide unique accesses to other telecoms and I.S.P.s,” according to one NSAdocument describing the link between the agency and the company.
The files further showed that AT&T’s ‘peering network’ allowed NSA to access web traffic from other companies.
In communications between an American and a foreigner abroad, the NSA can target the foreigner without first obtaining a court order, while foreign-to-foreign communications are free for monitoring by the agency. By 2013, that included some 60 million email exchanges between foreigners abroad that passed through American servers belonging to AT&T. Verizon started performing similar operations for the NSA in March 2013.
The above information has been sourced from the report released by New York Times and ProPublica after investigating and methodologically studying the ‘Leaked Documents’ by Edward Snowden.