Report: CIA Pays AT&T $10 Million A Year To Fork Over Call Data

In this Jan. 26, 2010 photo, AT&T phones are advertised in San Francisco.
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The CIA was paying AT&T more than $10 million a year in exchange for call data to aid in counterterrorism investigations, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Anonymous government officials told the Times that the arrangement was voluntary and that AT&T was not compelled by either a court order or subpoena to provide the call records.

Officials told the newspaper that the program began sometime before 2010 and was halted for a time before resuming. They also said that the majority of call logs the phone company turns over are between foreign parties, but when the company does provide a record of an international call with one party in the United States, it does not disclose the identity of that party.

Both the CIA and AT&T declined to confirm the program to the Times.

AT&T has cooperated with the government in the past, according to a former technician who in 2006 disclosed there was a secret room in a California AT&T building where equipment allowed the NSA to perform “vaccuum-cleaner surveillance” of internet data.

Read the rest of the Times report here.

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