A shocking (or perhaps not so shocking) report has emerged from the New York Times revealing that AT&T has been sending users data to the NSA. AT&T started cooperating with the NSA under a program dubbed “Fairview.” AT&T started handing over records back in 2011, at a rate of over 1.1 billion domestic cell phone records a day to the agency. These revelations have come to light over more documents from Edward Snowden, which date from 2003-2013. It’s no secret that the NSA had been asking telecommunications companies for their users records but this accusation shows that AT&T willingly worked with the NSA on this program. It appears that AT&T didn’t question whether or not the data the NSA was asking for was legal for them to take or not, they simply just handed it all over.
While its known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the NSA, the documents show that the government’s relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and productive, according to the newspaper. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help,” the newspaper reported.
The documents show the telecom giant’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the Times. AT&T has given the NSA access, through several methods covered under different legal rules, to billions of emails as they flowed across various domestic networks.
The documents also reveal that AT&T even provided technical assistance to the NSA when it needed expertise in telecommunications. These revelations could stir up some users to question the company whom they trusted to keep their data safe but were turned over instead. We have not seen an official statement from AT&T on the matter, nor do we know if any lawsuits or legal actions are pending against the company or the NSA.
What do you think of this situation? Are you an AT&T customer? Will you be leaving their service because of this? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.