AT&T Cashing in on CIA Spying

A pedestrian walks by an AT&T store in Downtown Brooklyn section of New York, U.S. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007.  Photographer: Ramin Talaie
Photo: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This partnership is voluntary: The CIA pays AT&T $10 million a year to use its phone records — including international calls by Americans — in terrorism investigations without subpoenas or court orders, the New York Times reports. Since CIA spying on Americans is technically against the rules, numbers located within the U.S. are masked, although of course the government has a way around that, if necessary. AT&T, meanwhile, is known for being pretty cozy with the government, working closely post-9/11 with the FBI (analyzing call records), NSA (warrantless wiretapping), and DEA (tracking drug dealers on their burners). And the service still sucks.