Wen Hui Po (Hong Kong) reported today, the cooperation between American telecommunication companies and National Security Agency (NSA) has been an open secret. Newly disclosed NSA documents reveal that the AT&T, one of the largest providers of mobile telephone and internet service in the United States has been closely cooperating with the NSA. AT&T helped NSA monitor the internet communication at the headquarters of United Nations. In the document, AT&T is described as “highly collaborative” and had “an extreme willingness to help”. In addition, NSA instructs its staff to be well-mannered when visiting AT&T office, because the link between AT&T and NSA is partnership, not a contractual relationship.
AT&T declined to discuss the findings. It is not clear whether the cooperation of the two is still continuing.
The disclosed NSA documents date from 2003 to 2013 and a cooperative project code-named “Fairview” is revealed. According to the documents, AT&T has participated in numerous activities, including providing NSA various surveillance channels and access to more than one billion emails. The telecommunications giant also provided technical support to the NSA in carrying out a secret court order allowing monitoring all Internet communications at the headquarters of the United Nations, which is a client of AT&T.
AT&T installed surveillance devices in at least 17 of its internet hubs in the US. The company’s engineers were the first to use new surveillances technologies invented by NSA test department. In 2011, the 10th anniversary of the "911", AT&T provided NSA more than 1.1 billion local mobile phone records. In 2013, the working relationship with AT&T cost NSA’s secret budget 190 million dollars, the largest among similar surveillance projects.