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article imageCIA pays millions to AT&T for international phone records

By Owen Weldon     Nov 8, 2013 in World
According to a report, AT&T receives more than $10 million per year from the CIA, and in return the CIA can access the company's database of international phone records, which also includes information on Americans.
According to Gawker, the CIA is allowed to do this because of a voluntary contract between them and AT&T. The CIA can give the phone number of a terrorism suspect to the phone company, and they search through the database for any information that may be able to help identify the target of the CIA.
The NY Times reports that the CIA is prohibited from spying on Americans' domestic activities, and officials say that the agency imposes privacy safeguards on the program. Officials went onto say that most call logs that are provided to them involve foreign-to-foreign calls, but when records show that the call involves a number from within the United States, then the several digits are "masked" and the identity of the Americans are not disclosed.
According to officials, the CIA can refer masked numbers to the FBI, which then can get AT&T to provide them the uncensored data via an administrative subpoena. The FBI handles domestic investigations, but they can sometimes choose to share information with the CIA about the American that participated in the phone calls.
According to CNN, AT&T did not confirm the deal they have with the CIA, nor did they deny it. AT&T did say that sometimes governments do pay them to provide them with information.
AT&T also said that when a government entity seeks information from them, then they make sure that their response, as well as the request, are proper and abide by the law.
More about Cia, Phone records, Phone, Records, Millions
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