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New Snowden revelations detail AT&T's much deeper relationship with the NSA

Edward Snowden

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(NaturalNews) New revelations that the National Security Agency and telecom giant AT&T had a much deeper spy relationship than previously known has rankled Americans and further eroded trust in the federal government's relationships with companies that provide private electronic communications services.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that, according to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reviewed by the Times and ProPublica, the relationship between the government's premier spy agency and one of the country's biggest telecoms was characterized as unique and very productive, with one document describing it as "highly collaborative," as another praised AT&T's "extreme willingness to help."

The Times reported that, according to the documents, AT&T's cooperation extended to a broad range of classified activities dating from 2003 to 2013. The paper noted that AT&T had given the spy agency access to billions of emails as they streamed through domestic networks. The access relied upon "several methods covered under different legal rules," the Times noted.

Expensive process

In addition, the company provided technical assistance to the NSA in carrying out a secret court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court permitting the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the New York City headquarters of the United Nations, an AT&T customer.

A separate report in The Huffington Post noted that the federal government paid AT&T and rival Verizon hundreds of dollars apiece for each wiretap:

In the era of intense government surveillance and secret court orders, a murky multimillion-dollar market has emerged. Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly.

For example, HuffPo further reported, AT&T charges taxpayers a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap authorized, plus $10 a day thereafter to maintain it.

Smaller carriers such as Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge less – about $250 per wiretap – but Verizon levies a hefty fee of $775 per customer for the first month, then $500 each month thereafter.

Visit NationalSecurity.news to find out more about how YOUR tax dollars are being used by the government to pay corporations to spy on YOU.

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