back to article AT&T turns spying on customers for CIA into cash waterfall – report

The Central Intelligence Agency is reportedly paying AT&T the princely sum of $10m a year in exchange for a detailed list of international calls made on its networks. Several government officials familiar with the program told The New York Times that the system is a voluntary one by the company, and was set up in 2010. It …


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Big Brother

Secrets of room 641A

"The CIA is expressly forbidden from undertaking intelligence collection activities inside the United States 'for the purpose of acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of US persons,' and the CIA does not do so."

Then what the f**k are all those fiber optic taps in Folsom Street used for?


US company sells out customer data for cash

wow - what surprise!

Silver badge

"We value our customers' privacy"

And the value is ten million dollars!


One of the very few parts of our legal system that works really well is the part that prevents the government from taking your property without paying for it. Thanks to the British oppressors of the past who forced colonial rebellion, partially, by allowing their soldiers to stay in people's houses and seize their property we now have a really great way to bill out current oppressors.

But seriously, even with a court order the government has to pay if they take/demand your stuff. If it's a product they're taking they have to pay the replacement value of thing and any costs associated with putting the new thing back to work, those prices are generally established and there isn't much wiggle room. Service demands/subpoenas are another thing entirely.

If they're requesting you perform a custom service on their behalf, you've got pretty much a blank check to assign (arbitrary) numbers of staff to the project. You have to bill those staff out at their regular rate, but they can't say no if you say it takes 19 first class engineers to check email logs. They can cancel the project (even then you get to bill them for the quote) if it is too expensive but you basically name your own price and they can take it or leave it.


What about free VOIP?

Free VOIP anyone? How many free VOIP and messenger services are there that have no income, and yet can pay the ISP bills.

I read Viber was suspected of being a surveillance app, but they're hardly the only company that collect information without a business model to pay for their servers.

Kwack for [Talmon Marco viber CIO] to see what I mean.

Gold badge

Hold up. The CIA actually provides a *list* of people they want information on.

That's called targeted surveillance.

Rather different to the "Cough up everything you have" of the NSA

Now how big that list is would be another issue.

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