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Snowden Documents Reveal Partnerships Between NSA, AT&T, Verizon

AT&T can thank Edward Snowden for the telecom giant’s recent appearance in news headlines.

Documents made available by Snowden reveal that AT&T received payments from the NSA in exchange for the company placing surveillance equipment at 17 different internet hubs across the Untied States, according to a story yesterday by The Verge

According to the documents, of the major internet companies in the United States, AT&T was most willing to work alongside the NSA in order to conduct surveillance on internet usage. The report also mentioned Verizon, who was deemed the company with the second-most cozy relationship with the clandestine government agency.

Interestingly, AT&T is never mentioned by name in the reports, which were first analysed and released by The New York Times and ProPublica. 

However, researchers say there’s enough evidence to point to the telecom. The company’s relationship with the NSA dates back about three decades.

According to reporter Dante D’Orazio, both AT&T and Verizon have “major ties with the government” and that they “rely on cooperation” to keep their businesses “running smoothly.”

The telecoms have major ties with the government. They rely on cooperation with government regulators to keep their businesses running smoothly. It’s simply in the telecom’s best interest to maintain a good relationship with the government.

A story by Yahoo News indicated that AT&T is involved with the NSA’s Fairview program. Details of the program were not given, but the article hinted at the fact that Fairview has been repsonsible for spying on “the U.N. Headquarters’ Internet line.”

Connections were made between AT&T and Fairview in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 earthquake. Fairview fiber-optic cables were damaged. Repairs on the Fairview cables took place on the same day that AT&T cables in the same location were repaired.

Verizon has its own partnership with the NSA in the form of a program called Stormbrew. The NSA spent nearly $190 million on Fairview in 2011, while it spent nearly $67 million on Stormbrew that same year.

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