According to The New York Times, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is paying AT&T over $10 million per year to access their database of phone records. This includes international calls made from America. The records also go beyond actual AT&T customers. It also includes phone calls made through the carrier’s network equipment.
Fortunately, the CIA puts in privacy safeguards in place for domestic callers. Most of the calls logs provided by AT&T are foreign-to-foreign calls. When AT&T produces records of international calls with one end in the U.S., they do not disclose the identity of the Americans and the digits are masked in the phone numbers.
?In all cases, whenever any governmental entity anywhere seeks information from us, we ensure that the request and our response are completely lawful and proper. We ensure that we maintain customer information in compliance with the laws of the United States and other countries where information may be maintained. Like all telecom providers, we routinely charge governments for producing the information provided. We do not comment on questions concerning national security,? said AT&T in a statement to The New York Times.