New Delhi, Aug 16: How big a role did telecom giant AT&T Inc play in the spying by the National Security Agency? According to the New York Times the telecom giant played a major role in helping the NSA spy on internet traffic which also included wiretapping the headquarters of the UN.
Based on the documents leaked by Edward Snowden a former NSA contractor, the report states that the NSA and the AT&T Inc shared a highly collaborative relationship. The telecom giant had expressed it's willingness to help the NSA, the files also revealed.
Access to billions of emails:
The documents further suggest that the AT&T Inc gave the NSA access to billions of emails landing in the domestic networks.
It was alleged that the AT&T had installed surveillance equipment in at least 17 of its major US internet hubs, thought to be a lot more than Verizon installed.
AT&T's engineers were also the first ones to get their hands on this new surveillance technologies created by the NSA, the New York times stated.
It is also alleged that in the year 2011 AT&T began to supply NSA with over 1.1 billion domestic cellphone calling records per day in 2011, which was a push to get this flow operational prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The company also gave access to foreign-to-foreign internet traffic, which was especially valuable to NSA. This was possible because a massive amount of the world's network communications pass through US cables.
The leaked documents also reveal that the NSA officials while visiting the AT&T offices were instructed to be polite.
This is a partnership not a contractual relationship, the New York Times reported while quoting the documents.
The documents also state that AT&T through several methods had given the NSA access through several methods covered under different legal rules to billions of emails as they flowed across the domestic network.