Nov 7 (Reuters) - The CIA is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to provide phone records for overseas counter-terrorism investigations, the New York Times reported, quoting government officials.
The No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider is cooperating under a voluntary contract, not under subpoenas or court orders compelling the company to participate, the paper said. (r.reuters.com/juk54v)
The report comes amid widespread political uproar after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents describing how the U.S. government collects far more internet and telephone data than previously known.
Under the AT&T arrangement, the CIA supplies phone numbers of overseas terrorism suspects and AT&T searches its database to provide call records that may help identify foreign associates, the paper said.
Most of the call logs provided by AT&T involve foreign-to-foreign calls, the paper said.
AT&T does not disclose the identity of the Americans calling from the United States, and masks their phone numbers when it produces the records, the paper said, quoting the officials.
AT&T was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore and Alina Selyukh in Washington,)