By Brendan Sasso - 11/07/13 09:27 AM EST
AT&T voluntarily turns over vast databases of international call records to the CIA, officials told The New York Times.
The CIA does not compel AT&T to turn over the records using subpoenas or court orders, according to the report, but it does pay the telecom giant $10 million for its cooperation.
The records are mostly foreign-to-foreign calls but also include some international calls with one person in the United States. AT&T blocks several digits of phone numbers of anyone in the U.S., according to the report.
The fact that the NSA collects records on all U.S. phone calls — not just international ones — was one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden.
AT&T has a history of cooperating with national security requests for private data. During the Bush administration, the company allowed the NSA to tap into its San Francisco office and access its customers' communications without a warrant, according to a former AT&T technician.
“We value our customers’ privacy and work hard to protect it by ensuring compliance with the law in all respects," Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman, told The New York Times. "We do not comment on questions concerning national security.”