Did Telcos Use Scapegoat-for-Hire in NSA Case?
Posted on May 20, 2006
Via Business Week, we learn that an entire niche industry has sprung up to provide the government with commercially purchased telecommunications records that the government isn’t allowed to purchase itself. (TPM Muckraker has a good sum-up.)
A new Business Week article may help explain how AT&T and BellSouth can say they didn’t help the NSA, despite the spy agency having millions of their records showing the call details of Americans using their networks.
The magazine reveals a hidden corner of the telecommunications world: a small group of companies who specialize in granting the government access to telecommunications records, conversations and real-time data on behalf of the telecom giants.
That’s right: the government now makes so many requests for wiretaps, phone records and call information that an industry has sprung up to handle the load.