AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year from the National Security Agency (NSA) so the NSA can have access to 81 percent of all international phone calls made into the United States.
A secret inspector general’s report that was leaked and published by the Washington Post, Associated Press and the New York Review of Books asserts “NSA maintains relationships with over 100 U.S. companies, underscoring that the U/S. has the “home-field advantage as the primary hub for worldwide communications.”
The fees vary depending on which company is involved; AT&T charges $325 for each time an account is activated plus a monitoring fee of $10 a day: Verizon charges $775 for the first month and then $500 every subsequent month; Microsoft, Yahoo and Google refused to divulge their charges.
The Washington Post also reported elsewhere that the telephone companies receive roughly $300 million annually from the NSA for the access the NSA wants, including information on their communications, the location and time of the phone calls, who was using the phone, and the length of the calls.