The New York Times reported the CIA is paying AT&T millions of dollars a year for phone numbers of foreign terror suspects.
The report states the phone company receives more than $10 million a year under the voluntary contract. Unlike other recent National Security Agency surveillance programs revealed by contractor Edward Snowden, the new method does not require subpoenas or court orders.
The majority of the phone numbers AT&T provides covers people outside the United States. But the company hides any U.S. phone number when a call is between a foreign line and one inside the country.
This allows the CIA to avoid the prohibition on domestic spying and gets around the usual restriction on phone companies from handing over data without a subpoena.