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AT&T’s For-Profit Spying Program Puts Twitter Users on War Footing

”The spying partnership between government and corporate entities is a clear and present threat to our liberty,“ user tweets

The Twitterverse is pissed because of news uncovered by The Daily Beast of a secret AT&T program called Project Hemisphere that searches millions of call records and analyzes cellular data to help law enforcement spy on Americans — for profit.

The surveillance project comes to light as the company is on the verge of acquiring Time Warner in one of the biggest media mergers in history. Law enforcement agencies pay from $100,000 to over $1 million a year for Hemisphere access, according to the Beast.

Daily Beast reporter Betsy Woodruff tweeted the article with the message, “Read this read this read this read this,” and one follower who replied called it “pretty terrifying.” Another user tweeted, “This is why AT&T will be allowed to become a monopoly, which used to be illegal.”

When TheWrap reached out to AT&T for comment, the telecommunications giant sent back a statement taking the position that the company is simply complying with the law.

“Like other communications companies, if a government agency seeks customer call records through a subpoena, court order or other mandatory legal process, we are required by law to provide this non-content information, such as the phone numbers and the date and time of calls,” a spokesperson said. “These types of legal demands are referenced in the law enforcement section of our Transparency Report.”

AT&T’s statement isn’t going to change the minds of angry customers on Twitter, who immediately took to the social media service to voice displeasure.

Check out some of the reaction: