How many people phone companies hire to give away your information

AP file photo

Companies like Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint hire hundreds of employees to answer requests for user information.

Thanks to a report in today's New York Times, we know cell phone companies are increasingly besieged with requests for phone records from the U.S. government. But who's answering all those requests? It turns out, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and others hire a veritable army of employees to deliver its customers' private information to Uncle Sam. The data in the Times story comes from a congressional inquiry of cellphone carriers available in full on Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey's website. While the phone companies were often vague about how they responded to surveillance requests from the government, most of them got very specific about how many people they employed to process the requests.

Read more at The Atlantic Wire for the breakdown for each company.