The telecoms allowed broad and widescale spying on domestic communications prior to and after the September 11th attacks from the NSA. This illegal action wasn't about terror operations, but just the easy access to constitutionally protected communications that allowed the "war on drugs" to escalate.
New York Times: Wider Spying Fuels Aid Plan for Telecom Industry
None of this is any surprise to anyone watching the wholesale destruction of the American Republic by the current administration. To listen to the director of the NSA is to think that the USA is endangered by discourse and independent thought. God forbid Americans not violate the law--oh wait, that's only for patriots.
Tell your senator that the USA will only survive if companies are required to follow the law.
Don't talk about it either