NSA’s Surveillance Network

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NSA’s Surveillance Network

Post by Lurker on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:42 am

https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/att-internet-nsa-spy-hubs/


June 25 2018, 8:00 a.m.

The secrets are hidden behind fortified walls in cities across the United States, inside towering, windowless skyscrapers and fortress-like concrete structures that were built to withstand earthquakes and even nuclear attack. Thousands of people pass by the buildings each day and rarely give them a second glance, because their function is not publicly known. They are an integral part of one of the world’s largest telecommunications networks – and they are also linked to a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program.

Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. In each of these cities, The Intercept has identified an AT&T facility containing networking equipment that transports large quantities of internet traffic across the United States and the world. A body of evidence – including classified NSA documents, public records, and interviews with several former AT&T employees – indicates that the buildings are central to an NSA spying initiative that has for years monitored billions of emails, phone calls, and online chats passing across U.S. territory.

The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” It is a collaboration that dates back decades. Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers. According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it “has access to information that transits the nation,” but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers. The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.

This article is too long to quote the entire thing. It's an interesting piece on the NSA spy network in the USA. I used to work for AT&T and as far as I knew we provided electro-magnetic and electronic switching of long distant telephone calls and data. We were never privy to any covert spying by the government. I installed the switching equipment for local telephone exchanges and toll (long distance) switching equipment. I originally worked for Western Electric, which was the manufacturing, installation and supply unit of the Bell System. After Ma Bell was broken up Western Electric became AT&T Technologies, AT&T Network Systems, Lucent Technologies and now is owned by Nokia.

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