“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,” Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke report for The Intercept. “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.,” Gallagher and Moltke report. “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,” Gallagher and Moltke report. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And now AT&T’s Death Star logo makes sense.

Visit the Apple-backed Reform Government Surveillance coalition website here.

Visit the Apple-backed Reform Government Surveillance coalition website here.

SEE ALSO:
Popular encrypted email standards are unsafe – researchers – May 15, 2018
Macworld reviews TunnelBear VPN: Straightforward and easy to use – March 8, 2018
You need a VPN, and here’s why – February 21, 2018
Why Mac users need a VPN service – January 17, 2018
Your DNS settings may be betraying your privacy – October 24, 2017
Apple should offer their own VPN service to iOS and Mac users for security and privacy – April 5, 2017
Protecting against possible ISP snooping by using a VPN and https – April 3, 2017
Privacy 101: Why you need a VPN – March 31, 2017
Why Congress’s rejection of proposed FCC data rules will not affect your privacy in the slightest – March 31, 2017
Congress to US citizens: Online privacy isn’t dead, those who want it will just have to pay for it – March 30, 2017
U.S. Congress sends repeal of FCC broadband privacy rules to President Trump for signature – March 29, 2017
Congress votes to repeal FCC Internet privacy rules – March 28, 2017
U.S. Senate votes to overturn Internet privacy rules – March 23, 2017