NSA and AT&T: Massive Illegal Surveillance Through Carriers Spy Hubs

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 23:20:50 PDT 2018


SAGUARO etc docs in article.

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.

While network operators would usually prefer to send data through
their own networks, often a more direct and cost-efficient path is
provided by other providers' infrastructure. If one network in a
specific area of the country is overloaded with data traffic, another
operator with capacity to spare can sell or exchange bandwidth,
reducing the strain on the congested region. This exchange of traffic
is called "peering" and is an essential feature of the internet.

Because of AT&T's position as one of the U.S.'s leading
telecommunications companies, it has a large network that is
frequently used by other providers to transport their customers' data.
Companies that "peer" with AT&T include the American
telecommunications giants Sprint, Cogent Communications, and Level 3,
as well as foreign companies such as Sweden's Telia, India's Tata
Communications, Italy's Telecom Italia, and Germany's Deutsche

“It’s eye-opening and ominous the extent to which this is happening
right here on American soil,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of
the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for
Justice. “It puts a face on surveillance that we could never think of
before in terms of actual buildings and actual facilities in our own
cities, in our own backyards.”

"he and his colleagues found it strange that they were asked to
suddenly reroute all of the traffic, because “there was nothing wrong
with the services, no facility problems.“We were getting orders to
move backbones … and it just grabbed me,” said Long. “We thought it
was government stuff and that they were being intrusive. We thought we
were routing our circuits so that they could grab all the data.”

During his employment with AT&T, Eslambolchi said he had to take a
polygraph test, and he obtained a government security clearance. “I
was involved in very, very top, heavy-duty projects for a few of these
three-letter agencies,” he said, in an apparent reference to U.S.
intelligence agencies. “They all loved me.” “You put a gun to my
head,” he said, “I’m not going to tell you.”

The company provides “voluntary assistance".

The agency appears to primarily collect phone calls, emails, online
chats, and data from internet browsing sessions.

All Tier-1 Telcos and Internet Providers in on it... and refuse to comment.

We're Fucking You All.

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