Report: AT&T facilities are used for NSA surveillance program
According to a report recently published by The Intercept, it appears that no less than eight facilities of major US wireless carrier AT&T are utilized for a surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). These facilities are said to be linked to an NSA initiative called Fairview, which began more than three decades ago, it seems that AT&T is the only wireless service provider tied to this program.
Per The Intercept’s report, these AT&T facilities are spread out in various American cities, namely Atlanta in Georgia, Chicago in Illinois, Dallas in Texas, Los Angeles and San Francisco in California, Seattle in Washington, New York City, and even Washington, DC. About a year ago, The Intercept had also reported about a possible NSA surveillance site located in the Big Apple, but its latest report now goes as far as identifying eight AT&T facilities. To read more about The Intercept report, visit this web page now.
AT&T, for its part, has since released an emailed statement. As expressed by Jim Greer, the director of corporate communication of the company, AT&T is mandated by law to give information to government and law enforcement agencies by following court orders, subpoenas, lawful discovery requests, and other legal requirements. Greer further added that the second biggest mobile operator in the country provides voluntary assistance to law enforcement entities in emergency cases, and in life or death situations.
Of course, AT&T has been previously involved with government surveillance activities before. More than a decade ago, Mark Klein, a technician from AT&T, had revealed that he had met with various officials from the NSA, and had even seen domestic web traffic being diverted to a secure room (641A) in AT&T’s facility located at 611 Folsom Street in the city of San Francisco in California. Interestingly, this same building is one of the eight facilities named by The Intercept’s report.
Not surprisingly, a spokesperson for NSA has since issued a statement, saying that the agency can neither confirm nor deny its involvement in such surveillance activities. NSA further pointed out that it is bound by both policy and United States law to continue to protect Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. Moreover, all of its foreign signals intelligence initiatives are done under the legal authorities set by the US Congress. Furthermore, all intelligence gathered are subject to ongoing, extensive review and oversight by all three branches of government.