The NSA’s Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities

A VERY long read that is worth your while.

It reminds you of how well you don’t know your city if you’re living in one of these eight.

 

https://theintercept.imgix.net/wp-uploads/sites/1/2018/06/building-8-1528304243.jpg

420 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

 

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. Continue reading

Exclusive: Wary of natural disaster, NY Fed bulks up in Chicago

Perhaps the Fed is preparing for a crisis of its own doing and a ‘natural disaster’ is a scapegoat.

Although, and admittedly to their credit, a natural disaster is looming as Mt. Saint Hellens is ready to blow at any moment and a mega earthquake is poised to sink half of California into the Pacific. The New Madrid Fault line is also a great concern at the moment. However, normally in the real world, it’s rather difficult and borderline asinine to try and make a connection between Fed rate hikes and natural disasters.

As the article notes, cyber attacks likely will also play a role in a new crisis.

 

(Reuters) – The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago.

Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan. Continue reading